The DGS Girls Cross Country team traveled to Detweiller Park in Peoria for the First to the Finish Invitational on Saturday. This highly anticipated meet featured 9 of the top 11 teams in the state going head to head. The Mustangs held their own against the state's best teams, placing 3rd out of 38 total teams. Top ranked Naperville North won the meet with 83 points, followed by #3 ranked Yorkville (109 pts). #5 ranked DGS scored 123 points to finish ahead of #7 Edwardsville (143 pts), #4 Hinsdale Central (143 pts), #6 Barrington (190 pts), #9 Minooka (193 pts), #11 Batavia (213 pts), and #8 Lyons Township (258 pts).
The Mustangs were led again by Brenna Cohoon (So) who placed 11th out of 319 runners in a great time of 17:43. Brenna challenged an accomplished field of runners, running between 8th and 10th most of the race. Although she was passed by 1 runner right at the finish line, Brenna's emergence as one of the state's top runners really gives the Mustangs an important piece of the puzzle. Becky Versaskas (Jr) continues to show great improvement as our #2 runner and is running with much more confidence. Becky finished 22nd overall and led our pack most of the way through the 3.0 mile course, finishing in 18:18. The 'pack' has become the DGS calling card and the strength of our team. Saturday was no different, as 4 more Mustangs finished within 5 seconds of each other to secure our team score. Erin Reidy (So) finished in 28th in 18:27 fighting the heat of the day, but finishing very strong over the last 400m. Kennedy Warden (So) ran consistently within the pack to finish 30th in 18:31. She was followed by Melissa Weidner (Jr) who has made huge strides over the last 3 weeks to position herself in the midst of the pack. Melissa finished 32nd in 18:32. Our pack of 5 girls grew stronger on Saturday when Rebecca Diddia (Fr) pushed the total to 6 girls. Rebecca ran a huge PR and stayed with the pack the entire race, finishing in 33rd place in 18:32. We were able to run 10 girls in the varsity race, so joining the others were Olivia Duax (Jr) in 68th place with a time of 19:03, Kelley Hackbarth (Sr) who placed 113th in 19:31, Oliva Meyer (Fr) who finished 150th in 19:57, and Allison Calek (Jr) who placed 162nd in 20:05. Overall, 9 of the 10 varsity runners ran season best times. But more importantly, the team took another step towards establishing themselves as a trophy threat at the end of the season.
The remainder of the DGS team competed in the Open race in Peoria. The field was massive with over 800 runners competing in the 3.0 mile race. The Mustangs ran well finishing 7th out of 48 teams competing. Natalie Olsen (Sr) led the team with an impressive 19th place in 20:09. Julie LaLonde (Jr) was the next Mustang across the finish line as she finished 44th in 20:35. She was followed closely by Maya Scheck (Fr) in 47th place in 20:36. A pair of seniors rounded out the scoring for the JV team when Hailey Rodden (Sr) finished in 73rd place in 21:12 and Alyssa Taglia (Sr) crossed the line in 92nd place in 21:26. The Mustangs had 34 girls racing in the Open race and despite the heat and the enormous number of total girls, they all ran well with 13 of them running season best times.
The JV and FS girls will compete next on Monday, Sept.18 in a triangular meet hosted by Hinsdale South at KLM Park in Hinsdale. They will then race on Friday, Sept.22 at the Naperville Invite on the campus of Naperville North HS. The Varsity will be traveling to Minnesota to compete next in the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, Sept.23.