DGS 3rd at NXR Midwest!

On Sunday, 22 members of the DGS girls cross country team traveled to Terre Haute, Indiana to compete in the NXR Midwest Regional meet. The DGS contingent raced under the moniker Downers South Distance Club. The meet drew runners and teams from five different states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Missouri and served as a qualifier for the NXN National meet. In the championship race, the top 2 teams automatically qualified for national meet held in Portland, Oregon on December 1st.  Naperville North and Yorkville took the 1st and 2nd places with 69 and 84 points respectively to earn the auto-qualifying spots. DGS placed 3rd with 128 points, while Davidson, Ohio placed 4th with 223 points. Teams that finish 3rd or 4th are eligible to be selected for an at-large bid to the national championship meet. So, now the girls will have to wait until all 9 of the regional meets have concluded on November 24 to find out if they have been selected. Brenna Cohoon (Jr) was the first Mustang into the chute with her 19th place finish. Melissa Weidner (Sr) came through next in 43rd place. Erin Reidy (Jr), Rebecca Diddia (So), and Kennedy Warden (Jr) completed the scoring by finishing 57th, 61st, and 64th out of the 283 runners. Becky Versaskas (Sr) and Alex Spang (Fr) finished in 96th and 152nd place.

In the Frosh/Soph race, the freshmen from DGS moved up steadily through the field as the race progressed. By the end, the Mustangs had scored 59 points to win the team title ahead of teams from all 5 states! Sophia McNerney (Fr) led all DGS runners with her 8th place finish. Kelsey Casella (Fr) was close behind in 11th place and Renee Kowalski (Fr) also cracked the top 20 with her 19th place finish. Sara Homberg (Fr) came into the chute in 34th place and Gretchen Scheck (Fr) completed the scoring with her 83rd place finish. Madi Sisson (Fr), Madolyn Werner (Fr), and Isabel Bowditch (Fr) also competed for the Mustangs.

In the Open race, Olivia Duax (Sr) led the Mustangs with her 27th place finish in the race of more than 500 runners. Our Open team  was made up of seniors and sophomores and finished in 28th place overall. Allison Calek (Sr) finished in 168th, Maya Scheck (So) finished in 245th, Michelle Kurcina (Sr) finished in 282nd, and Saskia Krebbers (So) completed the scoring with her 293rd place finish. Also racing for DGS were Chloe Dawson (So) and Maddie Fross (Sr).

This meet potentially marks the conclusion of the most successful girls cross country season in school history! This team won the Fenton Invite, the Naperville Invite, the WSC Gold Conference, the IHSA Regional, and the IHSA Sectional. We placed 2nd at FTTF Invite, 3rd at the Roy Griak Invite, 3rd at the Naperville Twilight Invite, 3rd at the IHSA State Championship meet, and 3rd at the NXR Midwest Regional. The only teams that defeated DGS this season were Naperville North and Yorkville who are both ranked in the top 5 in the nation. We also defeated Yorkville once and both of the national qualifiers from the NXR Heartland Region (Wayzata, MN & Edina, MN). DGS has been ranked among the top 10-20 teams in the nation all season long. Overall a remarkable season! This is a team deserving of an at-large bid to nationals, but it’s now in the hands of the selection committee. If we are fortunate enough to be selected for an at-large bid to the national championship meet, the varsity top 7 will get to run one more race. Either way, I am extremely proud of these girls and all that they have accomplished. Great job ladies!

DGS Girls 3rd in State!

History was made on Saturday as the DGS girls cross country team brought home its first ever trophy with a 3rd place finish at the IHSA State Championship meet. Naperville North (80 pts) and Yorkville (87 pts) took 1st and 2nd places, while DGS scored 127 pts for 3rd. Lyons Township was the next closest team with 191 points in 4th. Full meet results can be found at Athletic.net.

The Mustangs were led again by Brenna Cohoon (Jr) and her 8th place finish. Brenna’s time of 16:40 smashed her own school record of 17:01 set last week. Her top 25 place earned All-State honors for the 2nd year in a row. Melissa Weidner (Sr) was next into the chute for DGS. Melissa ran 17:15 (only 2 seconds off of her PR) to finish in 29th place. Erin Reidy (Jr) was 11 seconds behind Melissa, finishing in 39th place with a PR time of 17:26. Two more PR times were run by Kennedy Warden (Jr) and Rebecca Diddia (So) as they placed 43rd and 46th respectively. Kennedy ran 17:33 while Rebecca ran 17:35 to complete the team scoring. Becky Versaskas (Sr) ran a PR time of 17:47 to finish in 60th place. While Alex Spang (Fr) was only 4 seconds off her PR) with her 99th place finish in 18:10. Overall, the Mustangs had seven great races leading to the 3rd place team finish!

