The Evanston girls and boys cross-country teams have been solid in previous seasons and are poised for another strong finish as they prepare for Regionals.
Some of the highlights from the boys team this year include taking first place in the Warren Invitational on Sept. 20. At the 14th annual Crete-Monee Pow-Wow on Oct. 4, they finished 9th out of 27 teams.
Matt Marol won the Championship Flight at the Pow Wow. Marol, who finished 78th at the State meet last year, is hoping for a top 20 finish this year. He also led the Kits to a split at Maine South, beating Niles West 38-23.
“He’s been real impressive, both his work ethic and how he approaches things”, said Head Coach Dave Phillips of Marol. He’s an all-state runner and we haven’t had an all-state runner in ten years. He’s positioned himself to be in the top 20 in state. I expect him to finish somewhere in the teens (at State)”.
“The team sees how he (Marol) gets there and he leads by example,” Coach Phillips said. Freshmen Elliot Chanen and Russell Williams go out and are right there with the (more experienced) varsity runners. Jamie Murdenger, Sean Klamm and Alex Finnegan (have) also done a real good job for us.”
Going into the Central Suburban League Championships on Oct. 18, Coach Phillips hopes the team turns in its best effort to make a move in the Regional rankings. “We’re the fourth seed, but we need to go in there and take third,” he said. “I expect everybody to come out like gangbusters and I hope the whole team catches fire.” Regionals are scheduled for Oct. 25 at Niles West.
On the girl’s side, the Kits finished 9th out of 20 teams on Sept. 6 at the Hinsdale South Invitational. On Sept. 20, they took 5th out of 18 at Warren Invitational. In the Savage Invite on Oct. 4, they took 3rd out of 18 teams. The team has an overall 3-2 conference record.
Coach Bill Albrecht said the team has been coming together in the last three meets and is looking for a strong finish.
Coach Albrecht attributes the solid performance of the team to the strong seasons had by Seniors Alex Lock, Allie Levine, Joey Herman and Kaitlin Roberts and by Juniors Marisa Weidner and Liz Sweeney.
“Weidner is a surprise,” Coach Albrecht said. “This is her first year on varsity and her times have improved throughout the year.” He points out that she was in the 23 minute range earlier and now she is near the 20 minute mark.
“Alex Lock has done a tremendous job for us,” he added. “She is so consistent. She’s outspoken and mild mannered, but when she gets on the course she just attacks.”
Coach Albrecht said one of the goals for this year was to have the team compete in the State finals. With the team coming together in the last three meets, “We have a legitimate chance to do that,” he said. The last time the girls cross-country team competed in the State finals was in 2005.