On Saturday, the DGS Girls Cross Country team travels to Fenton HS in Bensenville, IL for the first large invitational meet of the 2017 season. Despite the fact that we’ve already had a couple of smaller dual/triangular meets, the first weekend of September is widely viewed as the beginning of competition season in Illinois cross country. After training all summer, and a low key warm-up meet with Oswego and Naperville Central, I’m extremely excited to get things started at Fenton. We have high expectations for our team this season, and Saturday will be the first real test to see if those expectations are warranted.
The John Kurtz ‘Early Bird’ Invite hosted by Fenton will have 25+ girls and boys teams competing in multiple races. Our first race of the day will be the Girls Varsity race at 9:00am. We are looking to defend our varsity team title from last season with a similar effort this year. Brenna Cohoon (So) will look to lead a strong pack of Mustangs against an improved field of competition. Vernon Hills looks to be the main competition in the team race. The Cougars return all 7 runners from their 3rd place IHSA 2A state finish. If we want to prevail over Vernon Hills, our pack of Erin Reidy (So), Becky Versaskas (Jr), Kennedy Warden (So), Melissa Weidner (Jr), Olivia Duax (Jr), and Gillian Thomas (Sr) must stay close to Cohoon and keep a tight 1-5 split.
Our second race will be the Girls Frosh/Soph race at 10:40am. We are looking to also repeat as team champions in this race as well. The Mustangs should be led by a strong group of freshmen including Rebecca Diddia, Olivia Meyer, Meghan Stapleton, Madison Wies, Kailey Ferguson, and Renee Nicholson. These young runners will face their first test against a large field and should be in contention for a trophy.
While they do not post official team scores in the JV race, our team will be defending a first place effort from last season. The Mustangs will have several varsity caliber athletes competing in this final race of the day. Hopefully the weather will be kind to this group as they head to the starting line at 11:45am. All of the following DGS runners could find themselves in the top 10 of this race: Allison Calek (Jr), Julie LaLonde (Jr), Kelley Hackbarth (Sr), Riya Bhasin (Sr), Hailey Rodden (Sr), and Natalie Olsen (Sr).
Following this weekend, the team will compete at Willowbrook on Tuesday, and then travel to Peoria next Saturday for the ‘First to the Finish’ Invite.