Girls cross country: Libertyville, Tucker are all smiles at Lake Forest

By John Bumbales
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/26/2019 4:14 PM

With a first-place finish from freshman Sheila Tucker, it was all smiles in the Libertyville girls cross country camp following the Class 3A Lake Forest regional Saturday morning.

The Wildcats took home the championship of the 10-team meet on the 3-mile East Campus course with 48 points, followed by Warren (94) in second and the host Scouts (102) in third.


Fourth-place Stevenson (103) and fifth-place Wheeling (109) also earned berths into the powerful Hoffman Estates sectional next weekend at Busse Woods.

Tucker cruised to the individual crown in 17:25, as she ran a whopping 25 seconds better than she did last week on the same course during the North Suburban Conference meet.

"I'm very happy winning, and I'm really happy for our team. We did really great," Tucker said. "Everyone got a personal record, and we were all just really happy with our packs."

The Wildcats' pack was bolstered by Bree Ponchak in sixth and Annalese Chudy in seventh, while Grace Kraft placed 16th.

"I think our girls had a fire lit under them after last week, and they wanted to show what they could do," Libertyville coach Alison Reifenberg said. "They ran about 30 seconds faster than they did last week, so 10 seconds per mile is pretty great."

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Short-handed Warren was led by Raina Rice in fifth and Taylor Latza in eighth, while Madison Juenger placed 22nd for the Blue Devils.

"We ran well today, but we held two of our top five out for cautionary reasons," Warren coach Brett Heimstead said. "Raina ran outstanding. She got all-regional (top five) for the second year in a row, and she just ran a really gutsy race."

Stevenson was led by Michelle Yu in 11th place, Alivia Alton in 15th and Emily Fejes in 23rd.

"Last week was just not a good week for us, but they did much better today," Stevenson coach Maureen Connolly said. "Michelle has been coming back really strong, and we're really hoping she can be in the low to mid-18's next week. That's the goal."

Wheeling freshman Brenda Torres (17:50) took third, followed by teammates Jasimine Bautista (10th) and Brianna Ruiz (21st).

"Brenda Torres had a great day," Wheeling coach Erin Pedersen said. "She broke 18 minutes for the first time, and Jasmine Bautista broke 19 minutes for the first time. Brianna Ruiz PR'ed by over a minute, and those top three put us where we wanted to be today."

Mundelein advanced Claire Schoenfield (13th) and Jocelyn Gomez (31st).

" (Schoenfield) looked good and she had her season-best time today," Mundelein coach Carsyn Rodriguez said. "Jocelyn Gomez had her lifetime best time, and it was a huge PR for her, so that was good."


Class 2A

In Class 2A, perennial power Vernon Hills rolled to the title of the St. Viator regional by a 25-61 margin over the host Lions, while Carmel Catholic (65 points) was a close third.

Vernon Hills freshman Rose Sheridan won the 3-mile race at Melas Park in 18:04 to outdistance St. Viator's Katie Castelli in second by 22 seconds and teammate Emma Wakefield in third.

Led by defending state champion Brooke Stromsland's first-place finish in 17:19, Lakes won its own regional by a 39-72 margin over Grayslake Central.

Third-place Grayslake North, Antioch (fourth) and Wauconda (fifth) also advanced to the powerful Belvidere sectional next Saturday.

Grayslake North's Kelli Tosic (18:04) placed second, followed by Wauconda's Jessie Pakaski in fourth, Antioch's Sara Benes in fifth and Grayslake Central's Bryn Sato in sixth.

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