Mustangs win Fenton Invitational!

The DGS girls cross country team overcame multiple weather delays and a muddy, sloppy course to place 1st out of 17 teams at the Fenton Invite on Saturday. Because of the weather, all 3 levels were combined into one extremely large girls race with 431 runners. The Mustangs showed why they are regarded as one of the best teams in the state with a victory over several other top 25 ranked teams. DGS finished with 7 runners in the first 11 places and scored 26 points to easily out-distance the 2nd place team from Prospect with 115 points. Brenna Cohoon (Jr) placed 2nd overall in 18:15 over the 3-mile course. Melissa Weidner (Sr) and Erin Reidy (Jr) placed 4th and 5th respectively with times of 18:45 and 18:55. Alex Spang (Fr) and Becky Versaskas (Sr) completed the DGS scoring with their 7th and 8th place finishes in 18:59 and 19:00. Rounding out the varsity top 7 were Kennedy Warden (Jr) and Kelsey Casella (Fr) finishing in 10th and 11th places with matching times of 19:07. One of the unfortunate consequences of combining all the levels into one race is that there were no standings or awards for a F/S or JV race. It’s obvious that DGS would have done very well on both levels both individually and as a team. Rebecca Diddia (So) and Sophia McNerney (Fr) finished 16th and 17th overall. Olvia Duax (Sr) was 52nd, Renee Kowalski (Fr) was 65th, Sara Homberg (Fr) was 70th, Allison Calek (Sr) was 79th, Michelle Kurcina (Sr) was 83rd, and Julie LaLonde (Sr) was 86th. After taking out all of the varsity runners in the race, these individuals would have all finished in the top 10 of their respective F/S or JV races. DGS competes next Saturday, Sept.8th at the First to the Finish Invite in Peoria.

Sign up for Summer Yoga!

Summer Yoga is available again for both DGS Cross Country & Track athletes.

Location:  Power Yoga, 5223 Main St, Downers Grove.

Instructor:  Coach Alison Swade

Cost:  $50 for 6 sessions

Dates & Time:

  • Thu, June 28, 2:00 pm
  • Thu, July 5, 2:00 pm
  • Thu, July 12, 2:00 pm
  • Thu, July 19, 2:00 pm
  • Wed, July 25, 2:00 pm
  • Thu, Aug. 2, 2:00 pm

How:  We need 10 girls to commit to attending for the class to occur. Please email Coach Alison Swade ( if you want to reserve a spot in the class. Once we have the minimum number, she will email further instructions.

Why:  Studies have shown that yoga squashes stress, aids weight loss, eases pain, helps people stick to an exercise routine, and even improves running times. The strength and flexibility you develop on the mat–namely in the core, quads, hamstrings, and hip flexors–can help you run more efficiently and stay injury-free.

Additionally, holding challenging poses builds tenacity that’ll pay off on the road. Lauren Fleshman, a two-time national outdoor 5000-meter champion, started practicing yoga after breaking her foot in 2008. But the poses gave her more than just foot strength: “Yoga helps me control my emotions while I’m in discomfort on the road,” she says. “Enduring an intense pose is a lot like enduring a long run or tempo run.”

Summer Camp Registration is OPEN!

Registration for DGS summer camps is now open on the Online Registration page. Girls Cross Country & Track will have the following camps available:

  • HS Cross Country Camp Grades 9-12 (Mon-Tue-Wed-Thu 7:00-9:00am, June 11 – July 25).
    • This camp is for those girls planning on participating in the Fall cross country season. The focus will be improving endurance and fitness through distance running. No experience necessary.  All CC camp participants are highly encouraged to also sign up for the Strength Training camp as it will be a crucial part of our upcoming season.
  • HS Cross Country/Track Strength Training Grades 9-12 (Mon-Wed-Thu 9:00-10:00am, June 11 – July 25).
    • The purpose of the strength camp is to provide another valuable component to our training this summer. Athletes will perform exercises to focus more on coordination, and hip & core strength. Strength training will be very beneficial to us over the summer to support running higher mileage. In addition to strength training, there will be teaching of running mechanics.
  • Jr. High Cross Country Camp Grades 5-8th (Mon-Tue-Wed-Thu 7:30-9:00am, July 9 – July 26)
    • This camp is for girls who are at the beginning stages of distance running. The instructors will introduce endurance running in a fun, low key environment. No experience is necessary.

