Girls Cross Country: All-Staters put Sandburg ahead of the pack
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media August 29, 2013 9:30PM
Sanburg's Grace Foley. | File photo
Cross Country 2013
1. Sandburg: Two All-Staters, senior Carly Krull and sophomore Grace Foley, are back to lead the way. Newcomer Meghan Mokate joins Jacquelyn Schirmacher, Renee Letz and Annie Lebert from last year’s state meet team.
2. Lockport: Junior Haley Beaumont is back after missing 2012 state series because of injury. Promising freshman Morgan Bollinger joins Bianca Wiemeyer, Aubrey Elwood, Emmie Hahn, Madeline Rodriguez and Taylor Latta.
3. Lincoln-Way Central: Five return from state meet: Elizabeth Venezio, Mallory Johnson, J.J. Robinson, Taylor Martinez and Heidi Killinger. Seniors Lisa Meister and Bridget Sullivan and freshmen Madison Smith and Jenna Diers will contribute.
4. Lincoln-Way East: Class 3A 800-meter finalist Alyssa Vogt back after missing last season (stress fracture). State returnees Kristy Dertz, Anna Conboy, Kendall Nepote and Angie Bravo have experience. Watch for freshman Moira Murphy.
5. Illiana Christian: Seniors Alexa Beezhold (15th in Class 2A meet last year), Alex Clausing, Emma Pawlowski and Monica Smits, sophomores Brittany Groen and Elyssa Patricks and junior Rachel Smits should be a strong pack.
(in alphabetical order)
Haley Beaumont, Lockport, Jr.; Alexa Beezhold, Illiana Christian, Sr.; Abby Casey, Lincoln-Way North, Soph.; Grace Foley, Sandburg, Soph.; Claire Gagen, Lemont, Soph.; Emmie Hahn, Lockport, Jr.; Mallory Johnson, Lincoln-Way Central, Sr.; Carly Krull, Sandburg, Sr.; Ann Marie Leonard, Marist, Sr.; Renee Letz, Sandburg, Jr.; Emma Pawlowski, Illiana Christian, Sr.; Madeline Rodriguez, Lockport, Sr.; Jacquelyn Schirmacher, Sandburg, Sr.; Elizabeth Venezio, Lincoln-Way Central, Jr.; Bianca Wiemeyer, Lockport, Sr.
Updated: October 1, 2013 6:12AM
High school cross country in 2012 was new to Carly Krull and Grace Foley. Krull had been a swimmer her first two years at Sandburg while Foley still was at Jerling Junior High in Orland Park.
When the diminutive duo met in Sandburg cross country gear, Krull was a junior with a change of heart about her sport and Foley was a freshman with a change in distance to run from two miles to three.
Krull’s take on a new sport: “I just didn’t love swimming as much anymore. When I was little I really loved the sport, and I was really good at it.’’
Foley’s take on a new distance: “It was hard at the beginning because you would run your two-mile pace and think, ‘Shouldn’t I be done now?’ ’’
Starting their final season together, not only are the two runners standouts for a traditional cross country power, they’re the Southland’s top returnees from the 2012 Class 3A state meet.
Krull and Foley both earned All-State status at Detweiller Park in Peoria. A dehydrated Krull finished 15th in 16 minutes, 58 seconds and Foley was right behind her in 17th (17:01).
“I told myself that I felt fine, but I didn’t feel right,’’ Krull said. “Through the race my legs got heavy and they don’t feel like that normally.’’
Preventing rather than having to deal with dehydration is part of the learning process for Krull in her new sport.
“She’s got the aerobic capacity. It’s getting used to the running and learning when to rest and how to take care of herself,’’ Sandburg coach Jenn Genslinger said. “It’s a slightly different beast than swimming.’’
The 5-foot-3 Krull already has the 2012 SouthWest Suburban Blue and Marist Sectional titles to her credit. More of those kind of performances are likely this season.
“I need to learn to back off and go easy when I need to, but keep my hard days hard,’’ Krull said. “I’m learning.’’
So is Foley.
“In junior high, workouts were like, ‘Run to that tree and back,’ ’’ she said. “The Sandburg coaches were a big help, and just the training in general made the transition easier than I was expecting.’’
Foley was conference runner-up in 2012 and took fifth in the sectional meet at Midlothian Meadows, where Sandburg was second to Downers Grove South.
“Freshman year it was take it as it comes,’’ she said. “Now I’m setting goals for myself, to break 17 minutes because that’s what I was at state. Just little goals to work toward over the course of the season.’’
Having graduated just one runner from the team that finished 13th at the 2012 state meet, Sandburg has the foundation to move up.
“I feel we’ll definitely be a better team this year,’’ Foley said.