It was a really fast meet from the top 3 teams. The total 1-5 team times from Naperville North and Yorkville rank 1st and 2nd in state history. The DGS team time is 10th on the all time list. Both Naperville North and Yorkville are ranked in the top 5 nationally and are the only 2 teams to defeat the Mustangs all season long. The three teams will square off again next weekend at the Nike Cross Regional meet in Terre Haute with the prize being a trip to the national championship meet in Portland.

 

DGS wins IHSA Sectional!

DGS dominates IHSA Sectional Meet!

The Downers Grove South girls cross country team won the IHSA Sectional meet on Saturday, earning a trip to next weekend’s State Championship meet. In contrast to last week’s close regional meet victory over Lyons Township (36-38), DGS dominated the competition at the sectional meet. The Mustangs scored 29 points to easily outdistance 2nd place Lyons Township (59 points), Hinsdale Central (80 points), Downers Grove North (104 points), and Plainfield North (164 points). In the race that contained 17 different teams and 129 runners, we placed 5 runners in the top 10, and all 7 runners in the top 15. Additionally, all seven DGS runners ran lifetime personal bests on the 3.0 mile course.

Brenna Cohoon (Jr) once again led the Mustangs with her 1st place finish. She took the lead at the start and fought back challenges by both Abby Lopez of Argo and McKenna Revord of Hinsdale Central. Over the last mile, she pulled away to win by 7 seconds. Brenna’s time of 17:01 lowered her own school record by 4 seconds. Melissa Weidner (Sr) continued her breakout season with a huge PR time of 17:13. Melissa ran in 5th place for most of the race, but unleashed a great kick in the last 150m to pass both Abby Lopez (Argo) and Kate Dickman (Lyons Township) to finish in 3rd place!

Erin Reidy (Jr) sat out last week’s regional meet, but came back strong to place 6th at the sectional. Erin went out early in the race with Melissa and the duo separated themselves from the remainder of the field. Erin fell back slightly but maintained a large gap with those chasing her. Her time of 17:32 was also a PR. Kennedy Warden (Jr) and Rebecca Diddia (So) ran together for much of the race and crossed the finish line in 9th and 10th places. Their times of 17:46 and 17:47 were both PR times. All five of the Mustang scorers earned All-Sectional honors with their top 10 finishes.

Both Alex Spang (Fr) and Kelsey Casella (Fr) rounded out the varsity 7 by placing 13th and 15th respectively. Alex finished in 18:06 and Kelsey finished in 18:19. With 3 seniors among our top 10 runners this season, having these freshmen (plus fellow freshman Sophia McNerney) contribute makes the future look bright for DGS. Senior, Becky Versaskas has been a varsity mainstay for the past 4 years, but sat out this race with an illness. Her addition to line-up next week at State will help make a formidable Mustang line-up even stronger. Additional members of the DGS state series team are:  Olivia Duax (Sr), Allison Calek (Sr), Renee Kowalski (Fr), Sara Homberg (Fr), and Gretchen Scheck (Fr).

Full meet results can be found at Athletic.net. Individual times and splits can be found on the Schedule/Results page.

The IHSA State Championship meet is next Saturday, Nov.3rd at Detweiller Park in Peoria. The 3A girls race will start at 1:00pm.

DGS Girls CC win IHSA Regional!

IHSA Regional Champions!

The Downers Grove South girls cross country team took 1st place at the IHSA Hinsdale Central 3A Regional meet on Saturday. The meet was the first in the 3-week state series that will occur over the final 3 weeks of the season.  It was also the first of 3 possible showdowns between the WSC Gold champion team, DGS and the WSC Silver champion team, Lyons Township.  The Mustangs took the Regional round one in a close 36-38 race.

