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Article updated: 9/10/2011 8:22 PM

Lake Park, Flanagan keep rolling

Samantha Bowden/sbowden@dailyherald.com Claire Flood, a senior from Elk Grove, finishes her last lap of the varsity girls competition at the Lake Park High School cross country invite Saturday morning.

Samantha Bowden/sbowden@dailyherald.com Claire Flood, a senior from Elk Grove, finishes her last lap of the varsity girls competition at the Lake Park High School cross country invite Saturday morning.

 
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By Michael Eaken

Junior Kaylee Flanagan and the Lake Park girls cross country team opened the season by winning the Fenton Invitational last Saturday.

Flanagan and the Lancers kept rolling on Saturday at their own 37th annual Harvey Braus Invitational.

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Flanagan cruised through the first mile in 5:20 and then made major separation in the second mile before cruising to the finish in a meet-record 16:41.

The junior helped pace a Lake Park attack that featured four girls in the top 19 en route to a convincing victory with 83 points at Lake Park's East Campus in Roselle.

Glenbard West took second with 120 points followed by Hoffman Estates (128), St. Charles East (136) and St. Charles North (163).

Glenbard West sophomore Madeline Perez (17:13) took second individually, with Hoffman senior Haley Goers (17:18), Maine South sophomore Emily Leonard (17:21) and Prospect junior Brooke Wolfe (17:22) rounding out the top five.

Last year Flanagan finished ninth in Class 3A, and last weekend the junior won the Fenton Invite title in 17:31.

Flanagan turned it up a notch on Saturday, leading from start to finish in a dominating performance.

"We have just been training harder and really working on speed," said Flanagan of her progress. "It also helps knowing the different courses and knowing the tough spots. Today I just went out hard and kept the pace."

Flanagan's older sister Lindsay won the 3A state title in 2008 and Kaylee is emerging to make a name for herself.

"Lindsay has been a great influence," added Kaylee, "I just have to keep working hard."

Flanagan had plenty of help with junior Brianne Murphy (18:06), junior Samantha Montalban (18:18), and senior Meghan Duggan (18:18) taking 15th, 17th, and 19th to help solidify the Lancers victory.

"We've been working really hard," said Murphy. "We have made so much progress from last year and I think we're ready."

"They ran as a team again," said Lake Park coach Lauren May of the Lancers pack. "We responded well today and we have to continue to run as a pack."

Glenbard West also responded well. Senior Maddie Nagle (17:45) took 10th place and combined with Perez to give the Hilltoppers a solid 1-2 punch.

Last week Glenbard West finished third at a loaded Hinsdale Central Invite, and the Hilltoppers continued their progress on Saturday.

Perez, who took fourth at Hinsdale Central, continued to open some eyes on Saturday with her second-place finish.

"I'm a lot stronger than I was last year," said Perez, who finished 29th in Class 3A last season. "I've been working on my speed and obviously my times have improved; now I'm ready to take it to the next level."

The Hilltoppers return six of their top seven from last year's team that finished ninth in Class 3A and definitely will be a team to watch this season.

"We're all very motivated this year, and we saw how good we were last year and we want to be even better this year," added Perez.

Hoffman also is a motivated team. Last year the Hawks missed qualifying for the state meet, which has spurred their attack this season.

Goers led the charge, with senior Haley Worman (17:46) finishing 11th.

"I felt that Haley (Worman) kept closing it with me, and that pushed me," said Goers of the Hawks attack. "I keep learning new things, and this year's time was better than last year's time, so I'm excited."

Senior Takshaka Patel (18:36) added 30th place for Hoffman.

"I'm very pleased," added Hoffman coach Kirk Macnider of his team's showing. "I think the team will keep improving every week. The season is a big puzzle, but I believe the pieces are all there."

Senior Mallory Abel (17:41) secured seventh place in leading St. Charles East to a fourth-place finish. Junior Sarah Hill (17:59) and freshman Torree Scull (18:14) took 14th and 18th place to help push the Saints charge.

Abel missed last season to an injury, so the senior has been running with a bit of urgency this season.

"My times have been pretty consistent," said Abel, who finished second last week at the Leavey Invitational. "I've had better races but I'm OK with the results."

Senior Sydney Stuenkel (17:45) and sophomore Ashley England (18:27) finished ninth and 24th in aiding St. Charles North to a fifth-place finish.

Prospect has started the season slow because of illnesses.

No. 2 runner Lauren Poplawski missed her second straight invite with mono. But Wolfe used a strong third mile in securing fifth place and helping the Knights take sixth with 181 points.

"We're coming into these races pushing harder and hopefully it will pay off at the end of the season," said Wolfe, who is coming back from a foot injury after finishing fifth in Class 3A last season. "I'm still getting my training up there and hopefully it will keep progressing."

Junior Gabbie Hesslau (17:59) and junior Jillian Kothanek (18:24) finished 13th and 20th respectively to lead Downers Grove North to seventh place.

Defending 3A state champion Schaumburg lost its top three runners from last season. But junior Hannah Coombs (17:58) helped power the attack on Saturday, taking 12th place and leading the Saxons to an eighth-place finish.

Junior Megan Lemersal (17:45) took eighth place and combined with Leonard in leading Maine South to a ninth-place finish.

Sophomore Kendall Cast (18:24) took 22nd place for Metea Valley and junior Nicole Watkins (18:30) finished 25th for Bartlett.

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