It has been a long time since Naperville North has been challenged in this annual mid-week affair. In 2016, the host Huskies won by four points over Minooka 74-78. Two other teams, Yorkville and Glenbard West were within 13 points of taking home the title. The Huskies had to overcome then freshman Katelynne Hart and company 1-2 finish. Minooka would proceed with the next three spots. However, the Huskies pride themselves as being a super team and its pack came through with a 39-scoring split that landed all five scorers in the top 25.
It could be another close one as the hosts will have their hands full with another strong Minooka squad. In early September at the First To The Finish Invite, the Huskies got away with a 100-115 victory. To win this battle which will again feature Naperville Central in the mix, the formation of the scoring pack and how well can the #5 runner close things out. Lucy Westlake (Naperville) should cancel out Jocelyn Host (Minooka) and Liv Phillips (Naperville Central). Then it's a battle get the best five in after that.
Let's not forget about Yorkville which has quietly revived their season after suffering a rough performance at FTTF and taking 10th. The foxes won the Minooka Flight Invite several weeks ago. The twins Margaret Hunter and Anna Hunter will lead the way in the top pack position.
Individually, this will be like a kid in the candy store. The field looks like a one-class state championship in early October. It will feature Ava Parekh (Sr., Chicago Latin) who is undefeated against state competition. Parekh has defeated entrants Grace Schager (Jr., Glenbard North), and Audrey Allman (Sr., Glenbard West). Her tenacious style which is to go out fast has baffled all challengers to date.
Enter Mary Grace Hegberg (Sr., St. Viator), Elia Ton-That (Sr., Chicago Northside Prep), Katrina Schlenker (Sr., Batavia), Sophia McNerney (Sr., Downers Grove South), and Holly Johnson (Fr., Downers Grove South) will make this one that we all will remember for a long time. Schlenker is the defending champion but it is Hegberg who will go after Parekh's breakneck pace. Anything slower than 5:20 for the first mile would be a surprise. If they slip up, the cerebral running Schager and Ton-That will be there to possibly swoop in for the win. The meet record of 16:15 by Hart appears safe but Parekh's #2 mark of 16:33 could be lowered.