Brenna Cohoon (Jr) led the Mustangs with her individual championship! Brenna had to battle Abby Lopez (Argo) over the 3-mile course for the crown. Lopez, who finished 6th in the state in 2017, led for much of the race with Cohoon chasing closely behind. The lead grew to about 25m, but over the last 1/2 mile, Brenna started to close the gap.  With about 70m to go, Cohoon passed Lopez with a strong kick and ended up winning the race by 4 seconds. Melissa Weidner (Sr) also ran a great race, running in 5th place right behind two very accomplished runners, Kate Dickman (Lyons Twp) and McKenna Revord (Hinsdale Central) for the majority of the race.  Melissa held her position, finishing 5th overall and earning All-Regional honors.

Lyons Township made the race close because they had Dickman (3rd place) in between Cohoon and Weidner. But the key scoring element was that LT had a pack of 3 runners that finished 6th-7th-8th. At that point, LT had us beat. We countered that LT pack with our own pack finishing in 9th-10th-11th-12th with 11th being our final scorer and the 12th place runner being a pusher. The Lyons Twp 5th runner placed 14th and that was the difference in the 2 point race. Rebecca Diddia (So), Kennedy Warden (Jr), Becky Versaskas (Sr), and Alex Spang (Fr) made up the DGS pack. Olivia Duax (Sr) finished in 25th place for the Mustangs. As we move forward in the state series, we must move our pack up ahead of the Lyons Twp pack.

Full meet results can be found on Athletic.net. Individual times and splits can be found on the Schedule/Results page. And pictures from the meet are on the Pictures/Video page.

DGS will compete in the IHSA Marist Sectional meet at Midlothian Meadows Forest Preserve at 10:00am this coming Saturday. The top 5 team finishers at Marist will automatically qualify for the State meet. It will likely be another dual meet with Lyons Township for the Sectional title as the two teams go at each other again in round 2.

WSC Gold Meet Recap

WSC Gold Division Meet Recap

Saturday was a Great Day to be a Mustang! The WSC Gold Conference meet was held at a brand-new location (Harvester Park in Burr Ridge) but the result was same as it’s been for the last 20 years…a win for DGS. The weather was perfect for racing and Hinsdale South’s new 3-mile course, although wet in some places, was mostly flat and fast. Our girls ran great, showing how the consistency of all those miles from June to October can pay off. From the beginning of the summer and all through the season, we talk about running our best races when they are needed the most in October and November. That certainly happened yesterday.

The DGS freshmen set the tone early, winning the first race of the afternoon with only 21 points (Leyden was 2nd with 45 points). Renee Kowalski led from start to finish, winning the race and establishing the course record time of 19:58. Sara Homberg came in 25 seconds later in 2nd place. Peyton Horazy, Madolyn Werner, and Emma Lopez secured the DGS win by all placing among the top 8 finishers. Personal Records were the story of the day for our freshmen as 9 of the 14 Mustangs in the race ran lifetime best times. Several girls lowered their best time by 25 seconds or more, including Isabel Bowditch-29 sec, Peyton Horazy-30 sec, Emma Lopez-35 sec, Christine Balcom-50 sec, Ava Nichols-70 sec, and Mariah Peterson-104 sec. I’m very excited to see how much this group can continue to improve over the next 3 years. There is a lot of talent in this freshmen group and that doesn’t even count the four freshmen who ran up in the sophomore, JV, and varsity races. The future of Mustang cross country is in good hands!

As much as the freshmen dominated the competition, our girls in the sophomore race took it to a whole other level. The long blue line of Mustangs looked impressive as DGS took the first 9 finishing places of the race, easily scoring a perfect 15 points to win. Sophia McNerney (Fr) took the lead about 50 meters into the race and never looked back. Sophia has been training with the varsity group all season long and it showed as she won the race by more than 35 seconds. Her finish time of 19:22 also broke the course record set earlier by Renee Kowalski. Gretchen Scheck (Fr) had huge PR of 33 seconds and finished 2nd. She was followed by her sister, Maya Scheck (So), who finished 4th. Renee Nicholson (So) continued the march of Mustangs into the chute with her 5th place finish. Meghan Stapleton (So) finished 6th, Olivia Meyer (So), finished 7th, Saskia Krebbers (So) finished 8th, and Kailey Ferguson (So) finished 9th.

The varsity race was the only limited entry race of the day as we were only allowed to run 7 girls. It will stay this way the remainder of the season. Over the course of the summer and our season we have had a group of 10-15 girls training together and pushing each other to become better. This is probably the most talented and deep varsity group in DGS history and they have pushed each other to work harder all season long. While this is great for the team, it can create challenging situations for the girls individually when difficult decisions need to be made. I’m extremely proud that throughout all of this, the girls have supported each other no matter what.

