IHSA Sectional (10-28) Annabella Ramirez and Andy Esposito took different paths to get to the IHSA Sectional race at Lewis University. Andy was a freshman runner in 2021 and wasn't sure cross country was the sport for her. When she saw the family atmosphere of the team she dedicated herself and became our Most Improved runner during her sophomore year. Andy worked hard this past summer and was our top runner for most of the season. When the Sectional race was over, Andy had missed qualifying for State by only three places. She ran a P.R. of 20:37 at the Richard Spring Invite, and will come back strong for her senior year.
Annabella also started her cross country career in 2021, but as a sophomore. She was a soccer player whose athleticism led her to run on our post-season team that just missed qualifying for State by 11 points. Annabella has a habit of running her best at the end of the season, setting lifetime P.R.'s in the IHSA post-season every year of her high school running career. This season was no different as Annabella ran a lifetime P.R. at the Regional race at Miller Meadow of 20:41 last weekend. Annabella also ran a strong Sectional race to finish as the fifth individual qualifier and punch her ticket to State. Annabella keeps a streak of eight years of the Hinsdale South girls sending at least one individual to the State meet at Peoria's Detweiller Park. Annabella will run at 11am this coming Saturday, November 4th.
Week of October 16th
IHSA Regional (10-22) After a season of injuries, the Hornets left everything they had on the course at Miller Meadow in Forest Park. Unfortunately, the team came a scant three points short of advancing to next week's Sectional race. Every girl gave it their all, but we still have Annabella and Andy to cheer on next week as both advanced to the Sectional at Lewis University as individuals.
Annabella, who has been resting an injury for the past few weeks, ran a lifetime P.R. of 20:38 to finish in 18th place. Annabella was the first individual to qualify to advance to the Sectional race. Andy finished in 27th place with a time of 21:21 and took the final individual qualifying spot. Anna Wilcox finished in 30th with a time of 21:46 to just miss advancing. Seniors Charlotte Old (40th, 23:14) and Noelle Waterman (59th, 25:38) finished their high school careers strong finishing 4th and 7th for the team, respectively. Freshmen Samantha Johnston and Emma Koehler stepped up and gave it their all finishing in 43rd and 53rd places with times of 23:45 and 25:04. Let's all cheer on Annabella and Andy next week at Lewis University!
Week of October 9th
WSC Gold Conference Meet (10-14) The rain stopped just in time on Saturday...just in time for the final race of the day to be over. Despite the weather, the girls made the best of some of the worst running conditions we have seen in years. It was a slow, muddy, sloppy course that wasn't made for P.R.'s, but was made for a fun cross country experience in what was the final race at KLM for our seniors. We didn't have any official teams (five runners are required to make an official team), but the girls had great individual races.
The varsity race led off the day and while Andy Esposito just missed out on All-Conference honors (17th place, 22:29) she did a great job leading our team and was fighting for the last All-Conference spot the entire race. Anna Wilcox (23rd place, 23:15) wasn't far behind her and senior Charlotte Old ran her final race at KLM (34th place, 25:04).
The freshmen ran next and were led by Emma Koehler (5th place, 25:37) and Samantha Johnston (6th place, 25:45). Alyssa Pendon finished in 10th place with a time of 26:29, which means all three runners in the freshman race earned ribbons for finishing in the top 16.
Tree Koepfle was the sole runner in the sophomore race and also took home a ribbon by finishing in 12th place with a time of 26:31. Despite the conditions, this is the fastest time Tree has run on the three-mile KLM course.
As the rain finally began to die down, Noelle Waterman was the sole runner in the junior varsity race. Noelle ran her final race at KLM and finished in 38th place with a time of 27:53. While Noelle didn't run her fastest-ever KLM time, she was only 20 second off from her fastest time showing that she ran a remarkable race and would have run her fastest time under more normal conditions.
Overall, it was a great day to race and we immensely enjoyed watching our athletes battle the elements to create some lasting memories!
Week of September 25th
Pat Savage Invite (9-30) As we head into the final stretch of the season, injuries are starting to wear on the team. Because of that, only seven girls ran at the Pat Savage Invite at Niles West on September 30. We didn't have an official team (five runners) in either of the races we participated in. However, the girls who did run had successful races on a crowded course.
In the freshman/sophomore race, Emma Koehler led the way for the team with a 17th place finish and a time of 23:52. Tree Koepfle wasn't far behind in 22nd place and ran the only P.R. of the day with a time of 24:51. Samantha Johnston was next in 29th place with a time of 25:08, and Alyssa Pendon finished in 40th place with a time of 26:27.
Andy Esposito, Anna Wilcox, and Charlotte Old made up our varsity team. Andy finished in 17th place and beat last year's Pat Savage Invite time by over a minute with a time of 21:20. Anna finished not too far behind Andy in 20th with a time of 21:34. Charlotte finished 53rd with a time of 23:34.
The next major race for the girls will be the West Suburban Gold Conference meet at KLM.
Week of September 11th
Richard Spring Invite (9/16) It is clear how important our annual trip to Peoria is to our Hornets when there were tears getting off the bus back in Darien. While there is still well over a month left in the season, the girls knew this was the last trip some of them will make to the famous Detweiller Park in Peoria. We are hoping a few will be making another trip in November, though.
