Class 3A Girls XC State Odyssey

  • #3 Naperville North and head coach Dan Iverson never complained about rankings and being under the spotlight of top ranked Glen Ellyn Glenbard West and #2 Hinsdale Central for most of the season. After a strong statement made at the St. Charles Sectional last weekend, there was belief in the Huskies camp that something big could occur on Saturday. That occurrence happened to be a state championship won by North.  The worker bees ran a strong pack race in which its top three and #4 and #5 stuck together like glue. It appeared as though the fate of everyone else was sealed in the "Bermuda Triangle" with the numbers in the top 30 at that point. Naperville North stormed home to win 73-91 over #4 Palatine.  Palatine coach Joe Parks was particularly happy with his team's effort as well. "The girls ran phenomenal... first girls crew to ever put seven under 18:00. Proud coach here!"  Defending champion Glenbard West took third with 94 points. Hinsdale Central got fourth ahead of a surprising #14 Lockport team 137-175. 


  • Coach Iverson opened up after the team's jubilee: "It was a really special performance.  We really adjusted some things this year, and it seemed to make a difference for us down the stretch.  It did take us a while to sort of "find ourselves" this year.  But we really did think we were capable of this sort of performance.  Over the last few weeks, the girls sort of got more comfortable running together, rather than in a "set order."  As a result, they seem to have a lot of confidence in each other and in themselves.  And boy, did it show yesterday!  That was certainly the best state performance from an NNHS team ever, and it is probably one of the best from anyone, ever.  As I watched them in the back loop, I kept thinking that we were really running with a tremendous amount of confidence, and we really seemed to be moving very, very well.  Then, to see them at a quarter to go with almost five in the top thirty, it was a pretty impressive feat.  This sort of an effort -- not necessarily the state championship, but the effort -- where everyone simply runs as hard as she can, and when we take that big step forward together, that's why we do this.  It's always inspirational when it happens.  It's happened to us, and I'm always inspired by the girls when I see them laying it on the line no matter what place we finish.  But when that sort of supreme effort ends in a state championship?  It doesn't get much better.  And that's especially true knowing how well everyone else ran.  With Palatine and Glenbard West both under 100, they both ran tremendous races.  And with Hinsdale in the low 100's?  Wow!  To beat those fantastic teams on that day makes it even more special."


  • Indeed this had to be the best ever girls championship and surely trumped the 2012 edition where the weather was in the 40's just like Saturday. But there was no wind in that affair. In order words, it was perfect and prime for a distance race. There was wind on Saturday- a sometimes stiff wind flowing norhthwest and swirling the entire meet somewhere on the course. It was not kind to particularly diminutive runners who worked hard to keep from swaying off the course. Indeed the girls have come a long way since running 2.1 miles and then 2.5 miles up till 2002. Palatine had all seven of its finishers break 18:00- the first time in IHSA meet history! The Lady Pirates 7th runner freshman Lauryn Simmons finished 63rd in the race (48th team score). This feat is so mind boggling when you consider that running 17:56 would have easily medaled in any other classification and placed among the 3A top 25 in some years. Yes, the girls have come a long way in cross country.


  • The Individual race turned out well for Glenbard West junior Lindsay Graham despite a rocky beginning. Graham did not get a good start. Actually she got a terrible start. "I was feeling tired right before the race," she said. "I was in last place in the opening 300 meters before moving up." Graham was able to catch up and be among the leaders at the first mile in 5:23. It was smooth sailing after that as she went on to win in a personal best 16:23. Algonquin Jacobs standout  senior Lauren Van Vlierbergen intially took the lead in the open 500m of the race settled down and ran an overall great effort took second in 16:48. She was very pleased with her efforts even after running with a piano on her back in the final half-mile. Palatine junior Kelly O'Brien rebounded from a crashing Schaumburg Sectional run that had her barely finishing despite running step for step with LVV for 2.5 miles. O'Brien ran an excellent overall race staying up with Graham and LVV for much of the race and finished strong ahead of Hinsdale Central sophomore Alexa Haff. O'Brien ran a personal best 16:55 to Haff's 16:59.