Cross-country Regional Results
"Common sense prevailed," said OPRF girls' cross-country coach Sarah McCabe of her decision to leave freshman phenom Olivia Bird out of the lineup due to a sore hip at the Oak Park Regional held at Schiller Woods on Saturday. McCabe made the decision despite having to run without two other of the team's top performers. In the end, nothing was lost.
With Meghan Kiefer out for college testing and with Chelsea Christman lost for the season with a stress fracture in her left ankle, the Huskies managed to finish a tight second at their own regional, missing the top spot to St. Ignatius by a mere point, 45-46.
Jenny Donley and Alison Rack picked up the slack, placing second and third overall, respectively, with times of 19:16 and 19:33.
Marianne Kirk improved her time by over a minute from the West Suburban (Silver) Conference Meet. The junior finished ninth overall in 20:25. Newcomer Daiga Eizis, a freshman, placed 15th with a time of 20:47, while Jenny Corkle came in at 18th in 20:52. Two freshmen who McCabe said received "a wealth of experience" competing at the regional were Pauline Lazzeretti (19th place, 20:53) and Bella Killion (22nd place, 21:29).
The Huskies will now travel to Skokie to compete in the Niles West Sectional on Saturday. McCabe said the team should be at full strength with the exception of Christman.
"It's a flat course with a lot of turns at Niles West, so that bodes well for runners Kiefer and Kirk," said McCabe, who is taking the team to Niles West Thursday so the Huskies can get familiar with the course. "Usually we get maps and walk the course before the race, but we're not taking any chances for sectionals."
The Huskies will have their hands full at Niles West with such teams as York, Lyons Township, and New Trier in the mix.
"It'll be a sizable challenge," said McCabe. "If we're off just a bit then we won't be able to advance to State."
OPRF boys: Brendan Murphy improved his time by 15 seconds from the WSC Meet the week prior to lead the Huskies to second place (43) at the boys' Oak Park Regional at Schiller Woods on Saturday.
Murphy took first overall with a time of 15:35. The Huskies had three runners place in the top 10. Along with Murphy's effort, Todd Teren finished fifth with a time of 15:52 and Kris Rey-Talley took seventh in 16:10.
Other performers included Ken Ptack (14th, 16:41), John Binder (16th, 16:43), Nicholas Blench (19th, 16:47) and Aaron Baskin (21st, 17:15).
Friars run away with regional title
The Fenwick boys' cross-country team had no trouble dismantling the competition at the Oak Park Regional. The Friars ran away with first place (27) by placing three runners in the top five.
Seniors Jack Gerstner and Mark Spadavecchia placed second (15:38) and third (15:40) respectively. Jordan Kramer, a junior, finished fourth in 15:45.
Other finishers included Kyle Hope (8th, 16:11), Patrick McGillen (10th, 16:28), Brooks Smith (11th, 16:32) and Ryan Shannon (12th, 16:32).
Fenwick girls: Elizabeth Boyle led the Friars to a third place team finish at the regional by winning the meet outright.
The senior placed first with a time of 18:47, over a minute ahead of the runner-up.
Boyle's effort was aided by Holly Bresnahan (10th, 20:28), Therese Grady (11th, 20:33), and Nora Collins (13th, 20:36).
Fornek, Purl ignite Blazers
The Blazers advanced to the Niles West Sectional by finishing fourth with a total score of 84 at the Oak Park Regional.
Trinity was led by junior Jennifer Fornek, who placed fifth overall with a time of 19:49, and senior Lindsey Purl, a sixth-place finisher in 20:17.
Other top finishers for Trinity included Colleen Burzynski (21:43, 23rd), Liz Dolis (22:36, 26th), Kathleen Pawlowski (22:39, 27th), and Jill Coleman (22.43, 28th).