Just two days after taking second in the Decatur Invite the Champaign High cross country squad travelled to the southern end of the state and repeated the feat in the Highland Invitational placing second behind the host Highland High School in both the varsity and open divisions with 64 and 44 points respectively. The Maroons continue to demonstrate resilience as they not only had a short turn around from their last meet but endured unseasonably warm temperatures during the course of the race.
Senior Maaike Niekerk(7th, 20:46) continued to lead the way for the Maroons and established the program record on the Alhambra Community Park course. Jaylee Elsts(13th, 21:17), Maria Buzing(15th, 21:19) and Allison Hobson(17th, 21:26) are consistently in the 2-4 spots but have interchanged throughout the season; a testament to how closely packed they are and how willing they are to take command of the group when needed. Ellie Kim is quickly cementing herself as a member of the varsity group placing 23rd in a time of 23:05, a personal record on a challenging course. Rayleigh Law(32rd) was one of three athletes to run her season best time, covering the course in 23:37. Anna Sweet(38th, 24:26) helped to secure the team finish as a pusher, finishing well ahead of many other teams’ scoring runners and effectively elevating their score.
Darwyn Sly(26th, 24:40) led the open race for Champaign proving competitive against several male competitors in the coed open race and secured a season best time in the process. A trio of Central runners crossed the line consecutively, with Lauren Matthews(27:29), Zoe Lindgren(28:07), and Zoe Surles(29:30) taking spots 32-34 respectively. Susan Phillip was shortly behind Surles taking 37th in a time of 29:49. Caroline Bequette(38th) closed out the day for the Maroons running 32:00. The Maroons return to action on Saturday the 25th where they will compete in the East Peoria Invite.