By Marty Farmer
The Lyons Township High School girls cross country team capped off a superb postseason run by placing fourth at Saturday's IHSA Class 3A state finals. Competing at Detweiller Park in Peoria, the Lions scored 191 points on Saturday in cool conditions
"The girls ran a really complete team race," coach Alex Lyons said. "Each kid 1-7 executed as strong a race as they could have on the day. It was great to watch. I thought every athlete on our team, not just the seven that raced Saturday, handled the challenges of the year really well."
Sophomore Kate Dickman led the Lions with a time of 17 minutes, 00.14 seconds to finish 16that state. Her pace was 5:40 per mile over the course.
Senior Marta Kogucki (17:18.07/33rd), senior Sarah Barcelona (17:33.8/44th), junior Maggie Abbs (17.47.07/59th) and senior Emily Henkel (18:09.8/97th) were the Lions' other top runners.
Junior Maddie Cranny and sophomore Claire Williams recorded times of 18:12.1 (101st) and 18:13.2 (105th), respectively, for LTHS.
"We were excited to see everyone in the race run either a lifetime or season best," Lyons said. "I think that speaks to the kind of kids on our team. They are good decision-makers in races, and just generally mature and level-headed."
Naperville North (80 points) won the Class 3A state title. Glenbard West junior Katelynne Hart also won state in the individual results with a time of 15:59.8.
Blazers run well in Peoria
In IHSA Class 2A action, Trinity finished 23rd with a score of 531. Alexis Cohn set the pace for the Blazers with a time of 18:39.1 and 57th place showing. Sophomores Sylvia Ritzler (19:25.6/113th), Kate Foley (19:31.1/125th) and Courtney Yungerman (20:19.9/174th) also ran well for Trinity. Although they are underclassmen, Ritzler and Foley already have competed in two state finals which bodes well for the Blazers' promising future.
The Blazers' other runners were senior Hannah Roberts (20:22.7/178th), sophomore Annabel Halloran (20:52.5/191st) and sophomore Jessica Hoffman (21:21.6/201st).
Belvidere North won the 2A state championship with a score of 113, while sophomore Brooke Stromsland won the 2A individual title at 16:32.7.
Janney reps RBHS in Class 2A
Tara Janney capped off her RBHS career with a 60th place finish (18:40.1) at the IHSA Class 2A state cross-country final. The senior earned her way to Peoria with a time of 19:15 at the Kaneland Sectional. She won the RBHS Regional title with a time of 19:39.1.
"Tara ran a personal-best for the season at state," RBHS coach Blair Jensen said. "She's run in the state finals the past three years with the fourth, fifth and seventh fastest-times ever run by a (RBHS) female.
"We're losing many strong seniors like Tara, Nadia Kaczmarz, Melissa Oliveira-Liz and Cora Lutes," Jensen added. "We hope their guidance and leadership this year has laid a nice foundation for the underclassmen runners to be competitive next year."
Clark makes mark in Class A
In Class A, Timothy Christian's Hope Clark came in 68th place. Clark, a junior from Riverside, finished the course in 19:00.5 at a 6:20 pace per mile.
Durkin, O'Brien finish close for Fenwick
Senior Laura Durkin finished the race in 18:35.4 for 148th, while junior Marie O'Brien posted a time of 18:42.6 for 161st for the Friars.
LTHS boys earn 21stat state
Junior Jack Ehlert posted a time of 14:57.9 for 38th place to lead the Lions. The Lions' Owen Hays (15:22.6) edged teammate Sawyer Madell (15:24.04) as they finished 104th and 106th.
The rest of the LTHS runners at state included Drew Dilcher (15:38.8), Jessie Lussier (15:48.6), Ryan Bonfiglio (15:57.5) and Jocqael Thorpe (18.01.8).
Sikorski comes through for Naz
Nazareth senior Scott Sikorski capped off his strong season with a 52nd place showing at Detweiller Park. Sikorski, who won the RBHS Regional, recorded a time of 15:45.6 at state.
"We are thrilled that Scott finished his illustrious running career in the manner he did," coach Scott Banasiak said. "Scott is a young man who truly represents a student-athlete. He's worked so hard these last four years and has truly earned all the accolades he receives."