St. Charles East culls team theme behind Torree Scull

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Torree Scull has had a lonely feeling at the Class 3A girls cross country state finals the last two years.

The senior has been the sole representative for St. Charles East during the span after anchoring the Saints to a third-place tie as a freshman three years ago.

“I was disappointed my team couldn’t be with me,” she said.

But Scull had a junior year to remember. After hovering around All-State status her first two years, the Saints’ leader finished in the top 20 — despite running five seconds slower (17 minutes, 25) than she did as a sophomore in placing No. 29 the previous season.

But Scull seeks her fourth consecutive state appearance after a remarkable spring.

Scull, All-State at 800 meters as a freshman, was instrumental to the first track and field trophy in St. Charles East history by contributing a critical leg to the 3,200 relay squad that won state before she ened her season fourth in the open 1,600.

“What (Scull) did sealed third place for us,” St. Charles East girls track coach Tim Young said. “She was definitely a huge part of that day.”

“We were only a point behind (West Aurora) for second place,” Scull said.

“(The track coaches) were hoping for me to score a few points,” Scull said of overcoming illness to surge late in the 1,600. “When I ended up getting fourth, they were really happy for me.”

Mike Arenberg takes over the Saints’ cross country program after serving as an assistant last year. He knows he’s lucky to start with Scull.

“(Scull) is a big-time performer,” Arenberg said. “It is an overused term, but she is probably one of the most mentally tough athletes I have ever coached. We are looking for a top-10 finish at the state meet for her this year.”

Scull plans to compete in both running disciplines in college, but there are still unfinished matters for her fall activities.

“It was definitely an accomplishment to be All-State in cross country,” Scull said. “I had been trying for that since my freshman year. But I was disappointed [that] my time wasn’t faster.”

But Scull is a seasoned veteran to the dynamics of the state finals.

“The race always goes out differently,” Scull said of her three previous experiences.

Scull is hopeful the emergence of promising sophomore Hannah Ewald and the continued development of Jordan Luedtke and Anastasia Honea — also a member of the 3,200 relay championship quartet — will alter the Saints’ team fortunes this fall.

“We have a tough sectional ahead of us,” Arenberg warned.

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