The DGS Girls Cross Country team had a great performance at the John Kurtz 'Early Bird' Invitational hosted by Fenton HS on Saturday. The varsity team dominated the competition by scoring only 32 points to take 1st place out of 23 teams. The Mustangs were led by Brenna Cohoon (So), who placed 1st overall in 18:09. Brenna took sole possession of the lead by the first mile mark, and never looked back. She was followed by 4 more teammates finishing in the top 10 with equally amazing performances. Becky Versaskas (Jr) ran a great race to finish in 6th with a time of 18:35. She was followed closely by Erin Reidy (So) in 7th (18:41), and Kennedy Warden (So) in 8th (18:45). Melissa Weidner (Jr) completed the scoring with her 10th place finish in 18:50. Olivia Duax (Jr) was close behind our scoring pack in 15th place with 19:04. Gillian Thomas (Sr) was the final Mustang finisher, running 19;32 for 31st place out of a total of 156 runners. As was the case last season, the strength of this DGS team will be its ability to pack together the scoring runners. Yesterday's 1-5 split was 40 seconds. If that split continues to improve, the Mustangs will be extremely competitive with all of the top Illinois teams. It won't take long to test out that theory as DGS travels to Peoria next Saturday for the First to the Finish Invite. The field in Peoria will include the majority of the top 10 ranked teams in state.
The Frosh-Soph team placed 5th out of 21 teams at Fenton. Although the team finished was slightly disappointing, there were some outstanding individual performances. Following Brenna's lead from the varsity race, Rebecca Diddia (Fr) took 1st place out of 234 runners! Rebecca took charge from the gun, and pushed the pace through the first mile to build a 5 second lead. She was able to stay ahead of the chase pack and reach the finish chute with a time of 19:08. Olivia Meyer (Fr) ran a strong race to finish in 13th place in 20:10. The remaining scoring runners were led by Meghan Stapleton (Fr) who finished 29th in 21:23. Marlo Rachie (So) and Renee Nicholson (Fr) finished with identical 21:52 times in 41st and 42nd places. The 1-5 split for the F/S team was 2:44. The time must drop significantly to be in contention in larger meets.
The JV team had the final race, and faced the toughest conditions of the day with the weather getting warmer all day. The team smartly when out a little more conservative in the first mile and picked up the pace as the race continued. While there were no official team scores, The Mustangs easily outdistanced all of the competition by placing 5 runners in the top 9. Allison Calek (Jr) completed the DGS individual trifecta by taking 1st place overall out 252 runners in 20:10. Allison ran a great tactical race, moving from 3rd up to 1st throughout the first 2 miles, and bravely holding off two Vernon Hills runners behind her. Kelley Hackbarth (Sr) also moved up throughout the race, eventually finishing in 4th place in 20:32. Kelley was followed closely by Julie LaLonde (Jr) in 6th with 20:38. Natalie Olsen (Sr) and Riya Bhasin (Sr) rounded out the scoring with 8th and 9th places finishes with 20:58 and 20:59, respectively.
Full meet results and be found on the Athletic.net website. Individual splits/times can be found on our Schedule/Results page. Pictures from the races and the awards ceremony can be found on the Pictures/Video page. This was the first time DGS has won all 3 individual races in a large invitational meet. Congratulations to Brenna, Rebecca, and Allison for making that happen. While those individual races were very exciting, we are even more excited for the potential of our team places in the upcoming weeks!