You can access more information on the CC Summer Camp page or the Online Registration page.

You may also register for the 2018 CC Camping Trip on the Online Registration page.

DGS Girls CC 5th at State!

The DGS girls cross country team placed 5th at the IHSA State Meet on Saturday. Naperville North won the championship with 87 pts, followed by Yorkville with 117 pts. As expected, there was a close team race for 3rd with Mustangs only 10 pts behind Lyons Township (184 pts), and 1 pt behind Wheaton South (193 pts). DGS scored 194 and Glenbard West placed 6th with 212 pts out of 25 qualifying teams. This is the 3rd time DGS has placed 5th in the state (1985 & 1989) and the 9th top 10 finish in program history.


Brenna Cohoon (So) has been the top finisher for the Mustangs all season long and Saturday was no different. Brenna ran an amazing race to finish 19th and earn All-State honors. Her time of 17:08 on the Detweiller Park course set a new DGS school record for 3-miles! The previous record of 17:13 was set by Amanda Thate (class of ’14). Brenna started off the race around 30th place and slowly moved up into the top 25 by the time she reached the 2-mile. In the last mile, she continued to move up and eventually made it to 19th.

As has been the case for most of the season, the strength of this team was the closeness of its pack. On Saturday, the Mustangs had a pack of 5 girls that ran close together for most of the race. At the mile, they were all together, shoulder to shoulder. Together they moved up in the field while running in the back triangle part of Detweiller Park. Over the last mile, they continued to pass more runners and eventually the 2-5 runners finished within 5 seconds of each other.

Melissa Weidner (Jr) led the DGS pack for most of the race, finishing in 52nd place with a PR time of 17:50. Kennedy Warden (So) ran alongside Melissa and finished in 55th with a PR time of 17:51. Erin Reidy (So) held the middle of the pack and sprinted hard at the end to finish in 62nd place with a PR time of 17:53. Becky Versaskas (Jr) completed the scoring pack, finishing in 67th place in a SB time of 17:54. Rebecca Diddia (Fr) ran with the 2-5 pack for the first 2-miles before falling slightly back. Her time of 18:08 was a PR as she finished in 95th. Gillian Thomas (Sr) was the lone senior racing for the Mustangs on Saturday. She ran a SB time of 18:51 to finish in 177th place.

The state series team included several alternates who didn’t race at State, but helped the team accomplish these lofty results. The alternates included Kelley Hackbarth (Sr), Allison Calek (Jr), Olivia Duax (Jr), Julie LaLonde (Jr), Olivia Meyer (Fr), Kailey Ferguson (Fr), Maya Scheck (Fr), and Meghan Stapleton (Fr).

There was also a lot of great support from the other members of the team and the DGS community. This was the first year that the school sent a fan bus to the meet, which was awesome. Many of the seniors that came down were decked out in lots of blue school spirit that helped set the mood for a great DGS meet. There was great support from the school as a whole as many teachers brought their classes out on Friday morning to see the team off as they left for Peoria. The DGS band provided a great atmosphere that really pumped the team up!


All in all, it was a greatly successful weekend. Although last year’s team placed 4th, they were over 100 pts away from 3rd place. This year, our score was 50 pts lower and we were only 10 pts away from 3rd. With our top 6 runners returning, and many more girls continuing to work hard and improve, the future is certainly bright for the Mustangs!


Full meet results can be found on the website. Individual results/splits can be found on the Schedule/Results page. Pictures from the meet can be found on the Pictures/Video page.

Mustangs 2nd at IHSA Sectional…advance to State!

On  Saturday, October 28, the DGS girls cross country team placed 2nd at the IHSA Hinsdale Central Sectional meet. Lyons Township won the meet with 58 pts, followed by both DGS and the host Hinsdale Central team with 71 pts. The Mustangs earned 2nd place based on the better 6th place runner. The top 5 finish advances DGS to the IHSA State Championship meet in Peoria this Saturday. This marks the 7th straight season that the Mustangs have qualified the team for the State meet!

