ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles North Cross Country Invitational produced exciting results Saturday morning at the LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, especially on the girls side, where the host North Stars nipped Geneva by one point for the invitational title.
While the boys meet was dominated by Niles North, the Tri-Cities teams owned the girls race, with Batavia finishing third behind St. Charles North (46) and Geneva (47).
The North Stars had two runners finish in the top five. Junior Ashley England came in third in a time of 18:04.2 and junior Kaylee Wessel came in fifth in 18:23.1.
“Today, as a team, we wanted to run as a pack as best we could,” England said. “I think for myself, I just wanted to run my kind of race and try to help my teammates where I could.”
Second-place finisher Geneva had five of its runners finish in the top 13, with freshman McKenzie Altmayer leading the way in sixth (18:24).
Kathryn Adelman (eight place, 18:36.7), Brooke Nusser (11th, 18:50.1), Sydney Geils (12th, 18:55) and Mackenzie Williams (13th, 19:00.1) were the Vikings' other top finishers.
Senior Elle Murata (10th, 18:48.3) gave North another top-10 finisher.
Batavia's strong showing was led by Dakota Roman (18:04), who finished second individually to race champion Kendall Cast of Metea Valley. Cast finished in 17:50.6. Lexi Slome also had a quality race for Batavia, coming seventh in 18:33.
“Honestly, this is one of my least favorite courses to run because these hills hurt my knees so much,” Slome said. “The course is much better for me early in the morning and especially out in the back where the crowds are not so large and you can just focus in on the race.”
Slome said she felt good about her performance on the day and said the team can do even better.
“We are working on closing the gap on St. Charles North and we did better this week than we did last week,” she said. “As a team, we are way farther ahead at this point in the season than we were last year. We are starting to get better packing as a team during a race.”
In the boys race, Batavia (third place), North (fourth place) and Marmion (fifth) turned in the best finishes of any area teams in the 18-team field.
Bulldogs junior Chris Orlow was the top individual finisher in the area, coming in fifth in 15:26.9. Niles North's Micah Beller (15:00.9) was the boys champion.
“The team is going good so far but I think there is still room for improvement,” Orlow said. “It was a good race for me today to see where I stack up against other people here in the area."
North's Spencer Gray (sixth, 15:28) and Nick Borger (seventh, 15:31.2) and Marmion's John Graft (10th, 15:32.9) also posted top-10 individual finishes.
Senior Ryan Rasmussen (16th, 15:52.1) was Geneva's top boys finisher.