NXN Runners Up!
What a GREAT Season!
In another first in program history, the Huskies wrapped up an unprecedented team season with a runner-up finish on the sport's highest stage. The team ran a picture-perfect race on a soft, soggy Glendoveer Golf Course course in Portland. In a race run in a steady rain on a typical December Saturday in Oregon, the team moved its way through the field throughout the race to come a scant five points from 12-time champion Fayetteville Manlius High School out of New York. In a fantastic effort, Sarah Schmitt and Alex Morris finished 8th and 12th, respectively, both earning All-American recognition. Hannah Ricci was 34th as the third runner, while Megan Driscoll (71st) and Claire Hill (84th) completed the scoring while Audrey Mendrys and Maggie Gamboa ran very well in their first efforts in Portland to complete the team race. Claire was also recognized as the fastest fifth runner in the country!
The race in Portland was a fitting end to a season that began at the Camping Trip in August, hoping that this team could be a top-five team in the country. It was the effort of more than 80 dedicated runners that made this possible. Truly, congratulations to everyone -- athletes and parents alike -- for the incredible success of this season! Now, it's time to cheer on Sarah in San Diego next week and get our sights focused on track and an even better 2018!
NXR Midwest Champions!
In a first in program history, the team earned its seventh trip to the Nike Cross National Championships by winning the Nike Cross Midwest Regional Meet in Terre Haute, Indiana. On a cold, wet day at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course, the team ran an incredible race to win a very competitive meet. The team scored 85 points to win by 45 over an excellent Yorkville team. (Incidentally, it was a GREAT day for Illinois XC, as 7 of the top 10 spots were from the Land of Lincoln!) Sarah Schmitt's 5th place overall finish led the team, but she was followed closely by Alex Morris (10th place) and Hannah Ricci (14th). Claire Hill (56th) and Megan Driscoll (60th) completed the team scoring, with Audrey Mendrys (67th) and Maggie Gamboa (159th) completing the team effort.
In the Freshman-Sophomore race, the team finished a strong first led by Madeline Cody's impressive individual win. She was followed by Wagner Osborne (6th), Molly Morton (11th), Kate Donaldson (19th) and Claire Bruce (24th) to complete the decisive team victory. In the Open Race, Sophie Bruce's 40th-place finish anchored a 6th place team finish in a loaded, 40-team field featuring many full varsity teams. Jill Fitz (72nd), Sam Prazma (92nd), Shannon Jennings (100th) and Natalie Walsh (119th) closed out the scoring. Congratulations to EVERYONE on a TREMENDOUS day for our program! What heart and desire you all showed! As always, we are very proud of the effort you gave and the enthusiasm you showed, even as the rain fell. It was a great day to be a Huskie!
IHSA State Champions!
For the second consecutive year and eighth time ever, the team earned a state championship at Detweiller Park in Peoria. On a misty, wet muddy course, the team ran a very impressive race. Sarah Schmitt led the way with a fourth-place overall performance, and she was followed by Alex Morris a few seconds later in 7th. Hannah Ricci broke into the top 15 with her 14th place finish, and Megan Driscoll (39th) and Claire Hill (54th) completed the scoring. Audrey Mendrys (75th) and Maggie Gamboa (80th) ran tremendous races to close out the team effort. It was truly a great race, as the top five average is one of the very fastest of all time. In winning the race, they defeated a Yorkville team who also ran an excellent race on the day. Winning a state championship is always a special thing, and this year's accomplishment is the result of some very hard work by EVERYONE involved. Congratulations to the entire team. Your dedication and perseverance is truly inspirational! You are truly writing a wonderful new chapter in the history of our program!
IHSA Sectional Champions!
Saturday at Waubonsie Valley High School saw the season's first snow and plenty of mud to get us really into the fall weather! It also saw a fantastic team performance that earned us a spot on the starting line at the state championships next Saturday. The team performance featured a sweep of the top four places, with Sarah Schmitt winning the individual title in a course record time (no small feat given the muddy course conditions). Alex Morris, Hannah Ricci and Claire Hill finished 2-3-4, and Megan Driscoll ran a great race to finish 17th overall and close out the scoring. Audrey Mendrys and Maggie Gamboa finished 26th and 27th to complete the team effort. It was a really exceptional performance to launch us towards the state meet on Saturday this week! We hope to see lots of you there at Detweiller Park on Saturday!
