Loyola Regional notebook: Loyola’s Kathryn House runs ‘good race’ in return from injury

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SKOKIE — In her first cross country race in almost a month, Loyola junior Kathryn House showed little signs of rust at the Class 3A Loyola Regional at Harms Woods.

House, who was out with a left calf injury, finished second in 18 minutes, 15.21 seconds on Saturday. New Trier senior Mimi Smith won the regional title in 17:18.21.

“I thought it was a good race for me,” House said. “I didn’t have a set place where I wanted to finish. I just wanted to be in control to see where I’m at.”

Loyola coach ChrisJon Simon said House, who finished 35th at the Class 3A state meet last season, had been balancing training and resting over the last several weeks. He said Saturday was a “hard training run.”

“Her fitness was never an issue, but we wanted to see how she did in competition,” Simon said. “I thought she had a good race.”

The Ramblers totaled 70 points and took second in the team standings to New Trier, which had 24 points. Senior Caroline Zaworski was Loyola’s only other runner in the top 10, placing 10th in 19:05.59.

Loyola will run Saturday at the Niles West Sectional. The top six teams at Harms Woods advanced to the sectional.

New Trier

New Trier coach John Burnside said Saturday was his team’s most complete effort of the season. Behind Mimi Smith’s victory, the Trevians placed all six of their girls in the top 11 at the regional, including four in the top six.

“It’s been a while since we’ve done something like that, so I was very pleased,” Burnside said. “That’s as well as we’ve run together all year.”

Sophomore Caroline Fix followed Smith — the defending Class 3A state champion who posted a time of 17 minutes, 18.21 seconds on Saturday — and finished fourth in 18:21.82. Burnside said Fix is someone who continues to drop time and move up in the standings.

“I keep wondering where her ceiling is,” Burnside said. “It was not her best time, but judging by the competition, this was her best race.”

Fix said she has felt the support of her teammates all season, and it’s helped her improve. The regional meet was just another step forward for her.

“I think my pacing was better, and my second mile was faster than it’s been,” Fix said. “It allowed me to catch up to other people.”

Freshman Savannah Noethlich (fifth, 18:35.47), junior Kelli Schmidt (sixth, 18:37.79), sophomore Molly Schmidt (eighth, 18:48.95) and sophomore Katie Glew (11th, 19:14.84) also competed for the Trevians.

Maine South

The Hawks edged out Glenbrook South by one point to take third with 93 points.

They did it with a tight pack that was led by junior Casey Bomrad’s 14th-place finish in 19 minutes, 23.79 seconds. The team’s fifth runner — sophomore Anna Seenarain — came in 23rd (20:09.07). Sophomore Maura Lally (17th, 19:35.22), freshman Olivia Niziolek (19th, 19:49.44) and sophomore Olivia Holmes (20th, 19:52.93) also contributed.

Glenbrook South

Freshman Lizzy Shaw paced the Titans to a fourth-place finish by taking ninth in 18 minutes, 55.28 seconds. Freshman Emily Noone (16th, 19:31.11) and junior Rose O’Grady (18th, 19:38.23) also posted top-20 finishes for Glenbrook South at Harms Woods.

Evanston

Sophomore Emma Dzwierzynski earned her second top-10 finish at a regional on Saturday by taking seventh in 18 minutes, 40.59 seconds.

The Wildkits advanced to the sectional after finishing fifth with 121 points. Freshman Sophie Levine took second among Evanston runners by placing 13th (19:23.32).

Niles West

Niles West senior Christine Mujica took third at the regional on Saturday, finishing in 18 minutes, 18.86 seconds, and helped the Wolves place sixth overall to snag the last qualifying spot for the sectional.

The results came with mixed emotions for Niles West coach Anne Heselton. She said that while her No. 1 runner was able to earn a top-three spot, she knows Mujica can perform better. Mujica spent most of her first mile keeping pace with New Trier’s Mimi Smith, who ultimately took first with a time of 17:18.21.

“Each week we try to change it up a little bit,” Heselton said of Mujica’s race strategy. “Every week, it’s a trial and error, so I don’t think today was a great race for her.”

Mujica had trouble crossing the finish line on Saturday, stumbling through the final few feet of the race. Heselton said Mujica has been battling asthma during races in high heat, and that could have been part of the problem.

“That being said, she’s a tough enough runner to finish out the race and still ran a fairly solid race,” Heselton said.

Nicole Camburn was Niles West’s next finisher. The junior placed 15th with a time of 19:26.55.

Glenbrook North

With their seventh-place finish, the Spartans did not earn one of the six team berths in the sectional. However, Glenbrook North runners earned four of the five entries to the sectional meet awarded to individuals not on qualifying teams.

Josey Hill, a junior, led the Spartans qualifiers with a time of 20 minutes, 25.97 seconds (30th place). Senior Dana Lee was Glenbrook North’s next finisher (20:36.45, 33rd). She was followed by freshman Emma Cintado (21:06.01, 38th) and senior Jordan Crane (21:12.89, 39th).

“Any time you get four kids to qualify, you know you ran a good race,” Glenbrook North coach Bob LeBlanc said. “We’re excited for them, it’s always hard to not make it as a team, but it’s great to get four of the five spots and we’ll train hard and do what we can in sectionals.”

Maine East

Jessica Cuevas, a senior, was the only Blue Demons runner to advance to the sectional. She finished 24th overall with a time of 20 minutes, 10.07 seconds.

Maine East placed eighth as a team.

Niles North

The Vikings placed ninth on Saturday. Sophomore Brittany Abrams was the team’s best finisher with a time of 21 minutes, 45.15 seconds (43rd place).

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