PEORIA -- Schaumburg senior Maddie Marasco finished on a high note for the Saxons in the Class 3A girls cross country state meet at Detweiller Park.
The Saxons senior, a two-time all-state runner, entered the season with high expectations and delivered big on Saturday.
Marasco kept up with a fast pace early on cloudy and gray day and then rode that momentum to a ninth-place finish, crossing the line with a career-best 16:54 in earning her third state medal.
"I'm very happy," said Marasco who also won the Mid-Suburban League title this year. "Running the first two-mile I pushed it a bit, maybe a bit too much. But I am so humbled to be able to run with all these top runners."
After a hard start, Marasco fell off the pace of the top eight runners. But she found just enough to hold off a hard charge by Maine South Olivia Niziolek (16:58) to secure her position.
"I just wanted to give it all I could early then hold on for dear life," Marasco said.
Marasco finished in 16th place as a sophomore, added an eighth-place finish as a junior and added to her accomplishments on Saturday.
"She gave it her all today," said Schaumburg coach Kristen Zillmer. "She has put in her mark, and she has left some big shoes to fill. It's just really cool to have someone that talented."
Naperville North ran to its second consecutive Class 3A team title with 87 points, followed by Yorkville (117), with Lyons Township (184) holding off Wheaton Warrenville South (193) and Downers Grove South (194) for third place.
Senior Jocelyn Long (17:05) and freshman Molly Fitzpatrick (17:10) both earned state medals, finishing in 18th and 21st place, to help push Barrington to an eighth-place team finish with 245 points.
"I know I pushed myself as best as I could today," said Long who was the first Fillies runner to earn three state medals. "The first mile felt pretty good, the middle was tough -- but I never stopped pushing."
Fitzpatrick wasn't far off Long's pace in earning her first state medal.
"Definitely excited," said Fitzpatrick. "Definitely gave it my all. Jocelyn just pulled me along. We're a young team and we are going to keep improving."
The two Fillies set the tone for Barrington all season and it was no different on Saturday.
"We had a great season with a lot of young kids. Now we are hoping to build off that," said Barrington coach Deb Revolta. "Jocelyn has helped out our young team so much, and I just hope the younger kids have learned from her."
Freshman Anne Marie Jordan (73rd place, 17:59) lifted Palatine to a 17th-place finish.
"At the end of the day you want to finish your season at state," said Palatine coach Joe Parks. "You learn from this experience and you hope to build on this."
Prospect senior Mikayla Olsen (17:49) ended a special season by finishing in 47th place and helping the Knights to an 18th-place finish.
"Our goal was to make it to state," said Olsen. "I think we are surprised in how far we have come."
In Class 2A freshman Katie Castelli (18:42) finished in 42nd place to lead St. Viator to a 22nd-place finish.