IHSA Regional Champions!
The team traveled to Kress Creek Farm in West Chicago on a blustery Saturday afternoon to compete on the rolling, three-mile layout. The team ran a slightly-different line-up in the meet, and the result was a truly impressive performance. Hannah Ricci and Claire Hill went 1-2 to lead the team, and they were followed closely by Audrey Mendrys (4th), Megan Driscoll (6th) and Maggie Gamboa (8th) to complete the scoring, while Madeline Cody and Wagner Osborne completed the team effort on the day. While the blustery conditions made the running difficult at times, the team competed with heart and moved very well throughout. It certainly sets us up well to take another step this week at the IHSA Waubonsie Valley Sectional. We hope to see many of you there!
DVC Champions at All Levels!
After a weekend of wet weather, the team took to a soggy course at St. James Farm on a beautiful Monday afternoon. The team emerged victorious in all three races. The varsity team led off the day, scoring 22 points on a 1-4 finish from Sarah Schmitt, Alex Morris, Hannah Ricci and Claire Hill, respectively. Megan Driscoll's excellent finish to 12th place overall completed the team scoring, while Audrey Mendrys (15th) and Wagner Osborne (25th) completed the team effort. At the Freshman-Sophomore level, team earned a narrow, one-point victory over Naperville Central. The FS team was led by a 3-4 finish from Maggie Gamboa and Molly Morton. Claire Bruce (8th), Kate Donaldson (10th) and Alexa Betjemann (12th) completed the scoring, securing the win by the narrowest of margins. Finally, in the JV race, Sophie Bruce led Sam Prazma and Jill Fitz in a 1-2-3 finish, and the scoring was completed by great races from Natalie Walsh (5th) and Karen Hunter (9th) completed the scoring for a decisive win. Overall, the team really ran very, very well in spite of the distraction of a highly-unusual Monday meet. It was a great way to kick off Championship Season, and it will continue at the IHSA Regional on Saturday and at the Monster Dash next Tuesday at NNHS!
Twilight Varsity, JV, Open Champons; FS Runners-Up
On a beautiful night on our home course, the team ran exceedingly well in the 3rd Twilight Invitational held at NNHS. The Open Team was led by Mia Lagioia's runner-up finish to kick off the evening's events. Zoe Staggs (5th), Ava Chesnut (7th), Mya Mangan (13th) and Emma States (17th) completed the team scoring in the event. The Freshman-Sophomore team was led by Molly Morton's runner-up finish to a runner-up finish in the team race. Kate Donaldson (7th), Claire Bruce (10th), Haley Glowacki (13th) and Alexa Betjemann (19th) rounded out the team scoring for the team. The JV team was led to victory by a 2-3-4 finish from Sam Prazma, Jill Fitz and Natalie Walsh. Shannon Jennings (15th) and Karen Hunter (17th) completed the scoring.
As the full moon rose over the course, the varsity team took the course for the final race of the evening. In a loaded field, Sarah Schmitt and Alex Morris led the team in second and third, while Hannah Ricci (7th), Claire Hill (15th) and Wagner Osborne (30th) completed the scoring to earn a hard-fought win over several excellent teams who also ran well on the night. What made the night even better were the numerous all-time PR's on a relatively-cool evening, in great competition on a course that (finally) ran pretty fast. Congratulations to everyone on a GREAT performance!
Griak Champions! Varsity 6th at Naperville Invite; JV and FS both Runners-Up
The weekend for our team is best characterized by perseverance and patience in the face of significant weather issues. On a weekend that saw record high temperatures both in Naperville on Friday and in Minneapolis on Saturday, the team had to adjust its race plan to perform at its best both days. The results were truly impressive. The varsity team at the Griak Invitational at the University of Minnesota moved from far back in the field to squeak out an impressive victory against great programs from California (Great Oak) and from Minnesota (Wayzata). Sarah Schmitt's 4th place finish led the charge, and she was followed closely by Alex Morris in 10th. Hannah Ricci, Claire Hill and Wagner Osborne completed the team scoring while Megan Driscoll and Madeline Cody competed the top seven for the day.
