It was another invite of powder blue, purple, and green at the Richard Spring Invitational
For the second straight weekend, there was some incredibly high-stakes cross country between the three best teams in the state: Downers Grove North, York, and Prospect. The titan squads would take this past week's battle to Detweiller Park, the site of the IHSA State Championship.
So how would things shape out?
Prospect set the fast pace regarding a team aspect, but DGN and York's pack was not too far behind. The top-ranked Trojans sat in third place after the first mile. There wasn't any reason to panic because there was plenty of racing left. At the same time, Prospect had its top three runners, Veronica Znajda (Jr.), Meg Peterson (So.), and Lily Ginsberg (Sr.), sitting among the top five spots.
The second mile saw the Dukes of York move into the lead. Katherine Klimek (Sr.) helped her team's cause, dropping into the top five spots through the back loop.
Znajda took over for good as she exited the "Bermuda Triangle" ahead of Brea Counihan (Fr., Lincoln-Way Central), who made a misturn near the 1.5 mile mark, and she never regained her lead or could establish momentum. Znajda hit the second mile in 11:17.
According to head coach Tim McDonald, the Trojans miraculously got the job done without ace runner Lily Eddington (So.), who sat out with a sore hip. Led by McKenzie Willard (Jr.) and her runner-up finish in 17:18, her team was able to string together a 22-second scoring split (York as well) and get another nail-biting victory 66-68. Prospect was just as close in third with 69 points. As a consolation prize, Znajda won the race in 16:56.