Girls cross country: Grant's Negovetich picks up where she left off
Grant girls cross country standout Aly Negovetich hasn't missed yet this fall.
To start the week, the two-time Class 3A Top 5 state meet finisher had finished first in all five of the Bulldogs' competitions thus far.
Of particular note, is a 17:18 effort for 3 miles in a meet earlier this season at home against Grayslake Central. Grant coach Jeff Durlak noted that's one of the top 3-mile times in the nation right now, according to one time-compiling service.
Negovetich recently ran 18:07 to win a meet against Mundelein, Vernon Hills and Zion-Benton at the Bulldog Athletic Complex in Fox Lake. The second-place runner in that meet finished at 19:29.
Some other eye-opening time gaps include an 18:26 effort against Antioch (second-place runner clocked in at 21:22) and a 17:54 time against Carmel and Johnsburg where the next-closest finisher was 21:42.
"The last couple meets really have shown me that I can trust myself," she said. "I put in the training all summer and even through a weird last track season. I have trust in my abilities. I believe in myself. I have the confidence to go the rest of the way."
Negovetich, who has finished fourth at the Class 3A state cross country meet in each of the last two years, said her training this summer peaked at 70 miles per week and she held that pace for a month. "I didn't change at all," she said. "At the end of the track season, I was still hopefully there was going to be some sort of state meet and that never happened. I tried to do speed work and tried to taper. I took the time to work on the little things."
Negovetich, who has gone as low as 16:30 (freshman year at sectionals), added beyond working on her running, she wants to see her Grant teammates succeed. "I'm focused on personal growth and team development," she said. "If we can get the new freshmen and the sophomore group and push them forward, that will take us much further than this year. It's time to focus and be thee for the team."
The pandemic situation has caused Negovetich to take a look at her cross country priorities. "I run to compete. It's exciting, but it's not the main reason I run," she said. "I run because I enjoy the sport and I love the people who ae around me. God gave me a gift that I am fortunate to be able to use. (The pandemic) didn't take everything away from me. It didn't take away the stuff that really matters to me."
The Knights scored a recent 16-46 win against Barrington thanks to the 1-2-3 punch of Cameron Kalloway, Hailey Erickson and Lily Ginsberg. Kalloway, a sophomore, won the race in 18:51, while Erickson, also a sophomore, was right behind at 18:53. Ginsberg, a freshman, finished third at 18:57. Senior Annika Erickson was fourth at 19:09. Barrington's first finisher took fifth. In fact, Prospect's 1-5 split totaled 48 seconds with junior Audrey Ginsberg sixth at 19:39. Barrington was led by senior Kat Shein's fifth-place finish.
South Elgin update:
South Elgin turned in a strong effort in a recent 16-40 Upstate Eight Conference win at home against Glenbard South. The Storm had the first four runners cross the finish line with Naomi Ruff winning the meet in 19:08.9. Heather Durrant was second at 19:58.7, while Angeica Harris and Roberta Morales followed. Glenbard South was paced by Ellie Stewart.
It was a clean road sweep for Hersey in a recent Mid-Suburban League dual against Elk Grove. The Huskies won 15-50 with Anna Harden leading the way at 17:54 for 3 miles. Mackenzie Ginder finished second at 19:26, while Jane Steganiak was third at 19:58, and Renee Skiera and Katie O'Brien followed to round out the Hersey scoresheet. Harden finished 23rd in the state last year as a freshman.
The Cougars went 2-3-4-6-7 to secure a recent 22-36 MSL win over Hoffman Estates in the battle for village of Hoffman Estates supremacy. Hoffman junior Valerie Daniel won the meet in 19:08, while Conant's Calli Bessemer was second at 20:53.
The Red Raiders swept a Fox Valley Conference dual from neighboring Hampshire with Brittney Burak (19:28.84) and Molly Allen (19:39.31) leading the way for the winners. Grace Murphy was Hampshire's top finisher.
IC Catholic Prep update:
The Knights, eighth in the state last fall in Class 1A, won a recent Metro Suburban Conference tri meet against Aurora Central Catholic and host Westmont. The Knights were led by the junior duo of Carly Manchester and Kennedy Calcagno. Manchester, 12th individually in Class 1A last year, won the meet in 19:31, while Calcagno finished second at 19:59 and senior Frankie Chaidez was fourth at 20:32. Isabella Orosco was ACC's top finisher.