Girls cross country: Rosary's Surtz wins gold again in Peoria

  • Rosary's Lianna Surtz won the Class 1A state championship Saturday.

    Rosary's Lianna Surtz won the Class 1A state championship Saturday. Clark Brooks/PhotoNews Media

By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 11/6/2021 7:21 PM

PEORIA -- Lianna Surtz and Katrina Schlenker are not teammates,

Yet the two seniors from Batavia have left an indelible mark on the local girls cross country landscape over the last three-plus years.


Enjoying widespread success right away at their respective state meets as underclassmen, Surtz and Schleker, both of whom capped all-state freshman campaigns by qualifying for the Nike National Meet, had a final go at Detweiller Park on Saturday morning.

"She was winning state just as I was pulling in," Schlenker, the Batavia senior who was runner-up and third in the Class 3A state meet as an underclassmen said of Surtz after her virtual neighbor claimed a second Class 1A state title to augment a 1,500-meter state crown in Class 2A track. "I have known Lianna since sixth grade. I always run by her house on my cool downs. I am very proud of her."

Surtz tamed the three-mile layout in 17 minutes, 21.45 seconds to defend her championship from 2019.

"It means a lot to win (state titles) in both track and cross country," Surtz said. "I am happy to receive that honor."

But Surtz will cherish the Royals' third-place team trophy at the state track meet even more.

"That third-place trophy was very special," Surtz said.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

Four races later, Schlenker closed out her prep cross country days as the spearhead of an eighth consecutive team appearance by Batavia.

In a field loaded with Division-I recruits crowding the leaderboard, Schlenker clocked a 16:57.39 to snare the final top-10 berth.

"I am not destroyed by it," Schlenker said of her finish. "I am just proud of how far I have come. I thought I ran a pretty strong race. I am still taking it in. I am looking forward to track.

St. Charles East had the finest showing among the five local team entrants in 3A with its eighth-place showing (280 points).

Batavia was 11th (335), followed by Huntley (19th, 472), Jacobs (23rd, 501) and St. Charles North (24th, 503).

York (62) had four all-state athletes to dominate the team title with an 89-point victory over Prospect.

Crystal Lake South certainly had visions of greasing the Dukes' path in Class 2A.


Top-ranked entering the postseason, the Gators had their dream fall short as Grayslake Central secured a 148-162 triumph.

Bella Gonzalez was ninth to lead the Gators with her 17:31.4 clocking; Ally Machesky also earned all-state status by checking at the No. 15 slot.

"It's not disheartening at all," Gonzalez said of settling for team runner-up. "We tried our best as a team. That's all that matters."

Machesky echoed her teammate.

"I am not disappointed (with the team finish) at all," Machesky said. "I feel like we handled a lot this season."

Addie Frisch was the third CL South runner to garner all-state honors by snaring the 25th and final spot.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.