The St. Charles North girls cross country team got started Tuesday what it hopes to be a very successful season.
The North Stars dominated the Elgin City Invitational at Lords Park, placing seven runners in the top 10 and finishing with 25 points. Only the top five runners from each school count toward the team score so STC North's ninth and 10th place finishers did not even count toward its score.
"We have gotten a lot faster this year," STC North senior Sydney Stuenkel said. "Our goal again is to go down to state and we think we can even be better state team this year, possibly place top 10."
The North Stars finished 14th at the state meet last season and only lost one (Erica Bauerbach) of their top seven runners from that team.
Stuenkel won the individual title by completing the 3-mile course in 18:39.7, nearly 50 seconds faster than she finished this race last year.
"I felt really good," Stuenkel said. "The race started out real fast so I got worried. But then as the second mile rolled around, I decided to just go for it."
STC North sophomore Ashley England was third (19:14.7). Elle Murata (sixth, 10:33.7), Ania Gawlik (seventh, 19:48.9) and Kaylee Wessel (eighth, 19:54.6) also counted for the North Stars. Kelly Manski (ninth, 20:09.1) and Megan Young (20:16.6) also finished in the top 10, but did not figure into the team score for the North Stars.
South Elgin senior Jordan Tuin took second in 19:10.4.
"I think I went out a little too fast," Tuin said. "Overall, I think it went pretty well."