Girls cross country: Batavia frosh Schlenker wins sectional crown

 
By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/27/2018 8:15 PM
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  • Batavia freshman Katrina Schlenker won the Class 3A Waubonsie Valley sectional in Aurora on Saturday.

      Batavia freshman Katrina Schlenker won the Class 3A Waubonsie Valley sectional in Aurora on Saturday. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • The start of the girls race Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora.

      The start of the girls race Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Katrina Schlenker of Batavia leads from the start of the race Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora.

      Katrina Schlenker of Batavia leads from the start of the race Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Katrina Schlenker of Batavia Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora.

      Katrina Schlenker of Batavia Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Alex Morris of Naperville North Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora.

      Alex Morris of Naperville North Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Alice Abbott of St. Charles East Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora.

      Alice Abbott of St. Charles East Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Rachel Price, of St. Charles North Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora.

      Rachel Price, of St. Charles North Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Campbell Petersen of Naperville North and Naomi Ruff of South Elgin Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora.

      Campbell Petersen of Naperville North and Naomi Ruff of South Elgin Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Sophia McDonnell of Geneva Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora.

      Sophia McDonnell of Geneva Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Lucy Westlake of Naperville North Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora.

      Lucy Westlake of Naperville North Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Jenna Buchanan of Bartlett Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora.

      Jenna Buchanan of Bartlett Saturday during the Waubonsie Valley cross country sectional in Aurora. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

Katrina Schlenker is the latest freshman sensation.

Schlenker outdueled returning all-state Naperville North senior Alex Morris, 16:47.5-16:58.2, to become the first Batavia individual sectional champion in program history Saturday morning at the Class 3A Waubonsie Valley sectional.

Two-time defending state champion Naperville North was the class of the field with its 37-118 win over the Bulldogs.

Benet (142), Rockton Hononegah (150) and Oswego (171) also escaped the inferno of brilliance in attendance.

"The second loop around I decided that it was now or never," Schlenker said of the showdown with Morris. "I went in front of her and made my move."

Mia Gianfrancesco, the Bulldogs' returning all-state junior, was 11th.

St. Charles East sophomore Alice Abbott and St. Charles North freshman Rachel Price were the at-large top qualifiers with their third- and fourth-place results.

"I just wanted to stick with (Schlenker and Morris) as long as I could," Abbott said. "I felt really good at that pace we were going."

"This season I have been struggling with getting stressed right before races," Price said. "Today I just really tried hard to tell myself, 'You're going to do great.' It really helped to have that mental thought, 'You can do this.'"

Other individual qualifiers included South Elgin's Naomi Ruff (17:35), Geneva's Sophia McDonnell (17:41), and Bartlett's Jenna Buchanan (18:15) and Camille Buchanan (18:27).

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