Girls cross country: York wins Class 3A championship
PEORIA -- Joe Newton once quipped his famed York boys cross country team had one-upped the New York Yankees' World Series total with a 27th state championship.
But it was the girls from Elmhurst who met and exceeded all expectations Saturday afternoon at Detweiller Park.
With four athletes earning all-state status, York ended the four-year Naperville North stranglehold on the Class 3A meet with a dominant 62-151 victory over Prospect.
Hinsdale Central came home with trophies for both genders as the Red Devils girls were third with 197 points.
Oak Park-River Forest University of Washington-bound reigning 3,200-meter track champion Josephine Welin cruised to the individual title in 16 minutes, 26.35 seconds.
But the Dukes more than trumped their West Suburban Conference rival as Katherine Klimek, Bria Bennis, Brooke Berger and Katelyn Winton checked in seventh, 19, 21 and 23, respectively.
Klimek came home in 16:51,17.
Margaret Owens' 40th-place finish among qualifying team members cemented the Dukes' second state championship in program history and first since 2000.
"It's amazing," Klimek said. "We really wanted to start our own legacy apart from the boys team, We tried not to let (the season-long top-ranking) go to our heads."
"We were going for that official IHSA state title," said Bennis, commenting on the difference with the Dukes' timing-company-sponsored state get-together last fall. 'To have the whole team back was great. The depth of this team is amazing."
The Red Devils were paced by coach Mark McCabe's daughter Catie finishing all-state in the No. 14 position.
The metamorphosis of Glenbard North junior Grace Schager reached a new level.
Schager and multi-all-state (in both cross country and track) Glenbard West senior Audrey Allman were fourth and fifth in 16:41,24 and 16:50.76.
"I didn't think I would be (all-state) in cross country at all last summer," Schager said. "This is only my second year doing it. I have been an athlete my whole life. I play basketball, which helps, but I found a love of running during the quarantine."
"I wouldn't say it's easier," Allman said of her second all-state campaign. "I am taking it in as I get older. I was naive as a freshman."
Allman has committed to Vanderbilt.
Naperville North had its nine-year run of consecutive trophy-winning seasons come to a close as DuPage Valley Conference and city rival Naperville Central placed seventh to the Huskies' eighth.
USC recruit Lucy Westlake earned an elusive first all-state with a top-10 effort for Naperville North.
"We are definitely a little disappointed with our placing as a team, but we did our best," said Westlake, who was ninth. "We had a lot of girls who did very well; they had new PRs. I was really proud of them."
Holly Johnson and Sophia McNerney were all-state 13th and 16th, for Downers South.
Carly Manchester was the lone area all-state girl in either Class 1A or 2A as the IC Catholic Prep senior placed eighth in the smallest division.