ST. CHARLES – Geneva's McKenzie Altmayer was happy with her individual performance, capturing first in the girls varsity division at the St. Charles North cross country invitational at Leroy Oakes Forest Preserve, but was more excited with her team's effort.
The Vikings finished fourth in the meet behind Batavia, Lyons Township and Hinsdale Central.
“That's awesome. That is so great,” Altmayer responded when hearing the Vikings finished fourth. “We've had a lot of injuries and people are coming back now.”
The Geneva senior said the squad may be hitting its stride at just the right time.
“It proves we are working and getting stronger. We are getting our top seven lined up,” she said. “We will have a presence at the top.”
Altmayer easily mastered the new course thrown at runners, completing the three-mile circuit in 17:44, seven seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.
“I feel I ran fairly well for it being a new course,” Altmayer said.
She said there was a lot of uphill work in the first mile of the new route.
“It was a big adjustment,” Altmayer said.
Batavia won the girls varsity meet, placing four runners in the top 15. Emma Stephens, a sophomore, finished fourth for the Bulldogs, covering the course in 17:51. Other point-scorers for Batavia were: Dakota Roman (11th in 18:32), Daphne Kolody (12th in 18:36), Marygrace Golden (14th in 18:41) and Anna Marie Malay (28th in 19:21).
The Bulldogs finished 30 points ahead of second-place finisher Lyons Township.
“I am OK with my run,” Stephens said. “I knew the time would be a little slower because it was a tougher course. I am pretty happy overall.”
The sophomore said the team win shows the squad is deep and works together.
“Our times were good. We all came in together; that helped a lot," Stephens said. "I am happy with how we did.”
St. Charles North took 10th in the girls varsity race.
Other Kane County Chronicle individual top 10 finishers were: Audrey Ernst of St. Charles North, a sophomore, finishing seventh in 18:12 and Sophia McDonnell of Geneva, a freshman, finishing 10th in 18:32.
In the boys varsity race, St. Charles East finished second, nine points behind winner Sandburg. While Sandburg had the top two finishers, the Saints had four runners finish in the top 14 to create a close battle.
Michael Gerkin, a senior, led the Saints' runners, finishing eighth in 15:55.
“It was a new course and I thought we ran it very well,” Saints coach Chris Bosworth said. “We ran at a pretty solid pace from [runners] 1-6.”
Point-scorers for East, in addition to Gerkin, were: Mark Sciurba (ninth in 15:56), Jack Rzepecki (11th in 16:01) Brett Izzo (14th in 16:06) and Anthony Zilla (34th in 16:20).
Bosworth said the team's focus now turns to the Upstate Eight Conference meet, which will be Oct. 17.
With a week off before the conference meet, Bosworth is confident his squad will be ready.
“We will be where we want to be,” Bosworth said. “I am comfortable with where we are right now.”
Marmion took third in the boys varsity meet, paced by sophomore Michael Ronzone (fifth in 15:46) and senior Andrew Burroughs (sixth in 15:48).