West High freshman Sarah Wickman finally got to show off her
new-found skills in front of the home crowd Tuesday, taking first place at the West High Invitational.
Wickman won her third race in a row, beating teammate Janet
Dobyns, and leading the top-ranked Women of Troy to first place.
"It's better than it was at the beginning (of the season),"
Wickman said of her race. She finished the hilly 4-kilometer course in 14 minutes, 59 seconds.
West took five of the top 12 places for 29 points.
"It's always nice to run our home course when everybody's watching,"
said Dobyns, who finished in 15:13.
Dobyns led the field early, and the two ran together for most
of the race. But Wickman took off at the end.
"She's an unbelievable runner," Dobyns said. "Her personality
is as unbelievable as her running. She's an incredibly energetic girl. She's always really positive and spunky."
Claire Hall finished fifth for West, Julia Frudden was ninth,
Jocelyn Figg was 12th, Kira Spencer was 13th, and Analisa Russo was 21st.
Regina's girls took fourth place with 112 points in a field
that included just one other Class 1A team. Class 1A Pekin finished in seventh place.
The Regals scheduled several meets against larger schools to
build for the district and state meets.
"I definitely think it makes us better," Kristen Stauffer said.
"Running with people who are from bigger schools just pushes us. It really helps when we get back down to our class."
Stauffer led Regina with 15th place in 16:45. Lauren Ruppert
was 20th, Katie Ries was 22nd, Evelyn Ross was 24th, Mandy Duffey was 31st, Melia Raitt was 34th and Meg Carney was 39th.