Both cross country teams ran exceptionally well at the Peoria invite on Saturday (Stories updated with greater coverage).
The girls cross country team dominated the Peoria invite this weekend, coming up with a first place finish.
The team was led by freshman Brooke Wolfe,who finished first followed by senior Annette White, fifth, freshman Lauren Poplawski, 12th, junior Savannah Snead, 15th, and senior Kasey Krum, 20th out of 329 runners.
Each girl brought a different aspect to the race to help them pull off a first place win. They “ran for each other” and before the race, the girls pointed out their teammates individual strengths to motivate each other.
Also, having a full 24 hours to spend with the team before the race helped the team become mentally prepared to run.
The invite helped the team build momentum and excitement going into the state meet on November 7. The girls were able to get a feel for the state course and race against a key competitor, Hoffman Estates, who came in second in the Peoria invite.
Coming into the season ranked second in state, the Knights are continuing to aim high and accomplish their goal of winning the state meet.
One way that the team is able to accomplish that goal is through Wolfe, who has made a big impact on the team, despite only it being only her freshman year.
“We knew that she was coming in. She is just an incredible runner,” Krum said. “She has been doing the sport for so long. You see the determination in Brooke and that is so cool to see in a freshman.”
Despite the success, however, Krum believes the team still has unfulfilled potential.
“I think that we can surprise a lot of people,” Krum said. “Honestly we are ranked pretty high, but we could do so much better then what are ranking is now.”
Krum believes that the reason that her team can be successful this year is their dedication and the relationships that the girls have with each other. She remembers when a girl from a rival team came up to her and said, “You’re so lucky, we are not even close at all, but with you guys, you are having fun. You make the sport what it is.”
“We don’t know the team atmosphere at Palatine or at the other big schools, but I can’t imagine them being closer then we are,” Krum said.
“I honestly think that we can win state,” Krum said. “If we are all focused and determined everything will fall together.”
Improving on a fourth-place finish last year, the boys’ cross country team finished second at the Peoria invite Saturday, behind only York high school, which placed second in the state last year and is nationally-ranked this year.
The Knights were led by senior Chris Spudic, who finished second, folllowed by junior Kellan Strobel, 15th, senior Albert Ciolek, 16th, senior Kenny Halloran at 19th and junior Matt Ashton, 27th.
“We ran really well,” Spudic said, “and the results showed that.”
The boys’ team will face another challenge this Tuesday, when they face Wilmette Loyola Academy at home. Loyola is currently ranked first in the state.
– Neel Thakkar