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!