LWC Girls XC Places 4th at Sectionals, Qualifies Team for State
The Lincoln-Way Central girls cross country team took 4th place at the IHSA 3A Normal Sectional on Saturday. The Knights qualified their entire team for the 3A State Finals next Saturday at Detweiller Park. While heavy rains and snowfall prevented the course from being as fast as it normally is, the Knights ran well. From the gun, Colleen Erdman got out strong which set the tone early on. With the course being rerouted due to mud and standing water, it was a necessity that we get out hard at the start. Rachel Baumgartner and Merrigan Allen followed Colleen’s lead. Rachel steadily progressed her way up through the pack until she got inside the top 10. Rachel always runs extremely smart races and it paid off with her finishing in 10th place and being All-Sectional. Merrigan also did a great job getting out smart. She was picking people off all the way to the finish. Merrigan should have a ton of confidence going into the State meet as she was still chasing people down with 400 to go. Allen finished 6th overall and was also All-Sectional. Merrigan, a junior, has now qualified for State in cross country and track in every single season of her high school career. Lexy Sams has been huge for the team the last 3 weeks. After battling injury all season, she has come on at the right time of the year. Lexy finished 39th overall and put herself ahead of our competition at the Sectional meet. There was no quit in her the entire race and it paid off. Freshman Emma Olson stepped up huge as our 4th runner today. Two weeks ago she was running fresh-soph at Conference. Emma stayed with Lexy nearly much the entire race and put herself and her team in a spot to qualify for State. Colleen Erdman dropped back some during the middle part of the race, but with a team State qualifying spot on the line she dug deep and battled back. Shea Martin, another freshman, stuck with our 3-5 pack from the gun. Even though she fell back some, Shea also did a great job putting herself of other team’s 4 and 5 runners. Catherine Ihrke fought through stomach issues and we’re looking forward to seeing what she can do at the State meet next weekend.