8th in Class 2A for Lady Knights XC

Photos: Freshman Aislinn Lodwig ended her season with a 59th-place finish, passing 25 runners in the last half-mile at Detweiler Park in Peoria, Ill. on Saturday. Photos by Marshall Farthing

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was an ideal way to wrap up a productive 2011 for Kaneland girls’ cross country.

With six of seven athletes reaching a personal best mark, the Lady Knights unit accumulated a score of 225 at the State race at Detweiler Park in Peoria, Ill., on Saturday, good for eighth place of all Class 2A programs.

Fellow NIB-12 schools Yorkville (74), DeKalb (229) and Dixon (243) finished first, ninth and eleventh, respectively.

It was Sami Staples of Crystal Lake Central taking the individual crown in 17 minutes, seven seconds, but fellow freshman Victoria Clinton nabbed All-State honors with an 11th-place finish at 17:41. The finish includes Clinton as only the fifth girl in KHS history to make an All-State run.

<strong>Victoria Clinton</strong> enjoys her moment after earning All-State honors.

Junior Maggie Brundige ran a PR of 18:29, good for 45th place, 49 seconds better than any previous effort.

Freshman Aislinn Lodwig, who emerged as a talent Kaneland can conceivable count on for three more years, finished 77th at 18:52.

Lodwig passed 25 runners in the last half-mile.

“She had a great finish the last 1,600 meters, and so did all of them,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “That was a hard question to answer (on best race), all seven were great.”

“I just tried to run as fast as I can. It was kind of chilly, and it took me awhile to warm up,” Lodwig said.

With the big finish, Lodwig knows there is more work to come to stay in the mix.

“We can still build up our strength, and there is still a lot more to work on, but we have good coaching,” Lodwig said.

Teammate Abby Dodis was immediately behind Lodwig with the same time for 78th place.

Junior Amanda Lesak ran in 18:53 for 80th place. Sydney Strang finished 99th overall at 19:08, while Ashley Castellanos took 120th at 19:21.

LADY KNIGHTS XC:
Maggie Brundige
Ashley Castellanos
Victoria Clinton
Abby Dodis
Jessica Kucera
Amanda Lesak
Aislinn Lodwig
Anna Piazza
Natasha Ring
Sydney Strang
Carolina Tovar
Head Coach Doug Ecker