By Maggie Devereux
Executive Sports Editor
At the sectional cross country race two weeks ago, sophomore Brooke Wolfe continued her winning streak by taking the sectional title. Her and the girls’ team qualified for the state meet which was held last weekend in Peoria. The boys’ team took sixth at the sectional meet, where only the top five teams advance. However, senior Kellan Strobel qualified as an individual for the Knights.
At the state meet, the girls took fifth place behind Schaumburg, Palatine, Wheaton Warrenville South, and Geneva respectively. Wolfe took fifth place with a time of 16:46. She was followed by Lauren Poplawski (20th), junior Laura Maibuecher (54th), senior Mary Styzek (75th), freshman Rachel Henk (86th), and senior Savannah Snead (114).
“I’m happy with fifth place,” Poplawski said. “It has been something we have been working on the whole season and I’m glad it came together.
“I was just proud of everyone. We competed well as a team.”
Strobel placed 27th at the state meet, two places off from being named all-state. He had his entire team to support him as he ran. According to coach Mike Stokes, his goal was to run 14:50, and he ran 14:49, which was 20 seconds faster than his previous personal record. Additionally, his time was the fifth fastest state time of a Propsect runner, and he got the ninth best place of any Prospect runner.
“You can’t really ask any more than that,” Stokes said.
However, Stokes believes that if the team had qualified, Strobel would have had an even faster race. Stokes felt he started off a little fast and if his teammates were there they would have “settled him down in the beginning”.
“He is a team guy,” Stokes said. “He would have ran better with his teammates in the race.”
Stokes looks at the sectional meet as a “slap in the face”, but also a chance to improve. According to Stokes, although the team had some setbacks, they still did not run to potential. Junior Mike Thill collapsed during the race, and the boys’ times weren’t where they should have been.
“We should have qualified without [Thill]; we are that good,” Stokes said. “Something went wrong; something was lost in the mix.”
Now as the team transitions to winter training for the track season, Stokes feels they can use the result to fuel the fire. Next year he feels returning runners such as Thill and junior Josh Campos will really help the team strive to compete.
“We learn from our mistakes,” Stokes said. “We’re hungry again.”