Girls Cross Country: State berth for Lockport
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media October 27, 2012 9:02PM
Lockport's Kimberly Johnson (left) approaches the finish line during the Marist Cross Country Sectional at Midlothian Meadow Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Midlothian. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 29, 2012 6:39AM
A back injury sidelined Kimberly Johnson during the 2011 cross country season, but the Lockport senior played a key role Saturday in the Porters earning a place in next Saturday’s state meet.
Johnson was among Lockport’s top finishers in the Class 3A Marist Sectional at Midlothian Meadows to help the Porters (131) take fourth place.
Downers Grove South (64) was the team champion in the 21-team field, finishing ahead of Sandburg (100) and Hinsdale Central (119). Fifth-place Lyons (142) earned the final qualifying spot.
“In the start it’s always a little bit hectic because there’s so many people, but I think our team did a good job of finding each other throughout the race and staying strong,’’ Johnson said.
Getting Lockport to the state meet were Bianca Wiemeyer (14th, 18 minutes, 16 seconds), Johnson (17th, 18:21), Courtney Correa (31st, 18:42), Aubrey Elwood (33rd, 18:43) and Taylor Stortz (36th, 18:49).
“In the beginning we were a little further behind than we should have been, but I think throughout the race we did a good job talking and communicating,’’ Johnson said. “Our plan was we knew we had to get someone out in the front if we were going to make it out as a team.’’
“Kim Johnson stepped up tremendously this year,’’ Lockport coach Evon Marie Schlotter said. “Bianca Wiemeyer has been a steady force all year long. Today she stepped up big time, went out as soon as the gun went off and ran tough.
“We’re running a tight pack, as tight as we can be, and moving the pack up all season long. We could write a textbook on how this team runs this year.’
A runner to watch in the future will be Plainfield North freshman Rachael Lau (22nd, 18:30.7).
“Even though I didn’t qualify, I’m still really happy with how I did,’’ Lau said. “I wasn’t as nervous as I usually am at meets. I was kind of like ‘Go out there and have fun and run well.’ ’’
Plainfield Central finished 11th led by Nicole Pease (27th, 18:39.7). Plainfield East was 14th with Hannah Gutierrez finishing 55th.