Senior Day: Wasowicz, Wolfe and Poplawski excel downstate
PEORIA -- Palatine senior Tess Wasowicz, and Prospect seniors Brooke Wolfe and Lauren Poplawski have all had success at the girls cross country state meet.
All three also have had their share of setbacks, but Saturday in the Class 3A championships at Detweiller Park in Peoria, each finished on a high note.
Wasowicz, who finished one spot shy of a state medal last season, came back strong in securing 11th place in 16:54 as the Pirates placed fifth.
Wolfe, who has battled a hip injury for most of the season, won her third state medal by taking 13th in 16:56. And Poplawski, who finished 58th last year, redeemed herself with an 18th-place finish in 17:01.
Naperville North won its fifth state title finishing with 113 points. Lake Park (133 points) edged Glenbard West (138 points) for second place. Defending Class 3A state champion New Trier (147 points) took fourth, with Palatine (213 points) rounding out the top five.
Glenbard West junior Madeline Perez took first individually in 16:02, shattering the state record by Woodstock's Kayla Beattie (16:22) set in Class 2A in 2010.
York senior Emma Fisher (16:15) took second, followed by New Trier senior Courtney Ackerman (16:27), Lake Park senior Kaylee Flanagan (16:39) and Fenwick sophomore Olivia Ryan (16:43).
Wasowicz used a good start, then hung on at the end in securing her second state medal.
"I feel like I came back strong this year," said Wasowicz. "I just wanted to have fun, and I feel like all the hard work paid off."
Palatine junior Jessica Lincoln (17:23) finished 33rd in helping pace the Pirates' effort, with junior Cassidy McPherson and sophomore Amy Kieliszewski playing key roles.
"Tess ran the race we thought she could run," said Palatine coach Joe Parks whose team's slow start ultimately dragged down the Pirates' team placement. "Early on I felt a sinking feeling -- things weren't going our way."
Wolfe and Poplawski came through big for Prospect. Wolfe sustained her late-season momentum on Saturday, keying the Knights' drive to 12th place.
"I was just happy to come back and have a strong race my senior year," said Wolfe, who used a fast start in securing her position. " I just wanted to latch on to the lead group and go from there."
Poplawski had a disappointing ending to last season, but she set the tone early Saturday by pacing off the leaders.
"That is something we've been working on all season," said Poplawski of the early push. "I definitely wanted to make up for what I did last year because I knew I was better than that. It was really exciting."
Freshman Lauren Conroy (17:01) won the Mid-Suburban League title a few weeks ago, and the Fillies frosh extended her success at the state meet on Saturday taking 19th place.
Conroy was slowed a bit by a sore hip at the sectionals, but came back strong on Saturday.
"We went out really fast, but it was good to be up front," said Conroy who didn't hesitate at the start. "It's really special to make all-state as a freshman."
Junior Carly Reynolds (17:18) took 30th place and senior Rebecca Batliner aided Barrington drive to an eighth-place team finish.
"I thought Conroy could be top 25, and I told her to get out smart and she did," said Barrington coach Deb Revolta. "All the girls ran well, they all work hard, and we'll keep building."
Buffalo Grove freshman Kaitlyn Ko (17:07) capped an impressive first season by taking 22nd place and earning an all-state medal.
"I just wanted to stay with the top pack and not fall too far behind," Ko said. "The race was faster than I expected, but it was exciting."
Fremd senior Kelly Breen (17:14) a two-time state medalist just missed her third state medal with a 27th-place finish. Breen has been battling iron issues all season, and the Viking senior showed plenty of toughness with her finish.
St. Viator senior Hanna Winter (17:35) picked up her third state medal, claiming 11th place. She was followed by junior Meghan Carroll (17:46) in 19th for a Lions team that finished 11th.
Both Winter and Carroll used strong starts and hung on at the end.
"Had to get out fast, 'cause I knew that lead pack would take off and not look back," said Winter. "I tried to hang on as long as I could. I'm excited to finish, and to finish strong."
"I've been working hard all season, and to end it with a state medal is pretty special," said Carroll. "I love working Hanna, she always helps in setting the pace."
Yorkville won its second consecutive state title with 66 points, followed by Normal University (112 points) with Montini (172 points) taking third on a tiebreaker with Glenbard South (172 points).
Kaneland sophomore Victoria Clinton won the individual title in 16:56, followed by Galesburg senior Stephanie Saey (17:07) and Peoria Notre Dame freshman Maryjeanne Gilbert (17:07).
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