MAPLE PARK – The Geneva girls cross country team was without two of its top five runners during Saturday morning's Larry Eddington Invitational at Elburn Woods Forest Preserve.
Their absence afforded freshman McKenzie Altmayer an opportunity to make a statement and she delivered a big one, leading the Vikings and taking 10th overall (19:01.8).
"She ran a varsity race last week, but this was the first time she got to run with the other girls who went to Peoria last week," Geneva coach Bob Thomson said. "She did a nice job today."
Thomson said sophomore Brooke Nusser was fighting foot pain, but she still managed to place 18th (19.42.1). Junior Sydney Geils was 21st (19:58.4) as the Vikings finished in third pace overall with 102 points. Jacobs won with 72 points.
Sophomore Victoria Clinton finished in third place (18:07.8) to lead host Kaneland to fifth place. Freshman Brianna Bower had a fine debut in the invitational for the Knights, placing 22nd (19:59.0).
Rosary finished 11th and Burlington Central took 12th. Senior Kayla Wolf led Burlington Central, placing 47th (20:49.6).
"Kayla ran really well and she's someone who came out to train for track," Burlington Central coach Vince Neil said. "We're now finding out she can be pretty good in the fall, too."
On the boys side, Kaneland placed sixth. Junior Kyle Carter led the Knights, taking fourth place with a personal best on the course of 16:08.6.
"He has a goal of running in the 15s on our home course," Kaneland coach Chad Clarey said. "Given the times we ran today we were pretty comfortable with where we finished. Hopefully we'll keep the train rolling from here."
Connor Johnson took 18th (16:41.1) and was one of several Knights to establish personal bests. John Meisenger, Ryan Bower, Nathaniel Kucera and Ryan Paulson also had career bests.
Geneva placed eighth in the boys competition and Burlington Central was ninth.
Nathan Wendt (16:43.8) led the Vikings and was closely followed by Dan Herrera and Ryan Rasmussen.
"They did a nice job of moving up through the race," Thomson said. "They were back quite a bit in the first mile and I think they ran their best but we have to close the gap on both sides."
Sophomore Clay Musial (16:49.7) was the fastest to cross the finish line for the Rockets.
"He's been pretty consistent and was again today," Neil said. "We're hoping he has a good rest of the year."