All of that being said, our varsity had an amazing conference race, scoring 15 points and winning our 20th straight conference championship! Brenna Cohoon (Jr) keeps looking stronger and stronger each of the past few weeks. Brenna took the lead shortly after the gun went off, pushed hard for all 3 miles, and took the win for the 2nd year in a row. Her finishing time of 17:05 was a PR, a new school record, and broke the Harvester Park course record set by Sophia McNerney only an hour earlier. Both Melissa Weidner (Sr) and Erin Reidy (Jr) started off together not far behind Brenna. Melissa, who had been slowed down from being sick the past couple of weeks, seemed restored to full health as she pulled ahead of Erin during the 2nd mile and finished in 2nd place with a PR time of 17:33. Erin, who has been battling some minor injuries of her own, finished in 3rd place with a solid time of 17:55. Together, Melissa and Erin give us a great 2-3 punch and the opportunity to have three All-State athletes in a few weeks. Following them was our outstanding pack of 4 runners, Rebecca Diddia (So), Becky Versaskas (Sr), Kennedy Warden (Jr), and Alex Spang (Fr). On any given day, any one of them could lead this group into the finish chute. On Saturday, it was Rebecca that finished in 4th place in a PR time of 18:04, followed by Becky in 18:07 (5th), Kennedy in 18:09 (6th), and Alex (7th) with a new PR of 18:11. The pack is what makes our team so tough! This was only the 2nd time in DGS history that our team finished 1st through 7th individually at the conference meet.

The JV race was the final display of Mustang domination. For the 3rd race in a row, DGS scored a perfect 15 points to easily win the team title. Olivia Duax (Sr) and Kelsey Casella (Fr) took off at a torrid pace together through the first mile. Olivia created some separation during the second mile and ran a fantastic 18:30 time as she won the race. Kelsey came in soon after her in 18:47. Outside of Naperville North (ranked #1 in the state and top 5 in the nation), I guarantee that no other school in Illinois had two girls run that fast in a JV conference race. Both girls have run among our varsity top 10 all season long and will continue to challenge them as we enter the state series. Allison Calek (Sr) got stuck running much of the race all by herself in 3rd place, but still finished strong in 19:50. Julie LaLonde (Sr) and Michelle Kurcina (Sr) capped off the DGS scoring by placing 4th and 5th places in 20:13 and 20:26. Several other girls ran huge PR’s in the JV race, including Sydney Gaspari (Jr)-31 sec, Grace Schultheis (Jr)-84 sec, Gillian Musial (Jr)-49 sec, Maddie Fross (Sr)-38 sec, and Sami Contreras (Sr)-53 sec. It was a long wait for all of these girls to run in the last race of the day, but it was well worth the wait.

In the end, we won all four races, had all 4 individual champions, had 34 individual medalists, had 20 girls with lifetime PR’s, plus a course and school record performance. Overall, it was a pretty good day! Full results from the meet can be found on the Athletic.net website. Pictures from the meet can be found on the Pictures/Video page.

Next up for us is the IHSA Regional meet on Saturday, October 20th. It will be held at Katherine Legge Memorial Park in Hinsdale. We will be looking to win our 3rd Regional title in a row. The main competition will come from Lyons Township who won the WSC Silver conference title on Saturday. Our two teams are ranked #3 and #4 in the state and it should be a good battle next weekend.

 

Benet Invite Results

The DGS girls cross country team traveled to Lisle Community Park to compete in the Benet Invite on Saturday, October 6th. It was a rainy morning, but the weather broke long enough to get all of the races in. While the DGS varsity top 7 did not compete, the remaining Mustangs had a really good day on wet & muddy 3 mile course. The Frosh-Soph team started the day off with a narrow victory over the host Benet Academy team 31-36 in the 10 team invitational. Lincoln-Way East was 3rd with 67 points. Sara Homberg (Fr) led the Mustangs with her individual 2nd place finish. Gretchen Scheck (Fr) followed closely behind in 3rd place, while Ria Patel (So) and Maya Scheck (So) finished in 7th and 8th place respectively. Renee Nicholson (So) was the 5th scoring runner for DGS, finishing in 11th place. Renee Kowalski (Fr) and Madison Wies (So) rounded out the team with 15th and 22nd place finishes in the 60 person race.

