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