Joanna Podosek, Lane repeat as city champions

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Joanna Podosek exercised her own private demons. “The past couple of weeks I felt as though I hadn’t been competing,” she said. “Today I didn’t run my best time but I competed.”

The Lane senior defended her individual championship when she broke clear in the final 800 meters and defeated freshman teammate Maggie Scholle as the Indians won the Public League cross country championship.

Podosek navigated the course in 18:25.26, easing past Scholle (18:30.70) by a little more than five seconds. 

“Today I guess I raced,” she said. “The last few weeks, I’d been having trouble and racing all out. I just felt, this is senior year and I really wanted to win the championship again.”

Podosek and Northside’s Madison Weatherly (18:37.85), who finished third, jostled at the turn. Weatherly had defeated Podosek at the same course early in the month. 

“I don’t think there was a difference in me, effort wise,” Weatherly said. “I think the difference was her. When I beat her the last time, there were a lot more teams in between us, and the dynamic was different. I got out ahead of her. Her strategy is usually to come up from behind, because she’s a speedy runner.”

Coming off a hill on the final stretch, Podosek separated herself from the pack. “My strategy was just to be in the front, which is what I did,” she said. 

The cool, brisk weather, with little wind, was conducive to fast times. 

“What happened in the final kick, my teammate [Scholle] helped me there, because when you’re leading, you don’t think about anybody being behind you, but there were and I used that as motivation.”

A light young runner, Scholle said she took strategic hill. “When you’re up at the front, the race is almost all mental,” she said. “My coaches told me to stay with my two teammates and then run my race, and that’s what I did.”

Weatherly said she felt her legs lock up as she tried to maintain the pace of the two Lane runners. “Joanna is a really speedy runner, and she made that burst,” she said.

Podosek keyed a dominant Lane effort as the Indians totalling 37 points. 

Along with Podosek and Scholle’s 1-2 finish, freshman Roisin Mulkerrins also impressed taking fifth for the Indians. Junior Cailin Considine ended in 12th place and soccer star Asia Niforos, a junior in her first year running, finished in 17th place. Lane (37 points) easily outdistanced runner-up Northside (72), Young (88) and Payton (95).

Young star senior Margaret Zaharah finished in fourth to lead the Dolphins.

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