Brenna Cohoon (So) led the Mustangs with her 4th place finish on the tough course at Katherine Legge Memorial Park in Hinsdale. Erin Reidy (So) and Melissa Weidner (Jr) came in next to each other in 11th and 12th places. Kennedy Warden (So) and Rebecca Diddia (Fr) completed the DGS scoring with their 21st and 25th place finishes. Becky Versaskas (Jr) and her 29th place finish was the tie-breaker over Hinsdale Central’s 6th runner in 49th place. Gillian Thomas (Sr) was the final Mustang into the chute, placing 42nd out of the 139 girls in the race.

Full meet results can be found on the site. Individual splits/results can be found on the Schedule/Results page. The Mustangs will compete on Saturday, November 4th at 1:00pm at Detweiller Park in Peoria as one of 25 teams competing for the 3A State championship.

Mustangs win Regional!

The DGS girls cross country team traveled to Hammel Woods in Shorewood on Saturday to compete in the IHSA Regional meet hosted by Plainfield South. The Mustangs came home victorious, winning the regional title for the 2nd year in a row. Just like last year, it was a close battle with DGS edging out Benet Academy 35-38 in the 9-team meet. Plainfield North was 3rd with 82 pts. The top 6 teams all advance to this week’s IHSA Sectional meet hosted by Hinsdale Central at KLM Park. Full meet results can be found on the website.

The Mustangs flexed their muscles up front with a 1-2 finish by Brenna Cohoon (So) and Melissa Weidner (Jr). Both girls started the race with the front pack and moved into 1st and 2nd place by 2-mile mark. Brenna pulled away over the last mile to secure the victory. Melissa was challenged in the last 400m by Mae Tully from Benet. The Benet runner passed Melissa, but in the last 100m, Melissa found another gear and passed her back to take 2nd place. Erin Reidy (So) was with the lead pack early on in the race, but fell back during the 2nd mile. Erin’s strong finish in the final mile moved her back up into 7th place. Both Becky Versaskas (Jr),  Kennedy Warden (So)Gillian Thomas (Sr), and Olivia Duax (Jr) lost connection with the lead pack early on in the race and as the field entered the path in the woods, they got strung out too far back. It was tough going for most of the race and the young Benet team was positioned far enough up to hold the scoring lead for most of the race. In the last mile, both Erin and Becky moved up 1 spot to 7th and 11th, and Kennedy moved up 2 spots to 14th. Those 4 points allowed DGS to move ahead of Benet and secure the win. Gillian finished in 17th place, and Olivia finished in 27th place. Individual results/splits can be found on the Schedule/Results page. Both pictures and video from the race can be found on the Pictures/Video page.

This was not the typical pack race that we have become accustomed to this season. We will need to return to form at next week’s sectional meet if we hope to contend for the sectional title. On Saturday, the girls race will be held at 11:00a, followed by the boys race at 12:00 noon.


Mustangs win 19th straight WSC Gold title!

On Monday, October 16, the DGS girls cross country team traveled to Willowbrook HS to compete in the WSC Gold Conference Championship meet. The meet was originally scheduled for Saturday, Oct.14, but thunderstorms caused the move to Monday. It turned out to be a good decision as the weather was infinitely better on Monday. The Mustangs took advantage of the nice conditions to turn in a dominating performance with a sweep of all 4 team titles and individual race winners in each level.

The varsity girls took to the course first and easily won our 19th straight conference championship. The Mustangs took 7 of the top 9 places, including the first 6 positions. Brenna Cohoon (So) once again led the team with her 1st place finish. Behind her, a pack of five more Mustangs came into the chute soon after. Becky Versaskas (Jr) placed 2nd, Melissa Weidner (Jr) placed 3rd, Erin Reidy (So) placed 4th, Rebecca Diddia (Fr) placed 5th, and Kennedy Warden (So) placed 6th. Olivia Duax (Jr) completed the Mustang scoring with her 7th place finish. All seven varsity runners earned varsity all-conference honors. DGS scored a perfect 15 pts to finish ahead of 2nd place Morton (78 pts).

