Girls Cross Country: OPRF runners Erin Schrobilgen, Haley Thompson ready for state

Updated: October 29, 2012 8:13PM

There are plenty of similarities between Oak Park-River Forest teammates Erin Schrobilgen and Haley Thompson.

Not only did the cross country runners turn in state qualifying performances Saturday, but the duo come from a soccer background instead of a running background to reach the Class 3A state meet Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria.

Schrobilgen, a junior, will make her third state meet appearance after finishing 81st as a sophomore and 61st as a freshman.

Thompson, a freshman, is following Schrobilgen’s path. She qualified for the state meet by taking 22nd (18:41.84) at the Niles West Sectional to earn the sixth of seven spots belonging to individuals not on a qualifying team. Schrobilgen (18:02.91) placed 12th to take the third individual spot.

Fenwick earned a pair of individual berths with sophomore Olivia Ryan (seventh, 17:27.89) and junior Briana Daley (14th, 18:23.80).

Thompson has never watched the state meet before and doesn’t know what to expect with the heavy crowds and hundreds of participants during the course of six races throughout the day.

“I’m really excited seeing it. I’ll be there for the experience,” Thompson said. “Erin will help. She knows [state] has been our main goal. She’ll help me.”

Thompson and Schrobilgen have become close friends and talk about soccer just about as much as running.

“We talk about all sports,” Thompson said.

Thompson plans on trying out for the OPRF girls soccer team in the spring instead of track and field, which many cross country runners compete in. Both Thompson and Schrobilgen play for the same club soccer team, Chicago Edge, during the offseason but competed for different age group teams.

Thompson did not become a major contributor on the varsity until the second half of the season and was the Huskies’ No. 2 runner in the West Suburban Silver meet Oct. 13.

At the sectional, OPRF placed sixth (198 points) to miss out on a top five team berth to state behind Maine South (138).

During the regular season, Thompson competed in the Frosh/Soph division during conference meets.
“I’m really surprised [about state],” Thompson said. “I’m happy that all the work during the season has paid off.”

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