Girls cross country: Fremd finishes first in Warren invite
The Fremd girls cross country team came ready to win the championship trophy Saturday at the Bill Dawson Blue Devil Invitational hosted by Warren.
Due to the heavy rains last week soaking and washing out the Blue Devils' course on their O'Plaine Road East campus, the 3-mile race was moved to Shiloh Park in Zion, where runners experienced great conditions.
And behind a second-place performance by senior Emme Beaupre, the Vikings rolled to the title of the 19-team meet by a 50-104 margin over runner-up Evanston.
Crystal Lake South nipped host Warren 125-126 for third place, while Cary-Grove took home fifth place with 168 points.
After Beaupre, Fremd's pack was solid with Rebecca Markham in eighth, Julia LaDuke in 11th, Julia Finegan in 13th and Marisa Ban in 16th.
"(Beaupre) went off course 20 meters in the last 400, but it's hard to say if she would have held on," said Fremd coach Joe Marcin. "I think this is the lowest amount of points we've ever scored at the Warren Invite, but we have some phenomenal leadership from our seniors that is setting the tone."
Crystal Lake South's push for third place was led by freshman Bella Gonzalez in third, while senior teammate Mackenzie Aldridge (19th in Class 2A last year) placed fifth.
"There's some really good teams here so to be able to be in the mix with those top teams is what we had in mind," said CLS coach Ken Greenfield. "(Gonzalez) is a workhorse, but we're still early in her freshman year so there's still a lot of training and work to be done."
"I think (Aldridge's) race results have been steady over the last few weeks, and I think she has another gear," added Greenfield.
The Blue Devils had a great 1-2 punch with Taylor Latza (10th) and Raina Rice (12th), while Cary-Grove's top duo was Morgan Dieschbourg (seventh) and Delaney Blohm (15th).
Lakes did not run its top team, as defending Class 2A state champion Brooke Stromsland did not compete.
"It was just really great seeing them (senior captain Olivia Schmitt and Alex Bryant) run together today because that is going to get the best result for both of them," said Lakes coach Keith West. "Brooke was out because she had a rest day for her training scheduled, and our 4-5-6 ran at the frosh-soph level today."
The Gators also got a 17th-place run from Addie Frisch, while Wauconda was led by Jessie Pakaski in 19th. Mundelein's Claire Schoenfield placed 21st followed by Fremd's Amanda Markham in 23rd, Antioch's Sara Benes in 24th and Carmel Catholic's Ezzie Posner in 25th. Carmel's Isabel Ashley edged Warren's Nicole Harrison for 26th place.
"(Schoenfield) worked really hard all summer just doing very consistent high miles," said Mundelein coach Carsyn Rodriguez. "(Jocelyn Gomez) is just struggling with some aches and pains. She's still learning, but she definitely has a lot of talent."
Round Lake senior Fatima Giron was in a walking boot after having a huge setback on Monday when an MRI revealed she had a fractured left heel. Giron reached state as a sophomore and placed 11th in Class 3A last fall. She is the only girl in school history to compete in the state cross country meet.
"I think it was just build up throughout the month of August, and I thought it was something that would just go away," said Giron, who has not competed at all this season. "I should be back in time for regional week. Now I'm doing swimming, biking, aqua jogging, and a little bit of strength training too."