This piece names seven distance runners each to three all-decade Girls teams-runners 1-7 in the 1st, 8-14 in the 2nd and 15-21 in the 3rd (however they are presented in alphabetical order). Only their accomplishments during their high school careers were considered for comparison on this list. Preference is given to runners who have multiple state titles, and the quality of the titles and their times are considered. Their influence on the IL distance running scene is also considered.
If determining the three all-decade teams for Boys was hard, for Girls it was laughably impossible. The times at the end of the decade are much stronger than those at the start, so it is difficult to compare pack athletes in the 2015-2019 range with state champions in the 2010-2014 range.
All 1st Team
Kayla Beattie - Woodstock (H.S.) (class of 2011)
Beattie's 2010-11 season was absolutely historic, winning the 2A triple crown with a Detweiller state record (16:22), and an unfathomable double at state (9:56/4:43) to set two records that still stand. Beattie also qualified for both NXN and Footlocker that season. Beattie attended Iowa and then transferred to Arizona.
Tatum David - Olney (Richland County) (class of 2023)
David is an unconventional inclusion to this list since, as a frosh, her legacy is far from set, but her 2019 season alone deserves a spot. David ran completely unchallenged in Illinois and ran the fourth-fastest time at Detweiller ever, en route to two All-American performances at national meets. Although she projects as an all-time great, it is too early to tell exactly where her career will go. For now, she is the best runner in the state entering the 2020's.
Maryjeanne Gilbert - Peoria (Notre Dame) (class of 2016)
Gilbert won six state titles (three in 3200, two in XC, one in 1600) in 2A. She held the 2A cross record (16:12) until David broke it, and that time is still 7th all-time. Gilbert also finished 12th at Footlocker in 2014 and was runner-up in 2015 by less than a second to future NCAA cross champ Weini Keilati. Gilbert attended Notre Dame, but has since left the school for personal reasons.
Katelynne Hart - Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West) (class of 2020)
Hart has eleven state titles with a track season still remaining and has won three consecutive triple crowns at the 3A level. In 2018-19, Hart became the first-ever large-division 'quadruple crown' winner by winning cross, 3200, 1600 and 800 state titles. She has won the cross country state title all four years, only the second to do this in Illinois, and is the #2 runner in Detweiller history. Hart has finished runner-up at Footlocker 2x, fourth once, and a number of other national qualifiers. Hart will run at Michigan next year.
Anna Sophia Keller - Effingham (St. Anthony) (class of 2017)
Keller is an 11-time state champ at the 1A level and is the first runner ever to win four consecutive cross country state titles in Illinois (she won 4 straight 1600 titles as well and was 2nd in the 3200 as a frosh before winning every following year). Keller qualified for NXN twice and was just a spot away from qualifying her freshman year. She still holds the 1A cross state record and is #9 all-time. Keller runs for Notre Dame.
Judy Pendergast - Naperville (North) (class of 2016)
Pendergast holds the all-time Detweiller course record (15:53.8), won the NXN Midwest regional, and was All-American in both NXN and Footlocker races in her legendary 2015 cross season (she won the 3200 state title in the season previous to that cross season). Although Pendergast does not have as many state titles as other first-teamers, she holds possibly the most impressive state record on the books on the girls' side. Pendergast ran for Harvard, then Oregon, then Harvard again in college.
Madeline Perez - Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West) (class of 2014)
Perez is responsible for the biggest Detweiller record time drop, improving it from Beattie's 16:22 down to 16:02 in 2012. Perez then completed the triple crown that year and defended her 3200m title in 2014. Health issues plagued Perez, who managed a single cross All-American performance at NXN in 2012. Perez continues her running career currently at Georgetown.
All 2nd Team
Courtney Ackerman - Winnetka (New Trier) (class of 2013)
Emma Fisher - Elmhurst (York) (class of 2013)
Amanda Fox - Naperville (Central) (class of 2012)
Lindsay Graham - Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West) (class of 2016)
Alex Morris - Naperville (North) (class of 2019)
Lindsey Payne - Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West) (class of 2018)
Katrina Schlenker - Batavia (class of 2022)
All 3rd Team
Kaylee Flanagan - Lake Park (class of 2013)
Jenna Lutzow - Belvidere (North) (class of 2019)
Ariel Michalek - Oswego (East) (class of 2012)
Sarah Schmitt - Naperville (North) (class of 2018)
Emily Shelton - Minooka (class of 2018)
Brooke Stromsland - Lake Villa (Lakes) (class of 2021)
Maillin Struck - Riverside (R.-Brookfield) (exchange transfer, fall 2013)
Emma Argo (Eureka), Chelsea Blaase (St. Joseph-Ogden), Kristen Busch (Freeburg), Jill Hardies (Hinsdale Central), Grace McLaughlin (Rock Island Boylan Catholic), Sydni Meunier (Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley), Aly Negovetich (Grant), Jenna Schwartz (Waterloo), Mimi Smith (New Trier), Lianna Surtz (Rosary), Ashley Tutt (Minooka), Brooke Wilson (Prospect)