Distance Running 360: How Did 2023-24 Class 1A Girls Do?

What happens on the track and/or field may or may not correlate with success from cross country (for all-staters)

High school sports are 360 degrees in nature--a full circle. Most long-distance runners begin their quest during the early months of summer training for cross country. The three months of training that kids put in are an attempt to run in the state championship in November. For the few lucky ones, they will go on and compete in Nike Cross Nationals, Foot Locker, or some other post-season meet.

But the entire school calendar has been lost in the sauce, which runs through the winter indoor campaign and back to the all-important outdoor track and field season. We wanted to chronicle the very beginning and end. Athletes get lazy after cross country or get hurt. Some play other spring sports like lacrosse, club soccer, softball, volleyball, etc.


1. Isabella Keller (Fr., Effingham [St. Anthony]) 16:26.13- 3200m state champion, 1600m state runner up; 10:16.02, 4:51.77, 2:16.55 - - personal bests

2. Mia Kotler (Jr., Chicago (Latin) 16:32.80- Did not compete in state series; 10:31.71, 4:57.77i PB

3. Kate Foltz (So., Tuscola) 16:45.63- 3rd state/3200m, 10:55.92

4. Molly Farrell (So., Marshall) 16:57.63- 3200m state runner-up, 10:38.24, 3rd/state 1600m, 4:57.77 PB

5. Tessa Bowers (So., Shelbyville) 17:09.15- 3rd state/1600m, 5:04.21 PB

6. Elena Rybak (Jr., Glen Carbon [Father McGivney) 17:09.78- Anchored state champion 4x800 & 4x400 relays; 800m state champion, 1600m state champion; 2:06.68 PB, 4:47.40 PB

7. Kennady Anderson (Sr., Kewanee-Weathersfield) 17:23.53- Competed in state 4x800 (4th place), 6th/state 800, 6th/state 1600; 5:04.18, 2:16.20

8. Sydney Gertsen (So., Lombard [Montini]) 17:27.29- Competed in 2A: 5th/state 3200 (10:54.74 PB)

9. Jadyn Gerardi (Fr., Anna-Jonesboro) 17:31.27- Competed in 4x800 prelims; placed 17th in 800 state prelims (2:19.03)

10. Mackenzie Pound (So., Tolono Unity) 17:36.87- Did Not Compete in track and field

11. Ahry Comer (Sr., Golconda Pope County) 17:40.71- 400m State Champion (55.19 PB), 800m state runner up; 300H (46.63 PB), 2:10.70

12. Kyla Babb (So., Westmont) 17:41.95- 4th/state 3200 (11:04.78 PB), 10th/state 1600, 5:08.89 PB

13. Emily Downing (So., Cambridge) 17:44.00- 5th/state 800, 8th/state 1600, 3rd/4x800 relay

14. Erica Woodard (Sr., Tolono Unity) 17:45.26- Competed in 2A; 15th/state 3200, 12th/state 1600; 10:53.49 PB

15. Kaitlyn Hatley (Sr., Father McGivney) 17:45.41- Ran on state championship 4x800 and 4x400 relays; placed 9th in state 400 final, 58.95 PB
16. Cecilia Hilby (So., Aurora Central Catholic) 17:45.67- Competed in 2A; 5th place/800 (2:15.96 PB)

17. Madeleine Fox (Fr., Marshall)  17:45.80- 9th/state 3200 (11:35.50); 11th/state 1600, 5:11.61 PB

18. Louisa Wilson (Jr., Williamsville)  17:45.83- Competed in 2A; 6th/state 3200, 11:20.21 PB; 10th/state 1600, 5:13.99 PB
19. Ellen Anderson (Jr., Chicago Latin) 17:51.07- Competed in 2A; 11th/state 3200, 11:31.12 PB

20. Meika Bender (Jr., Eureka) 17:53.77- Competed in 2A; 7th/state 1600 (5:10.29 PB)

21. Grace Mullin (Sr., Palos Heights [Chicago Christian]) 17:57.79- 5th/state 3200, 10:42.39 PB

22. Dusti Smith (Fr., Toulon [Stark County]) 18:03.82- Competed in 400 at the state meet, finished 13th in prelims (1:00.31 PB)

23. Vanessa Teel (Jr., Pinckneyville) 18:04.54- Did not advance to state in any events

24. Miah Gilmore (Jr., Murphysboro) 18:04.75- Competed in 2A; 10th/state 3200, 11:28.92 PB

25. Graziella Narcisi (Jr., Elmhurst [IC Catholic]) 18:05.63- Plays basketball in the winter; does not participate in track and field