Girls cross country: Batavia frosh Schlenker wins sectional crown
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).