In the varsity race, DGS finished 2nd out of 12 teams while running only 5 girls. Benet Academy, ranked among the top 25 in the state, won the varsity team title. Sophia McNerney (Fr), Olivia Duax (Sr), and Kelsey Casella (Fr) all finished closely together in 5th, 6th, and 7th places to lead the small Mustang contingent. Allison Calek (Sr) was 25th and Michelle Kurcina (Sr) finished in 34th to round out the DGS scoring among the 83 varsity runners.

With the threat of a thunderstorm coming, meet officials chose to combine the JV boys and JV girls into one race. It made for a more crowded course, but the DGS girls held their own in a field of more than 350 total runners and almost 200 girls. Team-wise, the Mustangs once again finished 2nd to the host team from Benet Academy. But Julie LaLonde (Sr) stood out winning the 3.0 mile girls race! Julie took the lead for good with about 400m to go and held off a late charge by a Benet girl. Meghan Stapleton (So) finished in 6th place, while Olivia Meyer (So) and Peyton Horazy (Fr) finished in 12th and 13th place respectively. Emma Lopez (Fr) was the final Mustang scorer in 19th place. Teagan Halik (Sr) and Madolyn Werner (Fr) finished in 22nd and 27yth places for the Mustangs.

Individual results from the meet can be found on the Schedule/Results page. Pictures from the meet can be found on the Pictures/Video page. DGS will conclude the regular season next Saturday with the WSC Gold Conference Championship meet at Harvester Park in Burr Ridge. Races will begin at 1:30pm.

Mustangs 3rd at Twilight Invite!

The DGS girls cross country team traveled to Naperville North on Wednesday for the 2nd time this season to compete in the Twilight Invite. This meet is highlighted on our schedule due to the level of competition and the electric atmosphere of the race environment. There were 17 girls teams racing that included 8 of the top 11 ranked teams in Illinois. It marked the 3rd time this season (and the 2nd time in 5 days) that DGS has faced off against both Naperville North and Yorkville (ranked #1 and #2 in Illinois).  The Mustangs held their own in the loaded field, placing 3rd overall. The host Naperville North took first with 70 points, Yorkville was 2nd with 80 points, and DGS was third with 103 points. Minooka was the next closest team in 4th place with 146 points. At the Roy Griak Invite this past weekend, the score was YHS-104, NN-113, DGS-170. So, in terms of closing the gap on those teams, this was a step in the right direction. Brenna Cohoon (Sr) led the Mustangs with her 4th place finish over an outstanding field of competition. Erin Riedy (Jr) placed 18th out of 139 runners and she was followed by a large pack of DGS runners. Alex Spang (Fr) finished in 26th followed closely by Becky Versaskas (Sr) in 27th, Rebecca Diddia (So) in 28th, and Melissa Weidner (Sr) in 29th. Kennedy Warden (Jr) was the 7th DGS finisher in 31st place.

Allison Calek (Sr) was the top DGS finisher in the JV race by finishing 12th out of 132 runners. Sophia McNerney (Fr) was the first Mustang in the chute in the F/S race in 6th place. And Maddie Duitsman (So) finished in 13th place in the Open race to lead the Mustangs.

The Mustangs compete this Saturday at the Benet Invite and at the WSC Gold Conference championship the following Saturday.

 

Mustangs 3rd at Roy Griak Invite!

The DGS girls cross country team traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota to compete in the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational meet this weekend. The Mustangs came home with the 3rd place trophy among a loaded field of 49 teams including several nationally ranked squads. Teams traveled from as far away as California and Georgia to compete against the best of the Midwest. It was a great display of the talent from the state of Illinois as Yorkville, Naperville North, and Downers Grove South finished in the top 3 places. Yorkville scored 104, Naperville North scored 113, and DGS scored 170 to all finish ahead of the nations #1 ranked team, Wayzata, MN (185 points). All three Illinois teams are ranked among the top 25 in the country and will likely improve on those rankings after this race. All three will face off again this coming Wednesday at the Naperville Twilight Invite where 8 of the top 10 teams in Illinois will battle it out.

