Girls Cross Country: Plainfield North’s Lau states her case
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media November 3, 2013 11:00PM
Rachael Lau, Plainfield North
Updated: December 5, 2013 6:15AM
Rachael Lau was glad to have a change of scenery after Plainfield North ran the previous two weeks on the course at Hammel Woods.
“It was a new course, finally,’’ Lau said with a sigh. “Postseason I’ve had the same course every week. It’s finally something new, which I like.’’
Lau, a sophomore, placed fourth Saturday at the Class 3A Hinsdale Central Sectional to qualify as an individual for the state final in Peoria.
Lau ran the 2.95-mile course at Katherine Legge Park in 17 minutes, 41.26 seconds.
“I just tried to keep even splits and not die out in my last mile,’’ she said.
Lau went into the sectional having run solid races the previous two weeks. She was third in the Southwest Prairie Conference meet (18:54) and third at the Plainfield South Regional (18:42).
“It was nice to know I was one of the better people running in this race,’’ Lau said of the sectional.
“I had a panic attack when I was warming up and we had to go into the creek. I didn’t know how I was going to get by that and having to go uphill. … I didn’t overthink it while I was racing and it turned out OK.’’
Plainfield South freshman Alexis Grigg also has responded to the challenge of the past few weeks.
Grigg was fourth (18:57) in the Southwest Prairie meet and fifth (18:45) at the Plainfield South Regional before she qualified for the state meet by finishing 17th (18:13.35) at the sectional. Grigg was fifth among the seven individual qualifying spots.
Sectional champion Lockport has had plenty of state meet experience over the years under the guidance of coach Evon Schlotter.
“I try to tweak it a little bit, but the basics remain the same,’’ Schlotter said of her approach to the final. “Kids like a routine. We’ll stay with the same routine we always do.’’
Lockport, led by runner-up Morgan Bollinger, won the sectional title 62-95 over runner-up Downers Grove South.
“The gap between our No. 1 runner and our No. 2 runner has always been there,’’ Schlotter said. “Morgan runs apart and I told her to go, and she did.’’
“The competition was really hard,’’ Bollinger said. “There was Hinsdale Central, Lyons, Downers Grove South.’’
“Our coach has high expectations for us this season and I think we’re setting them,’’ the Porter’s Emmie Hahn said.
Lockport was 18th in the 2012 state meet. Hahn and Aubrey Elwood return from that team.
“It’s pretty crazy. You’ve got to make sure you don’t lose your teammates,’’ Hahn said of the state final. “We’re hoping for top 10.’’