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updated: 9/19/2017 9:09 PM

Girls cross country: Key division wins for Prospect, Barrington

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By Michael Eaken
Daily Herald Correspondent

Prospect's girls cross country team found its rhythm in Tuesday's key Mid-Suburban East crossover dual against rival Hersey.

Last year, Hersey came from behind to defeat Prospect, snapping a nine-year Knights run as MSL East champions.

But the Knights were up to the challenge this year.

Senior Mikayla Olsen led the charge by taking first in 19:01 to lead host Prospect to an 18-37 MSL East victory.

And Olsen had plenty of company as freshman Reese Lettow (19:15), senior Kaitlyn Rouse (19:23) and junior Julia O'Grady (19:23) formed a nice line in taking 2-3-4 spots.

The victory puts the Knights in control of the MSL East. They can wrap up the division title with a pair of victories on Sept. 28 at the Wheeling triangular.

"The focus the past two weeks was bringing it today," said Prospect coach Pete Wintermute, who saw his team surge right after the mile to take control. "That is kind of the key part of the race to find that rhythm and get into position you want to be in."

Olsen definitely set the tone early, as she battled Hersey junior Teagan Beckley the first 2 miles.

But the Knight senior pulled away in the final to secure the victory.

"I didn't expect her (Beckley) to be right on me early," said Olsen of her early challenge from Beckley. "That kind of got me psyched. I just feel that we wanted it more this year."

Lettow and Rouse did a nice job of maintaining their positions, and O'Grady looked smooth in moving up in the final mile.

"I think we really pushed the middle," said Lettow, who has emerged as one of the Knights' top runners. "Coach (Wintermute) emphasized what was at stake."

Hersey was a bit short-handed on Tuesday as sophomore Katie Fredian was a late scratch.

Beckley (19:45), the Huskies' No. 1 runner, has also been dealing with a sore foot. It showed in the final mile, and after challenging for the lead those first 2 miles, the Huskies junior finished in ninth place.

Junior Veronica Makowski (19:30), freshman Jane Stefaniak (19:30) and sophomore Erin Barton (19:37) filled in the gaps by going 5-6-7.

"We definitely wanted to give it our best today," said Makowski, who has given the Huskies a nice lift this season. "We felt really good on the line and definitely gave it our all, but maybe not what we hoped for."

Sophomore Emily Hubbard (19:38) completed the Knights' scoring by taking eighth place.

Barrington 27, Palatine 28: Barrington senior Jocelyn Long and freshman Molly Fitzpatrick led the entire race to finish 1-2, helping lead the Fillies to a 27-28 Mid-Suburban West dual meet victory over host Palatine.

Long covered the 3-mile Deer Grove East course in 17:50, and Fitzpatrick (17:55) was not too far off that pace, finishing in second to set the tone for the Fillies

The teams battled back and forth for much of the race. Barrington sophomore Alyssa Norris outdueled Palatine senior Lauryn Simons in the final steps to secure fifth place, with both finishing in 18:46. Barrington junior Eve Hoeltgen (19:22) closed the door by holding off Palatine sophomore Christina Buckstaff for 10th place to finalize the team scoring.

Freshman Anne Berquist (1906) added a ninth-place finish for the Fillies.

Freshman Anne Marie Jordan (18:22) and junior Kate Lechowicz (18:38) took third and ofurth place for the Pirates, with Liz Lechowicz (18:56) adding a seventh-place finish.

Barrington can earn its first MSL West division title since 2006 with a pair of victories at the Fremd triangular on Sept. 26.

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