Next up were the freshmen. Renee Nicholson (Fr) continued the winning ways by placing 1st overall. She was followed by Jenna Hunter (Fr) who placed 2nd, and Ria Patel (Fr) who placed 3rd. Yasmine Khan (Fr) placed 10th, followed by Lily Vincent (Fr) who placed 10th. Brittany Sharkey (Fr) also earned freshman all-conference honors with her 14th place finish. The freshman team scored 21 pts to finish ahead of 2nd place Morton (34 pts).

We only ran 6 girls in the sophomore race and as it turned out, we needed all 6 to secure the 1st place finish over Willowbrook. After 5 runners were in the chute, the score was tied 40-40. The 6th runner tie-breaker was used and that gave DGS the victory! Olivia Meyer (Fr) took 1st place overall and led the race from beginning to end. Maya Scheck (Fr) finished 3rd and was followed by Meghan Stapleton (Fr) who placed 6th. Sydney Gaspari (So) placed 10th and Gillian Musial (So) placed 21st. It was the 23rd place finish by Grace Wilson (So) that secured the team win, finishing 13 places ahead of the Willowbrook #6 runner.

The JV race completed the afternoon domination with another perfect 15 pts for the Mustangs. Gillian Thomas (Sr) took 1st place and led a group of 13 Mustangs that finished in the top 16 earning JV all-conference honors. Kelley Hackbarth (Sr) was 2nd, Allison Calek (Jr) was 3rd, Julie LaLonde (Jr) was 4th, and Riya Bhasin (Sr) was 5th to complete the perfect score. Hailey Rodden (Sr) placed 7th, Michelle Kurcina (Jr) placed 8th, Katie Meyr (Sr) placed 10th, Johanna Skibbe (Sr) placed 11th, Carli Smid (Sr) placed 12th, Clare Quirin (Jr) placed 13th, Amber McCauley (Sr) placed 15th, and Teagan Halik (Jr) placed 16th.

Full meet results can be found on the website. Complete DGS individual results/splits can be found on the Schedule/Results page. Pictures and Videos from all of the races can be found on the Pictures/Video page.

The Mustangs compete this Saturday at the IHSA Plainfield South Regional meet.

Naperville Twilight Meet!

On Wednesday, the DGS Girls Cross Country team traveled to the campus of Naperville North HS for the Twilight Invite. This is the first time DGS has participated in this meet, but the Mustangs fared well among the 15 competing teams. The field was loaded with 7 of the top 9 ranked teams in the state participating.

The varsity placed 3rd behind #1 ranked Naperville North and #2 ranked Yorkville, edging out highly ranked Wheaton South, Glenbard West, and Hinsdale Central. Brenna Cohoon (So) led the Mustangs again with her 16th place finish over the 3.0 mile course in 17:42. Erin Reidy (So) led a tight DGS pack with her 25th place finish (17:57). She was followed by Becky Versaskas (Jr) in 27th place (17:58), Melissa Weidner (Jr) in 28th place (18:03), and Kennedy Warden (So) in 34th place (18:06). Rebecca Diddia (Fr) and Olivia Duax (Jr) rounded out the varsity team with 42nd and 66th place finishes (18:23 & 18:42).

The JV team placed 2nd overall led by senior, Gillian Thomas’s individual win. Both Gillian and Kelley Hackbarth (Sr) went out with the lead group as the race started. Both were in the top 4-5 for most of the race. As they entered the stadium, Gillian battled two Naperville North girls for the lead. Down the final stretch, Gillian out-kicked both girls to squeeze out the victory in 18:53. Hackbarth finished strong in 6th place with a time of 19:15. She was followed by Julie LaLonde (Jr) who placed 12th in 19:27, Allison Calek (Jr) who placed 14th in 19:28, and Riya Bhasin (Sr) who placed 34th in 20:40. Teagan Halik (Jr) and Clare Quirin (Jr) placed 40th and 46th in 21:00 and 21:11 to complete the JV top 7.

