Best in the Midwest: Naperville North edges Yorkville again to reign supreme in Class 3A girls cross country

Best in the Midwest: Naperville North edges Yorkville again to reign supreme in Class 3A girls cross country

Girls cross country: Naperville North, Glenbard Wests Hart make it three straight at state

  Glenbard Wests Katelynne Hart heads to the finish line during the girls Class 3A state cross country finals Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  Naperville Norths Lucy Westlake, left, and Alex Morris hug after the girls Class 3A state cross country finals Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  Naperville Norths Alex Morris crosses the finish line during the girls Class 3A state cross country finals Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  Glenbard Wests Katelynne Hart wins the girls Class 3A state cross country finals Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  Downers Grove Souths Melissa Weidner runs during the girls Class 3A state cross country finals Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  Batavias Katrina Schlenker and Naperville Norths Alex Morris sure off during the girls Class 3A state cross country finals Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  Naperville Norths Campbell Petersen runs during the girls Class 3A state cross country finals Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  Glenbard Wests Katelynne Hart leads the pack during the girls Class 3A state cross country finals Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  From left, St. Francis Madeline Andelbradt, Gabby Hernandez and Minnie Rolston celebrate after the girls Class 2A state cross country finals Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

The Glenbard West junior continued her streak of never losing a cross country or track state series event Saturday at Detweiller Park.

“(Hart) may be the greatest athlete in the history of Illinois,” Wheaton Warrenville South girls cross country coach Rob Harvey said after the Glenbard West junior won her seventh consecutive state championship in cross country and track with her third straight title in Class 3A. She completed the course in 15 minutes, 59.82 seconds.

“I wouldnt argue with (Harvey on Hart),” said Naperville North coach Dan Iverson, whose team also won its third straight state championship over fellow national power Yorkville 80-87. “She is that good.”

Batavia freshman Katrina Schlenker suffered only her second defeat of the season — also to Hart, at the Naperville North Twilight Invitational — placing second.

“It definitely means a lot,” said Hart, who twice also has won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs at state track. “The state of Illinois is great competition. Its the same each year. I was hoping my best (time) would be the state record.”

Hart will have to wait until next fall to better the mark of former Naperville North great Judy Pendergast.

Meanwhile, the team title in Class 3A was a battle for the ages. For the third straight year Yorkville had to settle for second place.

Maggie Gamboa, Campbell Petersen, Lucy Westlake and Audrey Mendrys all finished in the top 24 among the 25 team qualifiers to edge Yorkville. Naperville North has won three consecutive Class 3A cross country and track championships.

Downers Grove South captured its first trophy in its history behind stalwart Brenna Cohoon finishing eighth to power the third-place Mustangs (127 points).

WW South (239) was sixth behind sophomore Sam Poglitsch, who was all-state for a second straight year with her seventh-place finish.

PEORIA – Scott Maison and his Wheaton Warrenville South teammates started the discussion following last years Class 3A state meet – even before their van left Peorias Detweiller Park.

With their top four and six returnees from a third-place state lineup, the Tigers could capture the state championship.

As soon as we got on that stage, we had a goal of winning the whole thing, said Maison, a senior. It was in the back of our minds the whole time.

Ranked No. 1 since the preseason, the Tigers achieved their dream Saturday by triumphing with 116 points and three top-25, all-state individuals.

Glenbard West junior Katelynne Hart won the 3A girls state title for the third time in 15:59.82 – the second fastest time in state finals history. Downers Grove South was third to earn its first top-three state trophy.

WW South junior Billy Hauenstein (eighth, 14:30.83) was all-state again and Maison (13th, 14:40.53) and junior Jacob Kluckhorn (15th, 14:43.81) for the first time, followed by senior Sean Maison (58th, 15:08.40) and junior Jared Peaslee (59th, 15:08.45).

Its incredible. The kids have worked so hard and sacrificed and are all in, WW South coach Chris Kuntz said. Two years ago, when we were eighth, our mantra was walk the stage (top 3). Driving out last year, I said TWT – The Whole Thing. because you knew it was a great group of kids.

Hart challenged the 15:54 girls course record by Naperville Norths Judy Pendergast in 2015. Entering Saturday, Harts winning 16:22 in 2017 shared the seventh-fastest time. Batavia freshman Katrina Schlenker (16:07.31) ran the fourth fastest Saturday.

Theres some great competition in the state of Illinois, Hart said. That record was definitely one of my goals. For me, its just about running my best race and running strong. A little bummed I didnt get it but definitely just motivation to keep working hard.

The Downers South girls (127) finished behind Naperville North (80) and Yorkville (87). Lyons Township (191) was fourth and WW South sixth (239). Downers South junior Brenna Cohoons school-record 16:40.11 earned eighth and repeat all-state honors.

The Mustangs other top-five finishers had a 20-second split – senior Melissa Weidner (29th, 17:15.06), juniors Erin Reidy (39th, 17:26.02) and Kennedy Warden (43rd, 17:33.39) and sophomore Rebecca Diddia (6th, 17:35.13). Last season, the Mustangs finished fourth behind LT and fifth in 2016, 10 points from third.

“Thats what I was looking forward to most today, focusing on the team race, Cohoon said. To finally have come down and gotten a trophy is super exciting. For me personally, I know that I did what I wanted.

The York boys were fourth (185), 26 points behind third-place Neuqua Valley. Glenbard West (217) and Downers Grove North (315) were sixth and eighth. Downers North senior Jack Roberts (fourth, 14:29.88) and Glenbard West seniors Rory Cavan (fifth, 14:29.98) and Stephen Moody (sixth, 14:30.47) repeated as all-staters and York junior Ethan Kern was ninth (14:32.46). Morton junior Guillermo Ibarra (25th, 14:50.48) was the final all-stater by .09.

Also all-state were Benet senior Connor OKeefe (17th, 15:13.20) in 2A and Westmont senior Matt Gedraitis (24th, 15:32.00) in 1A. Other 3A girls all-staters were WW South sophomore Sam Poglitsch (7th, 16:39.32), Hinsdale Central junior McKenna Revord (14th, 16:49.66) and Glenbard West senior Katie Hohe (15th, 16:59.67) for the second straight year, LT sophomore Kate Dickman (16th, 17:00.14) and WW South senior Laurel Moneysmith (17th, 17:00.63). In 1A girls, Immaculate Conception freshman Carly Manchester was an all-state eighth (17:39.73).


Posted in Naperville