Girls cross country takes home state title

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The girls pack run through the course.

Sofi Zeman, Co-Features Editor

  After years of hard work, the girls cross country team has left the IHSA state race with a victory for the first time in North history.

     Not only did the varsity team take first place as a whole, Jenna Lutzow (‘17) won the race individually.

     The state team consisted of Lutzow, Gianna Sagona (‘20) , Madison Diercks (‘20) , Olivia Zaluckyj (‘20) , Sabrina Elder (‘18), Alex Reza (‘20) and Remy Bice (‘19) .

     Lutzow took first with a time of 16:35. Boylan’s Delaney Appino and Grace McLaughlin trailed shortly behind in second and third. Behind McLaughlin followed Diercks who finished in fourth place with a time of 17:19. Sagona, whose time was 17:30 placed in eleventh. Zaluckyj took the 41 spot with Elder directly behind in 42. Reza finished in 43 and Bice finished the race for North in the team’s number seven spot.

      In her high school career, this is Lutzow’s first time being named state champion. Lutzow crossing through the finish chute made for an emotional and memorable moment for both the team and cross country fans.

     ” I can’t believe this is finally happening…it’s unbelievable. After all of these years and all of this training, I can finally say I’m not only all-state, but a champion. I can finally say that I’m a true champion,” said Lutzow.

     With this being her last time racing for Belvidere North cross country, speculations have risen over whether the girls will be able to continue this legacy without Lutzow’s leadership next year. But, Coach Ken Husser continues to remain confident in the program.

     “ Jenna’s leadership is going to be missed on this team. But, there is still enough talent on this team to maintain the atmosphere and team culture that she helped to create over the past few years. I believe we’ll be able to take home yet another state trophy next year,” said Husser.

     Though Lutzow’s high school cross country career has come to an end, she is currently regarded as the best distance runner in Belvidere North history. But, Lutzow is not yet finished. This year, she and the distance running program are striving toward winning the NIC-10 Conference Track and Field.