Through tears and blood, through rain and mud–they run


Palatine Girls MSL Champion Team

Rebecca Duran, Reporter

Having just concluded an epic conference MSL Division Championship, Palatine’s cross country teams have been at it again. They have spent the entire fall quarter battling through the highs and lows of the season and have come out on top.

Every day the team faces frustration, angst, and injury. It’s worth it in the end to these athletes. And they saw the fruits of their labors by bringing home the hardware this past weekend.

The Busse Woods Forest Preserve was swarming with runners and spectators alike on the cold and wet course last Saturday. You could feel the tension in the air. Then again, diamonds can only be made when the pressure is pushed to the max.

The girls teams managed to pull off an impressive triple crown sweep, not only in the team scores, but in individual performances as well. The triple crown refers to winning all three levels: Frosh/Soph, J.V., and Varsity.

This is the third year in a row the team has pulled this feat and the fifth time ever in Palatine High School history. No other school in the MSL division has ever accomplished this once.

The varsity race ended with a late push from junior Kelly O’Brien, she finished with a time of 17:52. She was followed closely by her scoring teammates and seniors, Amy Kieliszewski (17:59) and Megan Beach (18:15). All varsity racers placed in the top 25.

“Even though we got out too fast, we hung on and held our own. It was good to see everyone out there and ready to race,” said junior Sam Lechowicz.

The Frosh/Soph race concluded with an outstanding display of stamina and strength from Jaclyn Weeks and Izzeh Stankiewicz coming in with over a 400 meter lead on the next team.

The J.V.  team mustered the power to put junior Sabina Yosif in the lead with Rebecca Duran following close behind.

“I was really proud of the mid-pack runners stepping up,” said assistant coach Katie Sobol.

The coaches were pleased with the team. All of their hardwork and coaching was finally paying off. The Pirate tent raised at the meet stated “Pride in a Committment.” Pride indeed.

Palatine’s boys teams came out with an impressive effort as well. Varsity placed fourth in the conference meet, scoring lead runner Grahm Brown, racing a time of 15:29 and placing fourth. As well as Brian Leonard in eight place at a time of 15:36.

Final team scores amounted to Palatine coming out on top with 122 points, after a war with Prospect High School who placed third with a team score of 114.

Struggling through the difficult conditions of mud and rain requires a mental toughness few can truly comprehend. Many in the Frosh/Soph and open races set personal records as well.

Frosh/Soph team won the invite with a solid front pack. The boys have trained hard to work younger runners up to a position of scoring authority and confidence. This year has definitely been an impressive feat of growth for them. With goals to get and dreams to reach for, these cross country athletes refuse to give up.

Both teams have suffered their trials and struggles, but both intend to progress to the State Series, coming up this weekend. Regionals will be hosted at the second pavilion in Deer Grove East Forest Preserve.

With a division season winding down, a huge congratulations goes out to all cross country athletes. Way to put pride in Palatine High School, and good luck in coming weekends as the racing intensifies.