Girls Cross Country: Naperville North runs in a pack to state titleNaperville North's Elly DeTurris runs in the girls Class 3A cross country state finals on Saturday, November 3, 2012, in Peoria. DeTurris was the first of three Huskies over the line in the top 25 to help the team to the state title. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 3, 2012 8:39PM
PEORIA - There was no shortage of talented individuals in Illinois girls cross country this fall.
Two of them, Glenbard West’s Madeline Perez and York’s Emma Fisher, broke the Detweiller Park course record Saturday in the Class 3A state final.
But when it came to a group effort, no one could match Naperville North.
The Huskies bunched their top five finishers within 38 seconds and won their fifth state title, 113-133 over runner-up Lake Park. Glenbard West (138) and defending champ New Trier (147) were close behind in the four-way battle for first.
The teams with the front-runners might have drawn more attention this fall. That was fine with sophomore Elly DeTurrris, who was one of North’s three all-staters.
“We don’t really pay attention to the rankings,” DeTurris said. “We just go out there and push each other and just give it our all and see how it turns out.”
It turned out as well as coach Dan Iverson, who has four state titles in 17 seasons, could have expected.
“Given how we developed, I thought this was a possibility,” he said. “We hadn’t seen Lake Park or Glenbard West or Palatine (which was fifth). When that’s the case, you never quite know. I felt like if we ran the way we ran today, I would be fine taking our chances.”
DeTurris paced the Huskies, finishing 14th in 16 minutes, 57 seconds for three miles. Also making all-state were junior Maria McDaniel (21st, 17:04) and freshman Judy Pendergast (23rd, 17:09). Senior Kimber Meyer (46th, 17:34) and freshman Kate Shannon (47th, 17:35) completed the Huskies’ top five.
It was vintage Huskies, according to DeTurris,.
“Pack running is something that Naperville North is very good at,” she said.
So is saving the best for last, apparently.
“They all performed at the high end of the expectations, especially the top five,” Iverson said. “Lifetime bests for everybody.”
Naperville Central finished 16th in the 25-team field with 369 points. Sophomore Katie Hoffman led the Redhawks, finishing 37th in 17:27. Next came junior Ruta Raulickis (92nd, 18:02) and sophomore Rachel Hoffman (97th, 18:05).
Metea Valley junior Kendall Cast was 38th in 17:28, while Benet senior Audrey Blazek finished 72nd (17:52). For Neuqua Valley, freshman Julia Pena took 84th (17:57) and junior Claire Costelloe was 94th (18:02).