Following the OPRF girls cross-country team’s unexpected 12th place finish at the IHSA Class AA State Meet on Saturday, Sarah McCabe’s house was draped in toilet paper.

The finish was the Huskies’ best in McCabe’s 18 years as head coach, but the toilet paper tee-pee more than likely came from Hinsdale Central fans, where McCabe’s husband, Mark, is a cross-country coach. Hinsdale Central won the state title with 123 points.

But every single runner in McCabe’s crew, made up mostly of underclassmen, ran season best times on the 3-mile course at Detweiller Park in Peoria, including freshman Katherine Rack, who finished 10th overall with a time of 17:19. It was the best finish for an individual runner since 2004 when Elaine Zelby placed ninth with a time of 18:03.19. The Huskies finished 16th as a team that year.

“To get to state is a big deal in itself,” said a very hoarse and happy McCabe, “but to have every runner perform so well, it’s just thrilling.”

Three-time state runners Alison Rack and Marianne Kirk were the veterans on this year’s team. Alison Rack finished 64th with a time of 18:06, while Kirk took 96th in 18:28.

Others who contributed to OPRF’s finish included Evangelie Zachos (143rd, 18:54), Camille Range (152nd, 19:00), Pauline Lazzeretti (186th, 19:22), and Daiga Eizis (197th, 19:27).

The sole representative for the OPRF boys cross-country team, junior Patrick Geoghegan, placed 74th with a time of 15:16.

Fenwick boys crack top 25

Senior leadership led the way for the Fenwick boys cross-country team on Saturday. Robert Ayres, Jordan Kramer, and Brooks Smith closed out their high school cross-country careers by leading the Friars to a 24th place finish (612).

Ayres placed 111th with a time of 15:33, while Kramer placed 128th in 15:39 and Smith 175th in 15:57.

Other finishers for Fenwick were Ryan Shannon (187th, 16:03), Tom Laser (192nd, 16:06), Jack Boyle (218th, 16.24) and Matt Connelly (222nd, 16.29).

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...