Coach Johnson and Coach Miller made the decision to only run girls in the Open and Varsity races so we could get back with plenty of time for girls to get ready for Homecoming. With all the excitement of Homecoming week, it wouldn't have been surprising for some girls to struggle at Detweiller Park. However, every single runner ran at least a season personal record, and most also ran lifetime P.R.'s.
In the Open race, Tree, Noelle, Alyssa, and Bella ran in a pretty strong pack for the first mile and stuck close to each other for most of the race. Tree ended up leading the pack and running a season P.R. of 25:00 and finishing in 260th place. Noelle ran a tough final mile to run a lifetime P.R. of 25:30 in 274th place. Alyssa also ran a lifetime P.R. of 26:07 in 307th place while Bella crushed her old lifetime P.R. of 29:20 with a time of 26:19 to finish in 316th place.
At the Varsity level, Andy led the way in 276th place with a lifetime P.R. of 20:37. Annabella set a season P.R. of 20:48 while finishing in 297th. Anna Wilcox wasn't far behind finishing at 21:01 in 316th place. Tian led the way for our second pack and set a lifetime P.R. of 21:59 and finishing 398th. Charlotte was 437th with a season P.R. of 22:45, Emma was 442nd with a lifetime P.R. of 22:49, and Samantha also set a lifetime P.R. of 23:53 while finishing in 474th place.
Week of September 4th
Marist Invite (9/07) What a great day for a race! Usually Coach Miller and I (and most cross country coaches honestly) don't have high expectations for weekday meets because of the nature of athletes being mentally drained from the day. But last night was an exception like I've never seen before.
We've never raced at Marist before and only had this opportunity because our typical weekend invite (Reavis) was unable to host due to construction. But the girls seemed to really enjoy the course and so did we as coaches.
There were 9 overall season PR's and 4 lifetime PR's listed below! Lifetime PR's are *** for reference :)
Anna Wilcox (1:35) - happy to see her racing like her normal self again! ***Anna Frankel (0:30) - this is her best season yet, keep up the great work! ***Emma Koehler (1:51) - WOW - after running a huge PR last weekend, she comes back and crushes that time again! ***Alyssa Pendon (1:56) - woohoo!!!! breaking the 9 minute mile pace for the first time, VERY nicely done! Bella Ortiz - 29:20 race time - this was her first three mile race this season due to starting off with some injuries. It's so nice to have her racing again! ***Annabella Ramirez (0:48) - Lifetime PR's for females are EXTREMELY hard to come by this early in the season.... I am SOOO incredibly proud of her and how she is racing! Tian Schulte (0:58) - a great race here taking the 5th Varsity spot on our team time wise! Charlotte Old- 23:34 - starting race for the season and is a respectable time under the 8 minute mile mark. It's nice to have her back in races as well at the Varsity level! Noelle Waterman (1:09) - An incredible come back and finish taking over a minute off her time last week. This week she was having some struggles with cramps during workouts but she pushed herself through it and I think that really made the difference for her mentally in this race...nicely done! Audrey Koepfle (3:16) - this was SUCH a great comeback for Tree who started the season having a hard time transitioning into speedwork. This week she took the track workout we did and decided she was going to pace herself MUCH faster than her previous race time and it worked in her favor as her legs responded so well to the change in pace. Happy to see her having races close to where she left off last season :) Tree earns the MVP of the week award with this PR!!!!
Overall - ALL of our athletes did a really nice job racing, supporting each other and competing in general.
Coach Miller and I are continue to be impressed with what these girls are accomplishing!
Coach Johnson and Coach Miller
Week of August 28th
Morton (8/28) At our first home meet vs. Morton we had two returning athletes with lifetime PR's - Andy Esposito and Anna Frankel! That meet was a combination of a warm day, a hilly course, and a lot of learning about racing in tough conditions. Coach Miller and I were very proud of how well our athletes sustained the elements and raced as a whole. We also always enjoy seeing how the girls take initiative to do warm-ups, dynamics, cool downs etc. while we are otherwise busy hosting a meet. THANK YOU athletes for paying attention to the details and preparing/cooling down properly! While we did not beat Morton, we showed good competition. With a few more of our athletes able to race, we have a strong shot of beating them at Conference!
St. Ignatius Invite (9/2) Last weekend's invite hosted by St. Ignatius was even MORE exciting with 6 overall PR's for the season. FIVE of which were lifetime! Again, the racing conditions were hot - but we did a nice job as a team controlling our first miles and racing the second half of the race. On the Varsity level, we asked a few younger athletes to race up and they did a fantastic job of holding their own - cheers to Emma Koehler and Samantha Johnston who raced the Varsity 3 miles and both ran Lifetime PR's (38 seconds for Emma and 1:25 for Samantha).
Our list of PR's include:
Alyssa Pendon (0:18) *2 mile race Annabella Ramirez (0:28) Emma Koehler (0:38) Anna Frankel (1:02) Samantha Johnston (1:25) Andy Esposito (1:29)
Coach Miller and I are so proud and so excited to see continued improvement over the course of the season. What we really like about this meet is that we compete against mostly 2A schools, many of which we will see in our post season (Regionals, Sectionals). We have our work cut out for us based on where we placed, however, we are optimistic that we will see much growth over the course of the season to close those gaps!
Hinsdale South High School Athletics | Home of the Hornets | 7401 Clarendon Hills Rd. | Darien, IL 60561 | Phone 630.468.4240 | Fax 630.468.4242