The season ending Latin 2A sectional meet on a beautiful Halloween Saturday in downtown Chicago. Latin is the host school and one of the main contenders for the plaque along with last year’s state champion, Benet Academy.
Heat number two under way, Latin runners Marianne Mihas and Olivia Syftestad in front of Benet’s Louisa Diamond and Elizabeth Camic. Ava Parekh from Latin was the winner of the first heat with a blazing time of 16:44 while Benet senior Kelly Andrews was second in that heat and 5th overall with a time of 18:07.
Close to the two mile mark and Louisa Diamond makes her move as she pulls in front of the Roman runners, Camic just behind that front pack in fourth. The Redwing senior would look to expand her lead heading into the final mile.
Down the home stretch, Mihas and Syftestad are able to catch and pass Diamond, giving Latin the 1, 2, and 3 placed runners so far. Diamond takes third in the heat and 4th on the day with a time of 17:52. Camic crosses the line at 18:14, good for 6th place overall.
So that puts all the eyeballs on the third heat as Joy Jackson and Meaghan Andrews from Benet need to finish ahead of Latin runners McKenna Fellows and Bea Parr to jump the Romans in the standings.
A half mile into the race and no surprise it’s those four fighting for position at the front. Runners from St. Ignatius, St. Francis and Fenwick also near the leaders.
A little after two miles and Joy Jackson breaks free in front of the Chicago skyline as Andrews is barely holding off Parr.
Jackson just gets stronger from there as she crosses the line to win the third heat at 18:22. 7th place overall, while Meaghan Andrews comes in second in the heat, all but clinching the sectional crown for the Redwings. McKenna Fellows ends up passing her teammate as she and Parr take 17th and 19th place overall and third and fourth in the heat.
The fourth and final heat sees Benet Academy runners Amelia Parisi and Emily Spellman ready to lock up the team championship. The duo runs about 200 meters ahead of the rest of the pack in the early going.
The lead would only expand from there as eventually Amelia Parisi pulls away from her fellow Redwing and flies towards the finish. An impressive time of 18:37 wins the heat and earns the junior All-sectional honors and the 10th place medal. Spellman takes second in the heat and 25th overall. Five of the top ten times and all seven in the top 25 shows the impressive depth of the Redwings, sectional champions for a second straight season. A very strong Latin team in second and St. Ignatius third. Despite no state meet, Benet Academy is thrilled to win its final meet of the year once again.
Full race results from the Latin 2A sectional can be found HERE.