Girls cross country: Grayslake Central 2nd in 2A; Barrington's Storms races to 3A title

After winning the past two Class 2A state championships, the Grayslake Central girls cross country team was trying to work their magic again Saturday morning on the 3-mile Detweiller Park course in Peoria.

But in spite of a great effort, lady luck was not on the Rams' side this time around as they had to settle for the second-place trophy at the 44th IHSA state meet behind Glenwood by a 84-125 margin in the massive 29-team field.

Grayslake Central's push for the second-place trophy was led by all-stater's Sara Armstrong in 12th, Ava Henne in 20th, and Isabella Domier in 23rd.

"Our girls ran a great race, but a better team beat us so we can hold our heads high no matter what the results are," said Grayslake Central coach Jimmy Centella, whose team also got a 52nd from senior Sofia Witt. "For three years we took first or second in the state so that's a great run, and we're proud of our seniors that led the way for us today."

Lakes took seventh place with 278 points behind its top trio of Brianna Gara (13th), Madison Twarling (25th), and Paige-Elicia Caruth (50th). Carmel Catholic teammates Izzy Bing and Norah Belmonte placed 19th and 59th, respectively.

In the Class 3A girls state meet it was showdown time again as people anxiously waited to see how the battle between the top teams in the state would unfold.

When all was said and done, it was York's great depth that carried the Dukes to their second state title in three years over runner-up Downers Grove North by a score of 77-92.

Behind individual Barrington junior state champion Scout Storms, who posted a winning time of 16:38.46, the Fillies (115 points) placed third while Prospect (140) placed fourth. It was Barrington's third top-three trophy in school history, and its first trophy since placing second in 2006.

Not only was Storms a huge factor in bringing home the trophy, but the emergence of freshman Mia Sirois (sixth) really made the difference for the Fillies in 2023.

"I don't think she (Storms) took the lead until about 400 meters to go and she pulled away a little bit in the end," said Barrington coach Debbie Revolta. "She (Sirois) is a tough kid, she's the real deal for sure, and it's nice to have a kid like that on the team."

Storms held off Naperville Central's Liv Phillips by four seconds to win the legendary race which has featured some fantastic runners.

"With about 400 to go I made my move and I felt pretty good," said Storms. "We knew everybody had to put together our best race, Mia (Sirois) is amazing, and she pushes us all so much."

The finals results might have been much different for defending champion Prospect, but No. 1 runner Veronica Znajda did not finish the race due to collapsing with about a half a mile left in the race.

"She (Znajda) was in first place through the first two miles and just kind of ran out of juice," said Prospect coach Pete Wintermute. "My heart breaks for Veronica Znajda, she collapsed at the two and a half mile mark, she got back to her feet, but at that point she was out of the scoring."

Prospect's remaining troops were led by Meg Peterson in eighth, Lily Ginsberg in ninth, and Ireland Wildhart in 22nd.

Moving up to Class 3A this season, Vernon Hills senior Anna Lester had a fantastic fourth-place finish to close out her career. Hersey's seventh place finish was led by Margaretha Grabske in 17th and Alexa Izenstark in 27th. Barrington's Sabrina Roach placed 34th while teammate Angelica Hil was 50th.

Warren's team was led by Kaylee Wilson in 52nd while Olivia DeLuca was Maine South's top runner in 54th. The Hawks finished 19th followed by Warren in 21st and Lake Zurich in 25th.

Lake Villa Lake's Hannah Salbilla competes in the Class 2A State Cross Country race on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023 at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Scott Anderson/Shaw Local News Network
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