Tatum David Goes Coast To Coast In 2A Girls Final

The action began to heat up throughout each successive race at Detweiller Park


Peoria IL-

The 2A classification has always been a gumbo sort of deal since the addition of a third class in 2009. It seems as though the middle of the road talent and teams get shuffled around quite a bit once they taste success. The great Yorkville programs started here and then dominated before being elevated to 3A. Some other schools due to enrollment or success factors have either came or depart. 

Such was the case for Lisle (Benet Academy), Chicago (St. Ignatius), and Oak Park (Fenwick)- all who have competed in 3A. The regulars such as Chicago (Latin), Belvidere North, and Vernon Hills were all looking to earn a trophy. And even emerging power Lakes, Prairie Ridge, and Crystal Lake South wanted in on the action.

Benet Academy went to work against the field putting four runners near the front of the pack in the opening half-mile. St. Ignatius also did the same with three of its own. From that point on, it was hard to see who was coming and going with the array of diversion tactics played (new uniforms for the occasion) or some others not playing well. Defending champ Belvidere North was a considerable distance off. Latin had some issues with the back of its pack nowhere near the top half.

But as always it comes down to how all five to seven runners perform under the stress of the final mile and Benet Academy was marvelous. The Red Wings took control as Emily Spellman (Jr.) and Meaghan Andrews (Jr.) with all-state performances, but more importantly, they placed in the top 10 scoring-wise to thwart any attack from Lakes or Prairie Ridge. It was a comfortable win for the Redwings who placed 12th in 3A last year and will be participating in that top shelf league along with Lakes and third place Prairie Ridge for track and field. 

1Benet Academy1108+10+19+33+40 (41+42)0:48 1-5 Split | 18:06 Avg
2Lakes High School1771+32+38+45+61 (134+143)2:27 1-5 Split | 18:15 Avg
3Prairie Ridge High School17912+17+24+62+64 (107+112)1:15 1-5 Split | 18:25 Avg
4Fenwick High School19925+28+43+46+57 (68+145)0:43 1-5 Split | 18:34 Avg
5St. Ignatius College Prep High School2085+15+27+75+86 (102+136)1:44 1-5 Split | 18:29 Avg
6Crystal Lake South High School2176+21+35+70+85 (93+139)1:37 1-5 Split | 18:34 Avg
7Belvidere North High School22023+26+30+65+76 (122+130)1:06 1-5 Split | 18:35 Avg
8Chicago Latin High School2312+20+22+55+132 (160)3:18 1-5 Split | 18:28 Avg
9Dixon High School2327+11+59+72+83 (96+118)1:33 1-5 Split | 18:36 Avg
10Peoria Notre Dame High School23814+34+39+60+91 (97+158)1:33 1-5 Split | 18:40 Avg


Tatum David (Fr., Olney Richland County) came in as somewhat of a slight favorite according to a throng of media experts. However, they and a bunch of others would be in for a rude awakening shortly after the race unfolded.

David immediately went to work against a solid field that featured two outstanding competitors in Ava Parekh (So., Chicago Latin) and Brooke Stromsland (Jr., Lakes). David opened lightning fast at two checkpoints: half-mile (2:20) and mile (5:04). The onlookers buzzed aloud as they watched a newcomer run the fastest ever opening mile on the iconic Detweiller course. Stromsland and Parekh checked in with very respectable 5:18s. David was simply in a different league at the moment.

David continued her assault on the field upon entering the "Bermuda Triangle." At the halfway point, she hit the mark in 7:46 and clearly running to break some sort of record that was reserved for Glenbard West's Katelynne Hart in the proceeding race. 

David appeared to slow a bit once the clock read 10:29 with one mile remaining. Her 5:25 second suggested the unevenness of racing haphazardly. But for this occasion, David impressed everyone in attendance and if she could hold up, she would at least break the freshman all-time best by Katrina Schlenker of Batavia, who ran 16:07.

David charged up the incline to a raucous audience and laid a 16:04 thriller. Stromsland, who had been pacing with Parekh for some time, pulled away from her late in the back loop to salvage another great performance for herself. Stromsland gutted out a tough final mile to take second in 16:33. It would her season-best and less than a second slower than she ran last year in securing the win. 

Parekh limped home for third just shy of the watershed mark in 17:00, but she was well ahead of two former injured warriors Olivia Rosenstein (Sr., Urbana) and Kaylie Politza (So., Lemont) who triumphed with fourth and fifth placements. This was perhaps the deepest field for this classification, proving that Illinois distance running continues to build depth. It took 17:58 to make all-state.
1Tatum David9Richland County16:04.000
2Brooke Stromsland11Lakes High School16:33.901
3Ava Parekh10Chicago Latin High School17:00.202
4Olivia Rosenstein12Urbana High School17:18.900
5Kaylie Politza10Lemont High School17:22.803
6Emma Skinner10Morton High School17:39.504
7Kristina Dalton12St. Ignatius College Prep High School17:39.805
8Siobhan Stoll12Woodstock (Marian)17:42.400
9Rachel Richtman12Kaneland High School17:46.100
10Isabella Gonzalez9Crystal Lake South High School17:46.506