[Mary Beth Nolan]
Team advancement was certainly the focus of St. Charles East junior Alice Abbott. The Saints made it as a team for the first time since 2011, the fifth of five qualifying teams along with Naperville North, Batavia, Oswego and Huntley.
"I want nothing more than to bring these girls down. That was my main goal," Abbott said. "They deserve it more than anything."
Abbott, ninth at state as a sophomore, was hardly thinking about her time, given the conditions. She took fourth among runners on qualifying teams, in 18:19.
Freshman Brooklyn Walker (23rd, 19:07) was St. Charles East's other top 30 finisher.
"There are not many meets that you go in worried about wiping out," Abbott said. "I know down the hill it slowed me down. I knew it would be like this. Going through the first mile we were already going through the worst of it. The only part about it was physically trying to move through it and change gears. You just have to keep going. Everybody that finished today was mentally tough."