At the Naperville Inivte, held on our home course, the varsity team was led by Audrey Mendrys and Maggie Gamboa in 20th and 21st overall, as they led the team to a 6th place finish in a race that featured six teams ranked in the top 25 in the state. Molly Morton (30th), Jill Fitz (32nd) and Sam Prazma (33rd) completed the scoring, as Julia O'Dekirk completed the team effort. In the Freshman-Sophomore race, the team moved very well in the last mile to finish a strong second. They were led by Kate Donaldson, Nora Fitzgerald, Vanessa Lee and Maggie Moore all in the top ten. The JV team finished similarly, and Karen Hunter, Natalie Walsh and Shannon Jennings all finished in the top ten.
Congratulations to everyone on a GREAT team performance! Everyone throughout the team really performed incredibly well under very difficult conditions. We have a week off of competition this week, so it is a good chance to train hard, take care of ourselves, and to improve!
First to the Finish Champions at Both Levels!
The first experience for the 2017 team on the state meet course could not have gone much better on a beautiful and increasingly-warm Saturday afternoon as both the varsity and open teams earned victories against dozens of the best teams in the state. At the varsity level, Sarah Schmitt and Alex Morris finished 2-3 in the large field to lead the team, and they were followed through the chute by Wagner Osborne (25th), Claire Hill (26th) and Sophie Bruce (27th) to complete the scoring. Madeline Cody, Megan Driscoll, Audrey Mendrys, Alexa Betjemann and Molly Morton completed the decisive team effort for the varsity team.
In the Open Race, Jill Fitz' victory led a miniscule 19-point score. She was followed by Julia O'Dekirk (3rd), Maggie Gamboa (4th), Sam Prazma (5th) and Claire Bruce (6th) for a near-perfect team effort. In both races, the girls ran the team race plan to near-perfection, discovering along the way areas to improve as we near the end of September! We now have a week off of racing as we prepare for the Naperville Invite and our trip to Minnesota!
Varsity, FS Win at Pleasant Valley; JV is 2nd
The team took to the course at Crow Creek Park in Bettendorf, Iowa on Saturday for the first time in live competition for the 2017 season. The result was two first place finishes -- at the FS and Varsity levels -- and a runner-up finish in the JV race. Sarah Schmitt's individual victory in the varsity race led the way, but she was followed by Alex Morris (3rd), Hannah Ricci (6th), Claire Hill (8th) and Sophie Bruce (14th) to complete the scoring. Wagner Osborne and Megan Driscoll completed the team effort.
In the freshman-sophomore race, Madeline Cody won the race and was followed by Audrey Mendrys (2nd), Alexa Betjemann (3rd), Molly Morton (4th) and Maggie Gamboa (5th) completed the sweep of the team places to earn a perfect 15 points. Claire Bruce and Julia O'Dekirk finished 6-7 as well.
In the JV race, Jill Fitz (6th) led the way. She was followed by Shannon Jennings (7th), Natalie Walsh (9th), Karen Hunter (11th) and Sam Prazma (14th) to complete the team scoring. In all three races, the girls ran tremendously well on a very tough course. It was a beautiful morning, and times were excellent considering the difficulty of the course. We now turn our attention to our first chance to run on the Illinois State Meet course at Detweiller Park on Saturday. Let's have a GREAT week!
Avocontrol Wins the Intrasquad!
In our first opportunity to experience the NNHS Race Plan, the team was divided into 11 full teams, and the result was a creative, competitive, fun day of racing at Blackwell Forest Preserve. Avocontrol was led by Sarah Schmitt's individual win to a victory, amassing 112 points. The lone individual award was earned by the top fifth runner, Annie Bieber, who at 38th place led Let's Get Krafty to a third-place overall finish. Let's Get Krafty also took home the award for the best team name.
