Yorkville won’t shy away from tough competition

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Two-time defending Class 2A cross country champion Yorkville certainly cannot be accused of loading up on cupcakes this fall.

For the second consecutive weekend, one week after colliding with some of the best girls teams in the state at Palatine, the Foxes continued their meat grinder of a schedule at the Wheaton North Falcon Classic in Warrenville last Saturday.

Skyler Bollinger, the Foxes’ top returning state finisher from last fall, was runner-up in the championship flight of the 33-school field under unseasonably harsh humidity and heat.

Instead of counting the top five runners in one large race, the team scores were determined by individual finishes in seven different heats.

“I’m really glad to run in this meet,” said Bollinger, who was bested only by New Trier junior Mimi Smith. “This is our first year coming here. [Our central goal other than the state series] is to qualify for Nationals at Nike. I think today was one of my better races of the year.”

Bollinger clocked one of the top times of the 200-plus competitors with a 17-minute, 25-second showing over the 2.95-mile layout at St. James Farm.

Senior Kelsey Leedy was eighth for Yorkville in the second flight, but Maddie Dearborn and Erin Reynolds further showcased the Foxes’ potential, not to mention collective youthfulness.

The two underclassmen had top-five showings in the third and fourth flights.

Dearborn, a freshman, was fourth in the third flight; Reynolds, one of the Foxes’ four returning all-staters, was fifth in the fourth flight.

“I think it is a good challenge,” Reynolds said of the field that included defending Class 3A champion Naperville North, preseason No. 1 Glenbard West and eventual team champion New Trier.

“It gives us a chance to experience a new of competition and make us better.”

Kiley Haug (fifth flight), Julia Schultz (sixth) and Kaelyn Scull (seventh) were the Foxes’ other participants.

Wilson leads Warriors

Waubonsie Valley was also in the girls-only field at Wheaton North.

The Warriors’ Allie Wilson had the best finish for the team as the senior was clocked in slightly under 18:43 to place 16th in the championship flight.

“I knew [going into the race] that a lot of those girls were all-state last year,” Wilson said. “I just wanted to stay with [the front-runners] as best I could. I felt like the first two and a half miles were strong.”

Wilson represents the backbone of the Warriors’ upperclass contingent, but freshman Cassie Tsagaris continues to impress at the other end of the grade spectrum.

Tsagaris has solidified her position as the Warriors’ second-best runner, acquitting herself admirably in the second flight, won by returning all-stater Lisa Luczak of Glenbard West.

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