When the dust settled from the scene, there was one undisputed champion
Eureka High School has produced some talented individuals over the past several years. In 2018, Emma Argo was the top girl winning the 1A state title with a time of 16:59. Alexi Fogo was the next one up after placing 14th in that same race. However, go back and keep an eye on a then-freshman Anna Perry who cut her teeth running as the team's #6 runner taking in an experienced 81st place.
As a sophomore, Perry moved into the team's top spot during the second half of the season and never looked back, ending the 2019 campaign with a fourth-place at state with a then-personal best 17:09.
Unfortunately, we were not able to see the full effect of the 2020 track and field season because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Who knows what Perry could have done on the track, but one thing for certain is that she stayed in the training lab and got better according to her cousin and legend Craig Virgin. Virgin grew up with Anna's father Todd Perry. Virgin said of Anna's improvement from sophomore to junior year: "[Anna] was very long-legged and 'wobbly' like a newborn calf in the 8th and 9th grade, but she got into PT and special lower body training which strengthen her from the waist down."
It is evident that Perry's strength and co-ordination have put her on a new level. She won eight races this season with just one loss to top freshman Ali Ince (Normal Community HS), which later was avenged.
A pre-season top 15 pick for the MileSplit IL Premium 50 Individual girls, Perry did not disappoint in the post-season, blitzed through the regional and sectional rounds by huge margins.
The final verdict of the season was the Shazam Championships at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe. This meet put on in a true state championship format packed with the absolute best girls on the scene.
From the onset, Perry controlled the pace with favorite Lianna Surtz (Aurora Rosary) and Mabry Bruhn (Monticello) attached to her. The trio held strong for the first two miles (5:45/11:43) before Perry took charge with just less than a half-mile to go. To the winner go the spoils in 18:11 over the rugged 5k layout and the title of the best girl in the classification.
The future will remain bright for Perry who will have two seasons of track & field and one cross country campaign to strut her stuff.