No matter its outcome at the Notre Dame/Peoria Richwoods Invitational on Saturday, the OPRF girls' cross-country team received invaluable experience.
The Huskies finished ninth with a score of 336, but probably more important than that, gained insight on the 3-mile course's dynamics. OPRF hopes to run the same course in a few weeks at the IHSA State Meet.
"It was a wonderful trip," said OPRF head coach Sarah McCabe. "It was everything we expected it to be. It was competitive and fun, but most of all a tremendous learning experience for each runner."
The Huskies must have enjoyed the course, for every runner notched personal bests. Meghan Kiefer, who had a time of 19:20 on the course at the State Meet last year, led OPRF with a time of 18:46 for a 42nd place finish. Jenny Donley finished in 19:05 (62nd place), while Alison Rack went 19:10 for 69th place.
Junior Chelsea Christman broke the 20-minute mark for the first time in her career by finishing in 19:49.
Freshman phenom Olivia Bird probably got the most out of running the course ahead of time. Bird finished in 19:08, good for 67th place.
"The nice thing about competing down there early is that we have nothing to lose," said McCabe. "It's not going to affect our conference standings. It gives the younger runners like Olivia an opportunity to check things out."
McCabe said she has no doubt Bird will run faster come State Meet time.
"Now that she's comfortable with the course, she'll be willing to go out a little harder next time."
The Huskies traveled down south after coming off a dual loss to Lyons Township and Hinsdale Central.
"It was a disappointing race, but both teams are technically better than us," admitted McCabe. "We just need to be more consistent."
Bird notched a time of 19:18 against LT and HC, good enough for sixth overall. Donley followed with a time of 19:24.
Upon taking on York this Thursday, the Huskies host their own Roy Gummerson Invitational at their home course in Schiller Woods on Saturday (11:30 a.m.). Top teams competing in the invite include Lockport, Sandburg, and New Trier.
Like the recent race in Peoria, the Huskies gain experience each time they race on their own course. OPRF will host both the West Suburban (Silver) Conference Meet and the regional.
Fenwick sophs put up
The Fenwick girls' golf team downed Carmel last week 169-177 with the help of its sophomore contingency.
Lisa Joyce posted a 40 to lead the Friars, while fellow sophomore Nicole Mentone shot a 42. Others who made an impact in the win included Erin Sullivan and Erin Kielty, who both finished with 43s.
The Friars are currently undefeated and take on Marian Catholic Thursday.
Hockey practices with a win
It may have been only for practice, but the OPRF Hockey Club will take its 4-2 victory over Bartlett Sunday night at Addison Arena for all it's worth.
Senior Forward Mike Beard scored with 13:06 in the first and then with 4:22 in the first. Mike Slovak assisted Beard on the first goal, while Matt McDonnell and Brett Newman helped out on the second goal.
Bartlett snuck one past OPRF goalie Tanner Houston at 11:36 in the second, but Ken Javor came back to make the score 3-1 some five minutes later. Dean Rogers assisted on the goal.
Beard scored the third of his hat trick with 1:11 left in the game (Slovak again assisted). Houston saved 23 of 24 shots on goal for the Huskies, who open the season officially on Sept. 24 against Geneva at All Seasons Arena (8:50 p.m.).