The 5K course at Les Bolstad Golf Course in Minnesota is a challenging, hilly course that does not give up very many fast times. And while conditions were excellent on Saturday, its tough to compare finishing times to any other course. As it should be with cross country, it’s all about places and DGS placed very well. Brenna Cohoon (Jr) led the Mustangs with her 14th place finish among the field of 455 runners that included several nationally ranked individuals. Brenna flirted with a top 10 finish as she moved between 9th and 15th throughout the race before crossing the line in 14th. Erin Reidy (Jr) continued her rise to the front of the pack with her 19th place finish. Erin started out well and slowly moved up throughout the race going from 26th at the 1 mile mark to 19th at the end. Melissa Weidner (Sr) has been a top DGS finisher all season long. On Saturday, as she was still recovering from an illness, Melissa ran a strong race to finish in 42nd place for the Mustangs. As soon as she returns to 100% health, our team will have a formidable top 3 group of runners.

Over the past few years, the strength of the DGS team has been our tight pack and small 1-5 split. While that has continued to be the case so far this season, on Saturday, our pack got split up early on in the race. The girls were left to run as individuals, which is considerably more difficult. Yet, despite this unexpected circumstance, we still have several strong finishes to help the Mustang cause. Becky Versaskas (Sr) finished closely behind Weidner in 46th place. Becky was in 62nd place at the mile and steadily moved up as the race went on. Rebecca Diddia (So) also moved up well during race. She went from 79th at the 1-mile to 67th at the finish to complete the DGS scoring. Alex Spang (Fr – 76th place), Kennedy Warden (Jr – 82nd place), Kelsey Casella (Fr – 107th place), Olivia Duax (Sr – 111th place), and Sophia McNerney (Fr – 133rd place) rounded out the final five DGS positions.

As our varsity team wraps up the regular season over the next couple of weeks, it looks to be a very exciting post-season ahead of us!

 

Mustangs 1st at Naperville Invite!

The DGS girls cross country team traveled to Naperville North HS for a rare Friday night meet on Sept.21. The Mustangs came home with 1st team titles on both the varsity and F/S levels in the 10-team invitational meet. In the F/S race, DGS scored 30 points to easily out-distance the host Naperville North team in 2nd place (52 pts). DGS placed 1-3-5-7-14, and Sophia McNerney (Fr) led the Mustangs with her individual championship, covering the 3-mile campus course in 19:11. Sophia took the lead about 800m into the race and never looked back, finishing about 20 seconds ahead 2nd place. Renee Kowalski (Fr) was the next Mustang into the chute. She placed 3rd overall in 19:54, while Ria Patel (So) and Sara Homberg (Fr) placed 5th and 7th respectively in 20:04 and 20:09. Gretchen Scheck (Fr) rounded out the Mustang scoring with her 14th place finish in 20:32. Sophomores, Maya Scheck and Olivia Meyer were the 6-7 runners for DGS with times of 20:40 and 21:10 as they finished in 18th and 30th place out of 178 total runners. This bodes well for the future of Mustang cross country as two other DGS freshmen and one sophomore competed in the varsity race.

The DGS varsity team also dominated the competition, placing 1st as a team with 36 points. Naperville North, the top ranked team in Illinois, rested their top 6 runners but still finished in 2nd place with 68 points against a quality field that included #16 ranked Benet Academy. DGS placed its 8 runners in the among the top 16 finishers in the 78 runner race. Erin Reidy (Jr) led the Mustangs with her 2nd place finish, 25 seconds behind Iowa City Liberty freshman, Ashlyn Keeney. Reidy ran a PR 17;34 as she moved up through the field over the second half of the race to eventually reach the second position. Brenna Cohoon (Jr) did not have her best race, but still showed a lot of toughness with her 3rd place finish in 17:44. The Mustangs were without one of their top 3 runners, Melissa Weidner (Sr), who was out of town on a college visit. But the team is deep with talent this season and didn’t miss a beat as Becky Versaskas (Sr) finished in 8th place overall with a time of 18:17. The remaining five Mustangs in the race ran together as a tight pack for most of the race and all finished close together. Kennedy Warden (Jr) was 11th (18:20), Olivia Duax (Sr) was 12th (18:25), Rebecca Diddia (So) was 13th (18:29), Kelsey Casella (Fr) was 14th (18:30), and Alex Spang (Fr) was 16th (18:31). After taking last weekend off, this was a good tune-up for next week’s varsity meet in Minnesota.

