by Mike Slodki
MALTAâ€”How can fortunes still be promising with the girls cross-country season in its last throes?
When you run for the Lady Knights.
A solid second-place finish allows Kaneland a berth in the Class 2A Belvidere Sectional this weekend.
Kanelandâ€™s 76-point total was good enough to top Sycamore (88), Rosary (102) and Burlington Central (113) out of the advancing teams. Crystal Lake Central took the regional crown with 34 points and five of the top 10 runners.
Race champion was Cassie Kruse of Hampshire with a time of 18 minutes, 18 seconds.
Kanelandâ€™s Jen Howland was tops for the Maple Park crew with a time of 19 minutes, 20 seconds. Close behind was teammate Andie Strang in 11th place at 19:39. Ashley Castellanos continued her strong season-long trajectory in 12th place at 19:43. Lady Knight Kris Bowen was 22nd with an effort of 20:45.
KHS coach Doug Ecker was pleased and is eager to see what lies in store at Sectionals.
â€œThe girls did a nice job of picking one another up, and advancing to the Sectional. Jen Howland continues to improve with each race, which should build her confidence. Andie Strang raced like a senior captain and looked strong,â€ Ecker said.
Saturday, Oct. 30, at 10 a.m. brings the Belvidere Sectional. Kaneland will see other Sectional champions like Lakes, Woodstock and St. Francis.