Kathryn Adelman, Geneva, Sr.Veteran led the Vikings’ pack at the 3A state meet in Peoria, running 38th in 17:54 to help Geneva finish eighth among 25 teams. Also paced Geneva’s Wheaton North Regional championship team with a fourth-place run and was 18th at sectionals.
Brianna Bower, Kaneland, So.Bower piloted the Knights’ fifth-place team finish at the Class 2A state meet in Peoria with a team-best 37th place run in 18:33 that notched 24 team points. “Consistent all season long,” per coach Doug Ecker, Bower and Kaneland will look to keep climbing after taking eighth as a team in 2011 and sixth last season.
Victoria Clinton, Kaneland, Jr.Fighting an early-season hip injury, the defending 2A individual state champion slipped off her pace to finish 76th in 2013, an effort that still was third-best for the Knights. Clinton was much more than a stabilizing force before that, taking fifth at the Northern Illinois Big 12 meet and 11th at both regionals and sectionals.
Ashley England, St. Charles North, Sr.The Kane County Chronicle Girls Runner of the Year closed her career with her best race yet, placing 11th at the 3A state meet in 17:20, a personal best. England shined throughout the conference and state series. Once she reached Peoria for the fourth time in her career, she aimed to “keep a steady pace and not let people get too far away.”
Torree Scull, St. Charles East, Jr.East’s lone state qualifier continued climbing during the stretch run after placing ninth among Upstate Eight Conference River Division individuals in the league meet. Was regional runner-up to England and took 11th at sectionals before running 18th at the 3A state meet in 17:25.
SECOND TEAMMcKenzie Altmayer, Geneva, So.Emma McSpadden, Geneva, So.Brooke Nusser, Geneva, Jr.Dakota Roman, Batavia, So.Madison Ronzone, Rosary, So.
HONORABLE MENTIONCorrin Adams, St. Charles East, Sr.
Erika Carlson, Kaneland, Sr.
Irene Crown, Aurora Central Catholic, Jr.
Karina Liz, Aurora Central Catholic, So.
Aislinn Lodwig, Kaneland, Jr.
Emi Martin, Rosary, Jr.
Meghan McShea, St. Francis, Sr.
Nina Olshever, St. Charles North, So.
Miranda Rea, Batavia, Jr.
Sydney Strang, Kaneland, Sr.
Shea Vero, Rosary, So.
Kaylee Wessel, St. Charles North, Sr.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Doug Ecker, Kaneland
Ecker drove Kaneland’s boys and girls team bus from Peoria’s Detweiller Park back to campus after guiding the Knights to a fifth-place team finish at the Class 2A state meet. The program’s highest finish since the three-class system began in 2007 – and best overall since the 1989 team placed fourth in Class A – was certainly a blue-collar effort. The Knights again built steam for a state series in which they finished fourth at regionals and fifth at sectionals before a Peoria breakthrough. “They seem to do that on a yearly basis now,” Ecker said. “They save their best races for their last.”
– Kevin Druley, firstname.lastname@example.org