Girls cross country: Castelli finishes in Top 10 for St. Viator
PEORIA -- St. Viator sophomore Katie Castelli didn't have to look very far for a constant source of motivation throughout Saturday's Class 2A state cross country meet.
Twenty minutes after finishing in ninth place with a time of 17:38.20 at Detweiller Park, Castelli said she was running in honor of an injured teammate. Paced by Castelli's personal record performance, the Lions notched 16th place with 357 points. Belvidere North claimed the state crown with 113 points.
"I just really wanted to do well," Castelli said. "I was trying to do my best and stick with people. I was really nervous before the race, but during the race I just tried to keep it up."
St. Viator coach Wayne Edelman said Castelli's ninth-place time equaled the best all-time effort in program history.
"(Katie's) only getting better and better," he said. "I can't stop her from running."
Senior Payton McDonnell, just like she did at sectionals, notched the second-fastest time for the Lions. McDonnell ended her career with a time of 18:34 for 50th, while Joy Bergstrom ended in 117th (19:26).
In the Class 3A race, Prospect had the best showing among Mid-Suburban League teams with an 11th-place finish (322 points). Audrey Ginsberg posted the fastest time (17:50) for a 65th-place effort.
Barrington's second straight trip to state ended in a 14th-place showing. The Fillies managed 385 points after placing eighth last season. Sophomore Molly Fitzpatrick had a strong effort in the last 100 yards to place 26th with a time of 17:09. Alyssa Norris, a junior, was right on the heels of Fitzpatrick, earning 35th with a clocking of 17:19. The Fillies' top seven included just one senior -- Eve Hoeltgen.
"We didn't have our best race, but our kids battled," Barrington coach Debbie Revolta said. "They did the best they could. It was a team effort. We just came up short. We got some good experience and we will work on getting better for next year."
Paced by Katie Fredian's 51st-place time of 17:37, Hersey tallied 437 points to end in 20th in its second state trip in three years.
"We had a good day," Hersey coach Danielle Freeman said. "Katie ran her best time of the year and just missed our top seven board that hangs on the wall by two seconds. We have some talented underclassmen, so it was good to get some experience on this course. We're also having a great freshman class coming in next year, so we're hoping to come back again."
Fredian, a junior, said her experience at state factored into setting a personal record on Saturday.
"The start was key for me and also the mentality coming in," she said. "I just went in and tried to test myself to show what I could do instead of being nervous."
Hoffman Estates senior Nikki Rong, who placed 13th at sectionals, ended in 118th (18:19).