Girls Cross Country: Lockport packs up for regional win

Story Image Start of the girls IHSA Lockport 3A Regionals cross country race held at Dellwood Park Lockport, Illinois on Saturday, October 20, 2012. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Story Image

Updated: October 20, 2012 6:54PM

With its top runner sidelined for the rest of the season with a leg injury, Lockport regrouped in time to win the Porters’ Class 3A regional Saturday at Dellwood Park.

Bianca Wiemeyer, Kimberly Johnson, Taylor Stortz and Courtney Correa finished fifth through eighth and Emmie Hahn was 12th as first-place Lockport (38) outran Neuqua Valley (48) despite the loss of Haley Beaumont, who led the Porters to the SouthWest Suburban Blue title a week earlier.

“This group did a stellar job without her,” Lockport coach Evon Marie Schlotter said. “They’re still running tight as a pack. We just don’t have a lead runner ahead of the pack.”

Wiemeyer (5th, 19 minutes, 48 seconds), Johnson (6th, 19:51), Stortz (7th, 19:55), Correa (8th, 19:57) and Hahn (12th, 20:19) scored for Lockport.

“I stepped up and was a leader,” Wiemeyer said. “In the beginning of the year we never thought we’d come this far. We showed everyone we could make it as a team.”

Oswego’s Kelsey Hjorth, 13th in last year’s state meet, finished first (19:21) ahead of teammate Ashley Golembeski and two Neuqua Valley runners.

“I wanted to be behind the lead pack,” Wiemeyer said. “I knew I needed to try to catch them and close the gap between them.”

“I think in the start we were a little bit further back than we should have been, but I think we did a good job of moving up as a pack and sticking together,” Johnson said.

Fifth-place Plainfield Central (143), sixth-place Plainfield East (150) and seventh-place Plainfield North (172) also qualified for the Marist Sectional.

“The season is going really, really well,” Plainfield Central coach Jenna Zayid said. “The girls have been running out of their minds. They all stepped up today.”

Plainfield Central’s top five were Emily Vihnanek (14th), Nicole Pease (15th), Emma Fleck (26th), Sarah Meadors (40th) and Emily Kibler (48th).

“I knew it was a hard course, so I just pushed as hard as I could,” Pease said.

Plainfield East’s qualifying team was Cindy Vazquez (21st), Hannah Gutierrez (23rd), Vivian Medrano (30th), Daniella Medrano (37th) and Taylor Cogdell (39th).

Plainfield North’s qualifying team was Rachel Lau (25th), Catherine Crosson (29th), Maggie Kennedy (36th), Ashley Castillo (38th) and Comet Blecha (44th).

Plainfield South’s Kayla Rice (19th) was the top individual qualifier, followed by Bolingbrook’s Naomi Mitts (27th)

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