Scouting Report: Downers Grove South Girls

The Downers Grove South girls' cross country team looks to improve on their 12th place showing at state in 2011. The Mustangs look to be very competitive in 2012 after returnign five of their top seven from last year led by sophomore Amanda Thate. Sister Jacquelyn was one of the senior leaders of the team last year, but with her graduating it will fall to the younger Thate to take the reigns of this team. Last year, Amanda was the top placer for Downers Grove South finishing 28th in a time of 17:36. She was one of just three freshman in 2A to place in the top thirty. Tate is followed by four highly motivated seniors who were in the top six last year. They are Katie Strelau, Jordyn Baylark-Rasul, Amy Rotunno, and Katrina Friedrich. Strelau is the only returner on the team who dipped under eighteen minutes in 2012. She also holds the best time for 3200 meters of 11:25.73 and second best time in the 1600 meters with a 5:25.97. Junior Haley Albers, a new addition to the team from Hagerty High School in Florida, looks to play a role in the starting five as well. As a sophomore, Albers ran 5:34.24 for 1600 meters and 12:23.66 for 3200 meters. She finished 96th at the Cross Country Finals and has a personal best of 19:43.81 for 5K.

The Mustangs kicked off their season at the Yorkville Invitational with a runner-up finish to host Yorkville. Downers Grove South was led by senior Katie Strelau. Strelau finished third in a time of 18:39.10. Albers was fourth in 18:49.10. The team placed four of it's top five runners in the top ten and all seven in the top twenty-two. It was a great way to start the season for these girls. New Trier is the heavy favorite and is nationally ranked, but it is definitely likely for a more experienced and deeper Mustangs squad to improve on their twelfth place finish and place in the top five or six teams at state.

Coach Doug Plunkett Says...

"Our team goals are to win our conference championship (WSC Gold), and qualify the team for the state meet. The two meets we look to key on are the Peoria Central Invite, and the IHSA State meet."

2012 Returner's Top Times

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