Fenwick High School freshman Juliana Gamboa of Riverside had some nerves about her first Class 2A girls cross country state championship Saturday.
“I just really wanted to leave it all out on the course,” Gamboa said. “I think running with this team has helped me show I can do it.”
Gamboa earned top-25, all-state honors and was 14th (personal-best 17:47.33 for 3.0 miles) at Peoria’s Detweiller Park to become the Friars’ fifth all-state girl and only second with a top-15 finish.
Gamboa received help the latter half of the race from Trinity sophomore Molly McGreal (8th, school-record 17:49.96) who became her school’s first all-stater. They first met at sectionals.
“(State) was a really good race. It was really fun. During the race (McGreal) really inspired me,” Gamboa said. “The last mile was tough. I was exhausted and she was like, ‘You’ve got this.’ ”
Fenwick was 25th (591 points). Junior Kyra Miller from Riverside (219th, 21:14.84) was the Friars’ No. 6 finisher.
Nazareth (364) was 13th with freshmen Sophia Towne (77th, 18:49.43) and Allie O’Halloran (89th, 18:57.34), senior Jane McNamara (90th, 18:59.44), freshman Julia Parkes (106th, 19:16.02), senior Hannah McCarthy (115th, 19:22.80), junior Sarah Owen (189th, 20:43.33) and freshman Ashley Kenna (197th, 20:51.09).
Nazareth boys cross country
Sophomore Daniel Lewis of Brookfield was 160th in a personal-best 16:27.15 at 2A state as Nazareth’s first boys cross country state qualifier since 2018 and first-ever as a sophomore
“It’s really cool to be the first to qualify but I have a bigger goal in mind. I hope in the next two years to be part of the first Nazareth boys cross country team to qualify for the state meet,” Lewis responded.
“The success this year really motivates me to put in the work. (Next season) I’d like to run under 16:00 as well as compete at the state meet.”
Lewis beat his 16:40.4 from regionals. He broke 17:00 his last four, 3-mile races.
“I was very pleased with how I performed,” Lewis responded. “I could tell the vibe was much different than any race I ran prior. It was a really cool experience.”
The Roadrunners (6-5) advanced to the Class 5A quarterfinals with a 41-0 home victory over Glenbard South Saturday.
Nazareth, which visits Carmel (10-1) at 2 p.m. Saturday, posted its first shutout of the season after having as few as 13 points scored twice.
After Nazareth’s three, second-quarter touchdowns for a 21-0 halftime lead, Jake Pinckney’s fumble recovery and Jaden Fauske’s third-quarter interception — both in the red zone — stopped the Raiders (9-2), who Nazareth beat 48-22 in last year’s opening round of the playoffs.
“Our defense played really well because they had some strong skill players. (Quarterback Michael Champagne) was really good, too,” Nazareth coach Tim Racki said. “We shut down their high-performance weapons and our offense was really clicking.”
Gabe Kaminski had two sacks and four tackles for loss. Pinckney and Brendan Flanagan each had two tackles for loss.
Logan Malachuk was 16 for 27 passing for 202 yards with TD passes to Jake Cestone (16 yards) and Trenton Walker (30 yards) en route to nine catches for 111 yards.
Malachuk also had a 35-yard TD run. Other rushing TDs were by Lesroy Tuttle (1 yard), Charles Calhoun (8 yards) and Anthony Donato (3 yards).
Other than their 37-16 loss to Mt. Carmel, the Corsairs have allowed no more than 14 points in all of their 10 victories with three shutouts.