The toughest path to State
Loaded Sectional tests successful Lady Knight cross country team
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—It seems like old times for the Lady Knight cross county squad, which is just fine.
Dealing with what many consider the toughest Class 2A Sectionals in the entire state, in the form of the Belvidere gathering, Kaneland’s roster qualified for the Class 2A State meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria, Ill. This is the second straight year the Lady Knights advanced to the State Finals.
The three-mile course in Boone County had Marengo take the ultimate crown with a 57-point total, followed by Crystal Lake Central at 76, Kaneland at 131, Vernon Hills at 166 and Grayslake Central at 173, to round out the qualifying teams. Prairie Ridge of Crystal Lake, Ill., missed the cut at 203 in the 21-team clash.
Marengo senior Katie Adams outran the field with a stellar time of 17 minutes, 23.2 seconds, but was followed closely by Kaneland’s own Victoria Clinton at 17:38.6.
Crystal Lake Central’s area standout Sami Staples took third at 17:49.5.
Kaneland’s top seven finished within a two minute, 27.4 second split, led by Clinton’s time.
Freshman Brianna Bower was second-best for the Lady Knights (10th place) with a time of 18:35.7.
Clinton and Bower took home all-Sectional honors with their efforts, and the freshman felt good in the new postseason setting.
“I just ran it the same way I always do,” Bower said. “I was a little nervous at first, but once the race started it was OK.”
Following nearby was senior Abby Dodis (33rd) at 19:20.4.
Sydney Strang (41st) ran the course in 19:30.6 for fourth-best on the squad, followed by Amanda Lesak (45th) at 19:37.2.
“Abby Dodis, Sydney Strang and Amanda Lesak ran their usual strong races to round out the top five,” KHS head coach Doug Ecker said.
Senior Maggie Brundige (50th) ran her last-ever sectional at 19:45.7, while Aislinn Lodwig (57th) rounded out the top seven at 20:06.
“Finishing third in the toughest 2A sectional in the state capped off a great year that saw the girls win the regional, finish second in the conference, and win two invitational championships,” Ecker said.
Kaneland will run at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, at Detweiller Park in Peoria, Ill.