Hinsdale Central edges defending Class 3A state champ Glenbard West

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HINSDALE — Hinsdale Central sophomore Alexa Haff found herself in an unusual position Thursday in a triple-dual meet against Glenbard West and Lyons.

She finished second.

Haff, the defending Class 3A state runner-up, did not place first for the first time this season when Glenbard West junior Lindsay Graham pulled ahead to set the course record of 16:35 at Legge Memorial Park.

Graham broke the mark set by Haff (16:52.7) at the season-opening Hornet-Red Devil Invitational Sept. 6. On Thursday, Haff clocked 17:02.

“In cross country, I have never beaten her before,” Graham said. “When I made my move, I thought I went out too early. With a half mile left, I thought it was a risky move.”

Hinsdale Central beat Glenbard West 25-30 and Lyons 15-46, while Glenbard West swept Lyons 15-50. Lyons’ top runner was Katie Hamor, who crossed 13th in 18:33.

The defending state champion Hilltoppers raced without senior Lisa Luczak, who continues to recover from an Achilles injury. Luczak was ninth in last year’s state meet and Graham was 16th. Glenbard West coach Paul Hass said he expects Luczak back for the West Suburban Silver meet Oct. 18 at York.

Hinsdale Central’s Anne Zaher finished third (17:16) and Reilly Revord came in fourth (17:38) in support of Haff.

“Obviously, Lindsay had a very good game plan,” Haff said. “I didn’t know Lisa was not going to run until five minutes before the race. Definitely, she would be up there if she ran.”

The Devils have off until the conference meet and Haff said she picked up an important lesson.

“Never underestimate your opponent,” Haff said. “I need to learn to not get caught up in the moment and have confidence. I was so confused because I didn’t know Lindsay was up there [near the lead].”

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