The last half mile of the Class 3A state cross country meet last Saturday, Batavia senior Quintin Lowe had one final push.
“I think going in to the last half mile, I was sitting at 23rd or 24th,” Lowe said. “I felt like I had a little bit left in me, so kind of made a push that final stretch and it went pretty well.”
Lowe ultimately finished 20th individually, the highest placing individual in the 3A boys meet within the Kane County Chronicle coverage area.
“I was kind of disappointed because I let a kid pass me at the very end,” Lowe said. “Other than that, I felt it went pretty good for me.”
For Lowe, the All-State finish represented a vast sea-change from one year ago. Lowe finished 119th.
“Last year was definitely a big disappointment for me,” Lowe said. “I knew I had a lot in me and I could’ve been top-50 or something like that. The nerves got to me in my first state experience. Going into this year, I kind of wanted to right that wrong pretty much and do whatever I can to place as high as possible. Definitely getting sick earlier this year threw a wrench in the plan, but I focused on the end result at the state meet, and it definitely helped me get through.”
“Going into the state meet, I just wanted to put it all out there to hopefully get all-state,” Lowe continued.
St. Charles East’s boys team finished 24th. Saints junior Oscar Frontjes was their top placer with a 16:15.63.
In the Class 3A girls meet, Batavia senior Lilly Bednarek placed 75th individually with a 19:05.76 finish and freshman Madeline Cassidy followed with 19:07.62 and placed 80th.
St. Charles East senior Eleanor Clark had the Saints’ best individual finish with 19:15.07 and placed 94th individually. Junior Marley Andelman was 96th for 19:16.45. Morgan Sandlund had a 19:31.83 for 119th individually. The Saints as a team finished 22nd.
Geneva freshman Sofia Borter was 78th individually with a 19:06.53 finish.
In the Class 2A boys meet, Kaneland sophomore Evan Nosek finished seventh at state with a 15:38.31.
Rosary took third as a team in the Class 1A meet. It is the program’s best-ever finish as a team in seven times the team qualified. The piece of history also came on the Royals’ 30th anniversary season as a program.
“It was pretty awesome to experience from a coaches standpoint,” Royals coach Vic Mead said. “I wasn’t really expecting it. Part of was saying ‘if we could do top five, that would be great’. Then, when you look up at the scoreboard, and you saw third place, I took a breath and went ‘Oh, my goodness’. So satisfying.”
Chiara Surtz, the sister of former Royals star, Lianna, had their best individual finish with a 18:15.75 to place 16th. Olivia Kunio (18:49.81), Vivian Wyller (19:03.91), Natalie Goettsch (19:38.72), Ana Hathaway (20:46.85), Ameila Whitacre (21:33.38) and Jade Ochoa (25:10.72) rounded out their team scores.
The Royals had the making of a state-caliber complete team dating back to the summer and sustained that throughout the season.
“At the beginning of the year when we saw Chiara and Natalie, they’re best buds, they put a good summer in,” Mead said. “Olivia, she had run over the summer, too, and last year she got injured our third meet...during track [last year] she started to make strides. [We turned a corner as a team] it might’ve been after our first meet because either of those top four ran really decent at the Yorkville Invitational and there were a couple of decent schools there.”
“...We kind of saw right off the bat that we’re going to have a strong four and then it was all ‘who is going to be our fifth runner?’,” Mead said. “Hathaway ended up our fifth runner and she wasn’t on varsity last year. She made a lot of improvement and kind of stepped it up for us.”