Veronica Znajda, Lily Ginsberg, Cameron Kalaway, and Hailey Erickson pack up in a duel meet against Heresy to secure another win against a conference team. (photo by Alyssa Degan)
Veronica Znajda, Lily Ginsberg, Cameron Kalaway, and Hailey Erickson pack up in a duel meet against Heresy to secure another win against a conference team. (photo by Alyssa Degan)

Girl’s cross country beats #1 team in the state, claiming the top rank

September 21, 2022

The Prospect girls’ cross country team had an astonishing finish at the Richard Spring XC Invitational with a first place title on September 17th. Prospect beat the number one team in the state, York High School. Not only is York the number one cross country powerhouse in the state of Illinois, but they are also nationally ranked 4th, in the entire United States. Prospect made a statement with 53 points and York just one too many with 54 points, placing 2nd. 

Prospect had a stellar performance with Hailey Erickson, senior, placing third with a time of 17:10, her personal record. Veronica Znajda, sophomore, finished 5th with a time of 17:24. Prospect’s up and coming freshman Meg Peterson finished 9th with a time of 17:41. 

The coach behind this special team, Pete Wintermute, made a decision to place Znajda and Peterson in the varsity race where he knew they could fulfill their potential; neither had yet raced varsity this season.

“I get an opportunity to race the freshman and sophmores there with varsity, we already had Ireland [Wildhart, sophomore varsity runner] in there but having Znajda and Peterson you know racing against York High School… just kind of one of those days we want to put it out there and see what we could do,” Wintermute said.

The rest of the girls still showed out with finishes at 13th, Samantha Patterson(Sr.), 26th, Cameron Kalaway(Sr.), 29th, Ireland Wildhart(So.) and 32nd, Lily Ginsberg(Jr.).

This outstanding accomplishment has put the Knights at number one in the state, above York, according to il.milesplit.com.

Prospect has been competing against York numerous times since their state run last year but could never quite clinch a win against them until this race. Prospect and York will continue to battle it out with close races all the way to state. 

Having this win under their belt gives the team momentum and confidence to continue to compete and meet York again, and have a shot at taking home the state title. Wintermute is excited to see what will come.

“I think we walk away knowing we could run a little bit better, but a lot to be learned on the state course and the goal is to be back there in November,” Wintermute said.

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