WHY SHE WAS SELECTED:
Yorkville junior Helena Kleronomos won the race at the Class 3A Normal Community Sectional in 17 minutes, 54 seconds, leading the Foxes to the team sectional championship.
Kleronomos talked to sports editor Joshua Welge about the meet, the season and more. Here is an edited version of the transcript:
Welge: How would you evaluate how the team did at sectionals, particularly with the high standards you all have for yourselves?
Kleronomos: I don’t think we were exactly where we wanted to be timewise; the goals coach set, we didn’t hit them. It was disappointing to not be up to those standards, but the No. 1 goal was to get the sectional title. That’s what we worked for and we’re happy about that. I wasn’t too satisfied with my race, it could have been better, but having a win is a pretty good thing.
Welge: How were the conditions? They were pretty bad around here.
Kleronomos: It was pretty muddy. There were spots that you had to reroute a little bit. The footing was a little questionable, but other than that it wasn’t too cold. It was a little windy. Some of the hills were tough, but we got through it.
Welge: When you keep winning races like you have at conference, regionals and sectionals are you almost competing against yourself and your expectations?
Kleronomos: Oh yeah, for sure. I’m mostly competing against myself and where I was last year – me and Emily [Eberhart] and Kailey [Fox]. Not having competition is throwing me off. I don’t know where I am and it’s confusing at times. I felt strong during the race Saturday. I’m excited to be going up against some of the top girls in the state.
Welge: Do you feel the team is building toward a big finish?
Kleronomos: I think since regionals we have had a solid workout or two, fine-tuning things. I think we will peak and have one of our best races at state.
Welge: What’s preparation like this week?
Kleronomos: We are keeping our mileage pretty low. We have a mini workout and some hills, but that’s about it. We’re trying to have fun, not stress too much, do some team bonding. We played dodgeball the other day after a run.
Welge: What do you do to prepare for a race?
Kleronomos: I just like to listen to music. I try to get in a zone for a little while before going to the line. I don’t do too much talking. We have a little talk, say a little prayer and do a power scream, talk to each other a little bit just to reassure each other.