The Downers Grove South girls cross country team traveled to Katherine Legge Memorial Park in Hinsdale for Saturday’s IHSA Sectional meet. The conditions were tough with the rain and the muddy course, but the girls ran well and finished 4th out of the 18 teams competing. The top 5 teams all advance on to next week’s State Championship meet in Peoria, so our season continues on for one more week. The course is challenging enough in good weather conditions, but the non-stop rain turned the course into a muddy mess that included two trips over a swollen creek. The creek claimed plenty of victims, including 5 out of the 7 Mustang runners. Junior, Katie Stapleton, was leading the race at the 1 ¼ mile mark when she crashed hard exiting the creek. Katie recovered, worked hard to make up some of the lost ground. She led our team again running a good time of 18:25 while finishing in 8th place. The top-10 finish also earned Katie all-sectional honors. Melissa Weidner (Fr) continued to work her way up the varsity ladder and finished in 28th place with a time of 19:02. Michaela Hackbarth (Sr) and Becky Versaskas (Fr) helped hold together a solid DGS pack and finished 30th (19:12) and 31st (19:16) respectively. Jill Boyle (Sr), coming off a rough Regional race, anchored the DGS scoring and secured the trip to State with her 34th place finish in 19:21. Natalie Olsen (So) and Emily Qualizza (Sr) rounded out the varsity team finishing in 40th place (19:40) and 53rd place (20:09) respectively. This has been a typical season, filled with lots of amazing races, but also some unfortunate injuries and other obstacles. I couldn’t be more proud of how the girls stepped up and got the job done today. Only 25 out of the 150+ teams in our 3A classification advance to the State meet each year and it is no small accomplishment. This marks the 5th consecutive season that the DGS girls will be competing with the entire varsity team at the State meet.
Next week’s IHSA Girls 3A State Championship race will be held Saturday, November 7th, at Detweiller Park in Peoria at 1:00pm.