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.