Surge in Runners to Lead Girls to Victory


Photo by Colin McElduff

From Left to Right: Senior Natalie Maguire, Sophomore Anna Gardener, and Freshman Tegan Baker running at Lakes against North Chicago and Grayslake North on September 5, 2017.

Colin McElduff, News Editor

As fall comes upon District 117, many changes begin to take place. The leaves begin turning colors, the wind gets a little colder and, of course, the Lakes Girls Cross Country team is in full swing.

Over the past few weeks the team has had stunning success in their meets, ranking amongst the top competitors in their division. They took second place at a Trio-Meet with North Chicago and Grayslake North, and placed seventh in the 2A division at Peoria’s “First to the Finish” Invite this past week.

“I think it’s a really strong starting point for us”, said freshman varsity runner Alex Bryant.“We’ve been working really hard all over the summer, and these few weeks of school, so I think we can only just keep getting better.”

Over the summer the Girls Cross Country team trained with the boys’ team in their 10th annual summer camp. Often meeting three times a week at six in the morning, they got to know each other as they prepared for their season ahead. Bonding during the camp this year was especially important as the girls’ team has grown dramatically since last season from 18 runners to over 30 runners. These new arrivals, a mixture of both upper and underclassmen, have allowed the girls to have a complete varsity, JV and open teams.

“I think it’s going to be exciting to feel three strong teams”, said Keith West, the Girls Cross Country Coach. “So instead of having to have to kind of dismantle an open team to fill JV spots, it’ll be nice going into a meet where we have a complete varsity, a complete JV, and then a complete open.”

Coach West is hoping to be able to finish in the top 50% across all three levels, and with a diverse group of girls like this, he is set to achieve his goal. Though a larger group this year also makes maintaining team spirit even harder, the runners continue to keep up a positive attitude and be welcoming to the new members of their community.

“They’re all really supportive, and they’re all such nice people. They all want you to do well and succeed, and…we all work hard together and succeed together,” said Bryant.

In addition to building team unity among the girls, they are are also trying to build up the running community at Lakes as a whole. With the shared goal of “United”, both the Boys and Girls Cross Country teams have focused on expanding their Co-Ed program this year. From having pre-meet pasta-party dinners, to simply doing their workouts together, both groups of runners are trying to form a greater experience together.

The Girl Cross Country team’s next race is the Minooka Flight Invite this Saturday, September 16th, at Channahon Community Park, and is set to be an exciting race for the close-knit girls this season.