The JV team finished off the day with a solid team race, finishing 3rd behind Naperville North and Naperville Central. Allison Calek (Sr) led the Mustangs with her 5th place finish in a season best 19:48. Michelle Kurcina (Sr) placed 11th overall in the 186 runner race with a time of 20:20. Julie LaLonde (Sr) finished in 15th place with her time of 20:30. After the trio of DGS seniors, there was a significant gap back to the next Mustang, Sydney Gaspari (Jr) who finished in 43rd place in 21:59. Teagan Halik (Sr) moved up a lot over the second half of the race to finish as the 5th DGS scorer in 47th place in 22:06. Clare Quirin (Sr) and Grace Schultheis (Jr) were the 6-7 runners in 60th and 82nd places with times of 22:39 and 23:31 respectively.

Full meet results can be found on the Athletic.net website and DGS individual splits/times can be found on the Schedule/Results page.

The freshman Mustangs will travel to Leyden on Monday, Sept.24 to compete in a conference triangular. The varsity will travel to Minneapolis next weekend for the Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota. The entire team will return to Naperville North on October 3rd for the Twilight Invite.

Mustangs 2nd at First to the Finish Invite!

On Saturday, September 8, the DGS Girls Cross Country team traveled to Detweiller Park in Peoria to compete in the First to the Finish Invite. This was a huge meet with many of the best teams in Illinois in attendance, including 6 of the top 7 ranked Illinois teams. The Mustangs more than held their own against this top level competition by placing 2nd out of the 37 schools competing. Two time defending state champion, Naperville North (ranked #1 in Illinois and #3 nationally) took first place with 58 points. Downers South (ranked #3 in Illinois and #25 nationally) finished second with 92 points. Yorkville (ranked #2 in Illinois and #8 nationally) placed third with 93 points.  Minooka placed a distant fourth with 182 points, followed by the remainder of the field.

The Mustangs were led by returning All-State runner, Brenna Cohoon (Jr). She ran an aggressive race against a talented field and finished 5th out of 309 runners. Brenna’s time of 17:07 on the rain soaked 3-mile course bettered her own school record (set at last year’s State meet) by 1 second. Melissa Weidner (Sr) continued her inspired senior season by placing 16th in a PR time of 17:44. Erin Reidy (Jr) also stepped up her game and ran a PR with her 18th place finish in 17:50. Becky Versaskas (Sr) and Kennedy Warden (Jr) ran persistent, mentally tough races, and rounded out the Mustang scoring finishing in 26th and 27th places with times of 17:59 and 18:02. This meet allowed 10 varsity runners per team and DGS showed some great depth with their line-up. Rebecca Diddia (So) placed 42nd in 18:23. Kelsey Casella (Fr) placed 44th in a PR time of 18:24. Alex Spang (Fr) also PR’d with her 18:26 time and 48th place finish. Sophia McNerney (Fr) placed 56th with a PR time of 18:37. And Olivia Duax (Sr) rounded out the Mustang ten with her 66th place finish in 18:55. This was an incredible team performance and DGS was only team to have all 10 runners finish under 19:00.

Downers South also placed 2nd among all of the teams in the JV race! Renee Kowalski (Fr) continued her fantastic freshman season by leading all of the Mustangs into the chute with her 14th place finish in a race of more than 700 runners. Her time of 19:51 was a PR. Michelle Kurcina (Sr) was close behind in 19:52 and 17th place. Allison Calek (Sr) ran a great race, often times leading our front pack, and finished 22nd in 19:59. She was followed closely into the chute by Sara Homberg (Fr) who finished with the same 19:59 time, placing 23rd. Sisters Maya Scheck (So) and Gretchen Scheck (Fr) were the next Mustangs to cross the finish line in 34th and 50th places (20:15 and 20:36) respectively. Ria Patel (So) placed 66th in 20:55 and Renee Nicholson (So) placed 67th in 20:56.

When all was said and done, DGS had 40 girls race on the Detweiller Park course. Of that group, 21 ran lifetime PR times and all 19 of the other girls ran season best times! Full meet results can be found at raceresultsplus.com and all individual splits and times can be found on the Schedule/Results page. Video highlights from the varsity race can be found on the Pictures/Video page.

The Mustangs compete next on Monday, Sept 10 at Willowbrook in a JV dual meet and again the following Monday Sept 17 at home vs Morton and Hinsdale South. All levels will compete on Friday, Sept 21 at the Naperville Invite.