Class 3A Girls #5 Runner Of The Year: Katherine Klimek

Sometimes good runners go unnoticed and when you find out who they are, it's too late!

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Being on such a huge team that numbers often expanded beyond 100 during most seasons, it was especially difficult to bond. As we all know Covid-19 placed a premium on safety, accountability, patience, and many other items.

For the York cross country team it was about establishing an identity from top to bottom. Outside of sophomore Brooke Berger and junior Katelyn Winton, not much was known of the Lady Dukes. As with any team, success begins with the closer. Enter freshman Katherine Klimek. Not much was known of Klimek prior to the start of the season. One thing is for certain she played a huge role in her team's overall success.

Klimek navigated between the fourth and fifth position most of the year. It was at the West Suburban Conference (Silver) Championship when the first pieces of the puzzles were put into place. The Lady Dukes easily won the title over Oak Park-River Forest. Klimek established herself at the end of the scoring pack and that usually seals the deal. The following occurred two weeks later at the Lyons Sectional. Klimek worked with teammates in defeating a tough Batavia squad 38-74. The yearling Klimek was the stopgap there and the feeling of a state championship team was building. 

The Shazam Championship would be the icing on the cake for the underdog Dukes where very few pundits gave them an opportunity to defeat the nationally rated and odds on favorite Naperville North.

The pivotal flight race as many who observed closely was the second flight. In that race, Winton and Klimek worked together throughout and the gap between the Huskies strong runners was very minuscule. Klimek's 24th overall finish not only earned her All-Shazam honors but the fifth scoring spot fired up the team and the 49-second spread was good enough for one of the biggest upsets in state history 58-71.