Daniella Bumber, Henry-Midland, so.: The 2023 NewsTribune Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year is a sprinter-turned-distance runner who built upon a strong freshman season by qualifying for state this fall. She got there by placing fourth in the Class 1A Seneca Regional (21:16.2) and 11th in the Oregon Sectional (20:32.41). At state, she placed 62nd in 18:59.89. Bumber won the Lowpoint-Washburb/Roanoke-Benson Invite, placed second in the Tri-County Conference Meet, eighth in the Kewanee Invitational and 10th in the Prairie Central/Pontiac Invite.
Anya De La Luz, La Salle-Peru, sr.: De La Luz finished her career with another strong season. She placed second in the Plano Invite and seventh in the La Salle County Invite. De La Luz finished 23rd in the Class 2A Metamora Regional (20:22.6) and ended her season by placing 57th in 21:42 in the Geneseo Sectional.
Payton Frueh, Princeton, fr.: Frueh had a successful debut season for the Tigresses. She placed fifth in the Erie-Prophetstown and Sterling invitationals, was 10th in the Rock River Run and finished 15th in the Three Rivers Conference Meet. Frueh was 11th in the Class 1A Seneca Regional (23:05) and 36th in the Oregon Sectional (21:51.94).
Ashlee Lord, La Salle-Peru, sr.: Lord capped her career in style by qualifying for state for the first time, placing 135th in 19:43.69 in the 2A meet. She finished 14th in the Metamora Regional (19:27.2) and 28th in the Geneseo Sectional (20:34.3). She won the Plano Invite, was runner-up in the La Salle County Invite and finished sixth in the Interstate 8 Conference Meet.
Clare Phillips, Fieldcrest, sr.: Phillips turned in one more solid season in her final year with the Knights. She was seventh in the Lowpoint-Washburn/Roanoke-Benson Invitational, 14th in the Herscher Invite and 15th in Princeton’s Gary Coates Invitational. She was 32nd in the Class 1A Peoria Notre Dame Regional (22:37.6) and 63rd in the Elmwood Sectional in a personal-best 20:38.51.