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.