In the Frosh-Soph race, Olivia Meyer (Fr) led the Mustangs with her 12th place finish in 19:16. Maya Scheck (Fr) was next into the chute in 31st place in 20:08. Renee Nicholson (Fr) placed 34th in 20:18, Meghan Stapleton (Fr) placed 37th in 20:27 followed by Kailey Ferguson (Fr) who was 38th in an identical 20:27 time. Sydney Gaspari (So) and Jenna Hunter (Fr) rounded out the F/S top 7. DGS placed 5th out of 15 competing teams on the F/S level.

In the Open race, Gillian Musial (So) and Yasmine Khan (Fr) led the Mustangs placing 67th and 69th overall. They were followed by Lily Skrapka (Sr), Stephanie Salerno (Sr), Natalie Repole (Sr), Lily Vincent (Fr), and Amanda Murphy (Sr) as the top 7 open race finishers.

All in all, it was a great day to be a Mustang. We had 41 girls race at the meet and 34 of them ran season best times while 21 girls ran lifetime bests!

Full meet results can be found on the website. Complete DGS individual results/splits can be found on the Schedule/Results page. Pictures and Videos from all of the races can be found on the Pictures/Video page.

Naperville Invite/Griak Invite meet report

This past weekend, the DGS girls cross country split up the team and headed to two different meets. The varsity team traveled to Minnesota to compete in the Roy Griak Invitational against some of the best teams from across the country. The JV and Frosh-Soph teams competed on Friday night at the Naperville Invite. Both teams fought through unseasonably hot temperatures, but still fared well in both meets.

The varsity placed 6th out of 45 teams at the Roy Griak meet. Brenna Cohoon (So) once again led the Mustangs with her 29th place finish on the hilly, 5K course with over 400 runners in the race. Melissa Weidner (Jr) stepped up as the #2 runner for DGS, finishing in 47th place. She was followed closely by Becky Versaskas (Jr) and Rebecca Diddia (Fr) who placed 55th and 56th respectively. Erin Reidy (So) finished out the scoring with her 62nd place finish. Other Mustang finishers were Olivia Duax (Jr) in 84th, Kennedy Warden (So) in 86th, Kelley Hackbarth (Sr) in 117th, Gillian Thomas (Sr) in 136th, and Allison Calek (Jr) in 287th. The 6th place finish was impressive considering the level of competition at the Griak meet. The top 3 finishing teams (Naperville North, Great Oaks, Wayzata) are all ranked in the top 10 nationally. The only other 2 teams that finished ahead of DGS were Sun Prairie (WI#1), and St.Michael-Albertville (MN#3). DGS finished ahead of IL#2 Yorkville and MN#4 Edina, as well as a host of other highly ranked teams from the Midwest.

Both the Frosh-Soph and JV teams placed 3rd out of 12 teams at the Naperville Invite. In the F/S race, Maya Scheck (Fr) led the Mustangs with her 13th place finish. Renee Nicholson (Fr) placed 15th, followed by Olivia Meyer (Fr) in 24th, Kailey Ferguson (Fr) in 27th, and Meghan Stapleton (Fr) in 28th. In the JV race, Julie LaLonde (Jr) was the top DGS finisher in 3rd place. Riya Bhasin (Sr) also cracked the top 10 with her 9th place finish. Hailey Rodden (Sr), Teagan Halik (Jr), and Carli Smid (Sr) rounded out the DGS scoring with 17th, 18th, and 32nd place finishes.

On Monday, October 2, the Mustangs will host our final home meet of the season at O’Brien Park. The F/S and JV teams will take on Morton and Addison Trail at 4:45pm.

On Wednesday, October 4, all levels will return to Naperville North HS for the Twilight Invite. This meet will be a high powered state meet preview featuring most of the top ranked teams in Illinois, including #1 Naperville North, #2 Yorkville, #3 DGS, #4 Glenbard West, #5 Hinsdale Central, #7 Wheaton-Warrenville South, #9 Minooka, #16 Naperville Central, and #24 Plainfield North. This will be the final test for the varsity team before the state series begins on October 21.