Lake Forest hits preseason, postseason goals

SHARE Lake Forest hits preseason, postseason goals
SHARE Lake Forest hits preseason, postseason goals

Before the 2013 season, the Lake Forest’s girls cross country team set a goal to reach the Class 2A state meet.

The Scouts’ fourth-place finish at the Belvidere Sectional ensured that they would run Saturday at Peoria’s Detweiller Park. In the week leading up to the race, Lake Forest coach Steve Clegg said he thought his team had a “good chance” of being in the top 10.

He was right, as Lake Forest snagged the 10th spot in the team standings. Its score of 305 was just barely better than that of 11th-place Montini (308). Yorkville won the competition with a score of 104.

“Collectively, we had some really good races,” Clegg said. “By and large we had some pretty good performances.”

The top-10 finish was the Scouts’ first since 2004. That season, the team placed third.

What made Lake Forest’s day more distinguished is that the Scouts did not have a top-25 finisher. Senior Claire Yandell was the team’s highest placer (52nd in 18 minutes, 58 seconds), followed by junior Emma Allen (68th, 19:09) sophomore Nora Burgener (69th, 19:09), sophomore Kelsey Schmidt (114th, 19:40) and senior Gabrielle Simeck (118th, 19:48).

“We had people step up at times this season and the depth of the team is what got us [in the top 10],” Clegg said. “Kelsey had a terrific day, as did Emma and Nora. As a group we are really, really happy.”

Other Scouts finishers were sophomore Katie Condon (145th, 20:13) and freshman Haley Click (169th, 20:36).

Myers is all-state

For the second year in a row, Lake Forest’s boys cross country team sent one runner to the state meet. And for the second year in a row, the Scouts produced an all-state finisher.

Sophomore Mark Myers’ time of 15:23 was good for 24th. It was one spot above the top 25 cutoff for an all-state medalists. Last year Billy Bund, who is now at the Michigan, ran a time of 14:17.

“I thought he did fantastic, a testament to how he’s ran all year,” coach Nathan Sweet said. “He got himself in position at the first turn and just maintained [pace]. He ran another really smart race.”

Times were a bit slower than last year as warmer-than-normal temperatures in Peoria and winds blowing at 10-to-15 miles per hour created conditions that were less than ideal. But Myers didn’t let any of that bother him. In the race’s first 500 meters, he staked out a spot in the top 25, a position he never relinquished.

Myers is the fifth Lake Forest boys runner to earn an all-state medal. Before Bund last year, it had been 27 years since Lake Forest had a runner earn that honor (Jim Gibson in 1985).

Sweet said Myers has a chance of being as good, if not better, than Bund.

“Mark is definitely ahead of Billy compared to [their] sophomore year,” Sweet said. “From sophomore to senior year, Billy made amazing performance leaps. If Mark can follow that same line, who knows what that line is? He’s the one writing his own book.”

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