Girls' cross country gives all at Palatine

By Maggie Deverux
Executive Sports Editor
The girls’ cross country team took fifth place this past Saturday at the Palatine Invitational. The Knights finished behind top teams Palatine, Wheaton Warrenville South, Downers Grove North and Barrington. But even amidst the tough competition, the girls still managed to perform above expectations.

Sophomore Brooke Wolfe took first place in the meet with a time of 17:17, followed by sophomore Lauren Poplawski who came in third with a time of 17:38. Senior Savannah Snead, 18:37, junior Kate Welch, 18:50, and senior Mary Styzek, 18:52, took the third, fourth and fifth spots for the knights.
Head coach Dave Wurster believes the team’s success wasn’t shown in the numbers.
“It didn’t show in the placing,” Wurster said. “It showed in the racing”
The course at Deer Grove East Forest Preserve was changed this year, making the invite even harder for the 28 teams that attended. The team however had practiced at the course several times before the meet, lessening the difficulty.
“Our team handled the course very well,” Wolfe said.
Another problem was that the team ran with a different strategy. Wurster told the girls to go out fast and push the pace, a strategy that wasn’t very familiar to the team. And according to Wurster, “if it’s not familiar to you, you might struggle [with the race].”
Despite the course and the strategy, both Wolfe and Wuster believe the team had a lot of success. Wolfe was not only proud of her accomplishment, but also in her teammates, especially Poplawski who managed to pass about five runners in the last half mile. Snead, Welch, and Styzek also ran personal bests at the invite.
“There were a lot of really good teams there,” Wurster said. ” The only teams that beat us were ranked second, third, fifth and sixth in state. We did really well throughout our whole team.”