The meet, as usual, gave everyone a chance to experience the race plan and to experience the normal dynamics of a cross-country meet. With a tie (for 6th place) and close races throughout, we certainly met those objectives, and we are in a place from which we can grow and improve as the year progresses. It was obvious from our performance yesterday what a tremendous team effort it takes to be successful in cross-country! Thank you to all the girls for their tremenous effort, and for a record-setting group of parents who were there for support. We now turn our sights to our trip next weekend to the great state of Iowa, where we will see some of the top teams in the Midwest! Let's have a GREAT week!
Great Lakes Relay!
The team returned on Sunday from the Great Lakes Relay in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Through two days (Friday and Saturday), the girls collectively covered nearly 700 miles of rugged, hilly, sandy and beautiful remote territory, often along Lake Superior. It was a chance to meet incredible challenges, to work together, to grow and to build a team. The girls that ran at GLR performed with courage and resilience all weekend long, and the lessons learned will serve them well as they approach the coming season. Congratulations to everyone who went on this very special trip! It was a real pleasure to watch each of you work well together!
Upcoming Stuff to Know...
Click HERE to go to the schedule page for all the upcoming dates and times to know...
Congratulations to our individual All-Americans! Sarah Schmitt was 8th at both Nike and at Footlocker Nationals, and Alex Morris was 12th at Nike!
Thinking Ahead to the Summer of 2018...
Summer Camp will be at North Central College from June 11th through July 27th
The Great Lakes Relay will be the weekend of July 20-22nd.
Please check back here periodically as we approach spring for updates as summer information becomes available. Parents -- if you would like to be on our XC e-mail list, please e-mail Mr. Iverson. If you know of any family who is interested and should be on the list, please also send that information as well!
Landscaping the Cross Country Course!
We need YOUR help to landscape our course on campus at NNHS. We hope to do our first installation late this spring or early in the summer, so that, by the time Twilight rolls around again, the course will look increasingly like the cross-country paradise we want it to be!
HERE is the listing of needed plants. HERE is the up-to-date list of what has been dontated. HERE is the overall plan.
If you are interested, please e-mail Mr. Iverson ASAP to pledge your plant. Checks can be made to "NNHS" and delivered to the Athletic Office.
Are you getting enough IRON?
CHEAP, ACCESSIBLE FERRITIN TESTS!!!
The local agencies who have made it possible to get ferritin tests without going first to the doctor have now changed their policies so that they will not test people under 18. One organization, Accesa Labs, does provide an option to request the test on-line. You need to sign up for an account, requesting the test and the reason for it (i.e. she is a distance runner concerned that her iron stores are healthy). Apparently, this is now working well, so please go for it!
Of course, you always have the option of going straight to the doctor but, in the absence of symptoms, sometimes primary care physicians are reluctant to order that test. I would still argue that regular ferritin tests are extremely important for young women runners to obtain.
Please check out this letter from Mr. Iverson on regular serum ferritin tests... HERE is a Guide that allows you to track the amount of iron you're getting in food regularly! PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THIS!!!
Athletes and parents -- It is a good thing to remind us each of the importance of iron in our diets. Anemia is a common affliction that runners can face. Anemia is the lack of iron in the blood. When one's blood is iron-poor, it robs the red blood cells of the ability to carry oxygen to the muscles. This causes significant and sometimes severe fatigue and, at minimum, makes it impossible to perform as a runner at anything like your best. Therefore, it is best to make sure that your diet includes a tremendous amount of natural iron ALL THE TIME.
CANVAS -- Get your logs in!
Canvas logbooks will be expected to be turned in throughout the summer. IT IS MANADATORY IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE SUMMER T-SHIRTS. Freshmen will be given their logins during the first week of camp. This will be a great way to track your progress, and it is an important habit to get into. We anticipate no further major issues with Canvas, but should one occur, a copy of the season log can be found here in case you need it. If you absolutely cannot submit via Canvas, you may do it over e-mail. LOGS ARE DUE BY SUNDAY NIGHT OF EACH WEEK!
Follow Mr. Iverson on Twitter (@iversondan) for real time updates to the season calendar as they happen. They will be posted here, too.