By Marty Farmer
OPRF freshman cross-country runner Mary Blankemeier made quite a first impression with a fifth-place finish at Saturday's Class 3A state final meet held in Peoria's Detweiller Park. Blankemeier ran a time of 17:07 setting the pace for the Huskies' 13th place showing overall.
"I was hoping to finish in the Top 10 but I wasn't sure how everything would play out. Overall, I'm pretty happy with my result," Blankemeier said. "The team hadn't been downstate in a while, so we were all pretty pumped to make the trip, and coming in 13th place [overall] was awesome."
The youth movement is clearly in effect for OPRF, which featured two sophomores and two freshmen among the seven runners who compiled 322 points on Saturday. Following Blankemeier, senior Erin Schrobilgen finished 78th (18:19) and junior Hannah Gorin came in 81st (18:20). Senior Jennifer Smith (18:35/106th), freshman Mahal Schroeder (19:03/147th), sophomore Ainsley Tran (19:11/159th) and sophomore Haley Thompson (19:20/168th) contributed to the Huskies' strong collective performance.
Friars' Ryan falls back in the pack
Coming off a fifth-place showing in the 2012 3A state final, Fenwick junior Olivia Ryan ran a time of 17:29 to capture 22nd place in the state over the weekend. Briana Daley capped off her career with the Friars by posting a time of 18:18 to finish 73rd.
Trinity takes 25th in Class 2A standings
The Blazers scored 578 points to earn 25th place in the team standings of the Class 2A state final. Emily Doyle (19:30), Tatiana Nieves (20:03), Paige Jaffe (20:08), Erin Nelson (20:46), Mary Bea Halloran (20:58), Sara Doyle (22:21) and Jacqueline Josephs (23:04) represented Trinity in Peoria.