10385176653_a71e7fd0c9_o

Setting a second-place course in Morris

Photo: Senior Sydney Strang leads most of the field at Saturday’s NIB-12 championship. Photo by Ben Draper

Girls cross country takes to Redskin school grounds for NIB-12 outing
MORRIS—The Northern Illinois Big XII conference cross country field can boast some high-caliber talent.

After Saturday’s conference meet at Morris High School, the Kaneland girls can boast up there with the best of them, but that wouldn’t be their style.

Bracing for impact for the first meet signifying the 2013 homestretch, Kaneland’s 66-point total was shy of only Yorkville’s 52-point total on Saturday, with DeKalb (105), Dixon (112) and Geneseo (125) rounding out the conference elite.

“You’ve probably got the first 10 or 15 girls here really good at handling this course. Dixon and us and Yorkville may not have been as strong at this met as last year, but still, it’s a very good conference,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.

While Yorkville’s Skyler Bollinger won the school-housed course with a time of 17:23.2, and her and DeKalb rival Kelsey Schrader (17:31.6) were the top two striders, Kaneland sophomore Victoria Clinton took fifth with a time of 17:56.3, and classmate Brianna Bower finished seventh with a time of 18:09.8. Both were able to secure All-NIB-12 nods.

Other top KHS finishers on Saturday included senior Sydney Strang in 17th with a time of 19:00.6, and senior classmate Erika Carlson in 18th at 19:02.9.

“We’ve been trying to speed up on hills because of our home course,” Strang said. “But we definitely tried to just keep momentum and just look for our teammates. We always try to run together if we can.”

The fifth-best finisher for the Lady Knights was junior Aislinn Lodwig at 19:07.2 for 19th place.

Now awaiting Kaneland cross country: the IHSA Class 2A regional housed by Burlington Central on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 11 a.m. The nine-team regional features NIB-12 rival Sycamore.