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There was incredible excitement Saturday when Mooseheart freshman Alyssa Perry cruised across the finish line at the Class 1A Lisle Regional in sixth place overall and assured herself a spot in the Oct. 28 Lisle Sectional.
Further happiness awaited the Red Ramblers, who learned when the team scores were tabulated. Mooseheart placed sixth, which meant the entire team advanced to the sectional. This marks the first time in the program’s four-year history that any girls cross country runners have qualified for a sectional meet.
“It is exciting for us. The girls will all benefit from having an extra week of practice. I said the first year I coached that it takes time to build this up, and we’ve reached that point. All of them did great,” Mooseheart girls cross country coach Ann Price said.
Perry ran a solid race. She broke toward the front, established herself in the leading group of runners, and moved to the top half-dozen runners within the first mile. She stayed in that spot, moving a little up and then a little back, throughout the three-mile competition.
“I think we can fine tune how she’s done. She’s had this great mindset ever since I was introduced to her and she said, ‘I’m going to be in your team someday,’” Price said.
Immaculate Conception’s Frankie Chaidez easily won the race in 19:06, 51 seconds ahead of Timothy Christian’s Hope Clark. Perry was sixth in 21:31, just faster than her personal-best.
“It’s awesome. I’m wondering now if I’m going to be able to make it to state,” Perry said.
Sophomore Jade Hennig was second across the finish line for Mooseheart, finishing in 26:27. Kenea Romero (28:26) and Marian Lozano (28:27) and Amanda Jones (30:28) recorded the five finishes that accounted for the Ramblers’ 142-point total. Timothy Christian scored 29 points to win the team title over Immaculate Conception.
The girls sectional race begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Lisle High School, which is located at 1800 Short St. in Lisle. The top five teams and the top seven runners to finish who are not part of a qualifying team advance to the Nov. 4 state meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria.