Despite one of its top runners ill with the lingering effects of the flu, the OPRF girls cross-country team stepped up to place fourth at the Skokie Sectional and advance to the Class AA state tournament at Detweiller Park Saturday.
Running on a slow muddy course with gusty winds and still feeling the lingering drain of an illness, Alison Rack, a probable top 5 runner at the sectional, gutted out a 47th place (19:59) finish. Younger sister Katherine won the sectional with a time of 18:08.
Other finishers from OPRF included Marianne Kirk (21st, 19:25), Camille Range (28th, 19:32), Daiga Elzis (59th, 20:15), Evangelina Zachos (60th, 20:18), and Pauline Lazzeretti (65th, 20:34).
"Alison gave it all she had, and the rest of the team did their best to make sure it wasn't her final race of her high school career," said OPRF head coach Sarah McCabe.
York won the sectional with a score of 55, while Lyons Township (80) and Loyola Academy (123) rounded out second and third places.
McCabe said she's hoping her team cracks the top 20 at state. The last time the Huskies finished strong was 2004, when the team took 16th. Both Kirk and Alison Rack were on that team.
"Those two have been outstanding leaders for me this season," said McCabe. "I'm relieved to have them guiding the way downstate."
Geoghegan to represent OPRF boys
While the OPRF boys cross-country team didn't make the cut at the Skokie Sectional on Saturday, one runner will represent the squad in Peoria this weekend.
Junior Patrick Geoghegan finished 10th overall with a time of 16:01.
York won the boys sectional with a total score of 18.
Fenwick boys advance
The Fenwick boys cross-country team snagged the final state advancing spot at Skokie on Saturday. Led by Brooks Smith (21st, 16:59), the Friars finished fifth with a score of 179.
Others finishers for Fenwick included Robert Ayres (25th, 16:20), Tom Laser (31st, 16:33), Jordan Kramer (40th, 16:50), Patrick McGillen (71st, 17:31), Ryan Shannon (84th, 17:39) and Matt Connelly (92nd, 17:43).