Just enough: Girls cross country’s fifth place means another trip to Peoria
Photo: Senior Erika Carlson stepped up for the Lady Knights, running as their No. 3 with a time of 19:30. File Photo
KANELAND—Looks like the Lady Knights cross country squad had just enough on Saturday in Belvidere, Ill.
Due to their 176-point total, the Kaneland girls cross country lineup earned the last Class 2A State qualifying margin by 27 points over Woodstock at the Sectional meet at Belvidere High School.
The Lady Knights, who saw sophomore Victoria Clinton take the top prize in 2012, now set plans for the Class 2A finals on Saturday, Nov. 9, at Detweiller Park in Peoria, Ill.
Crystal Lake Central was crowned Sectional champs with a 103-point total, followed by Marengo at 121, Vernon Hills at 126 and Lake Forest at 141.
Senior Maura Beattie of Woodstock took the course with a stellar time of 17 minutes, 43 seconds. For Kaneland, the troop was led by junior Clinton, who finished 11th at 18:31. Sophomore Brianna Bower continued her steady trajectory with a 18:37 for 15th place. Third-best for KHS was senior Erika Carlson in 42nd at 19:30. Rounding out the top five for Kaneland: freshman Abby Shaw in 53rd at 19:46, and veteran junior Aislinn Lodwig at 55th in 19:49.
For the third year in a row, the Lady Knight girls saw hard work and a rise to the occasion pay off.
“Once again, Victoria Clinton and Brianna Bower led the way with strong races,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “In arguably the toughest sectional in the state with 8-9 teams running for five spots, I’m very proud of how the girls ran their best race on the day it mattered most. They definitely earned their trip to the State meet.”
In 2012, Clinton’s championship run helped KHS toward a sixth-place team finish, with rival Yorkville and Normal University taking the top two spots on the Peoria course.