Cross-country teams are challenged at State


East’s Girls Cross-Country Team at their state competition. (Left to right, back row) Coach Wilkerson, Lauren Lewison (Sr.), Marley Andelman (Jr.), Eleanor Clark (Sr.), Brooklyn Walker (Sr.), Maahi Patel (Sr.), Amalia Im (Fr.), Coach Kaplan. (Front Row) Abbie Harrington (So.), Brianna Larson (Jr.), Maya Patel (Sr.), Allison Walker (So.), Colleen Thumm (Jr.), Kendall Crossen (So.), Kaitlyn Kreeger (So.) Photo courtesy of Marley Andelman.

Sophia Smallwood and Aundrea Woods

The Saint Charles East Boys and Girls Cross Country team has just finished the 2022-2023 school year season at state. The girl’s team placed 22nd out of 28 teams. The boy’s team placed 24th out of 28. State was held in Peoria at the Detweiller Park cross-country course.

The rainy and windy weather created poor running conditions for the runners. As Morgan Sandlund, who placed 119th overall and is a senior at East, said, “State is where people PR, but when we saw the course, we got the vibe that it was going to be a little disappointing. We knew these weren’t going to be our best times, but stuck with groups and made it through.”

Oscar Frontjes, who placed 114th overall in the boys race, stated, “The race itself was one of the hardest of the season, as rain and the five previous races had almost completely worn down the course to thick mud, making running extraordinarily difficult.”

Marley Andelman, a junior at East who placed 96th during state, described the course as, “extremely muddy and sloshy.” Despite the troubling conditions of the course, Andelman stated, “we were excited to run in some crazy conditions and just wanted to make it fun.”

The girl’s cross-country team faced several injuries throughout the season. Brooklyn Walker, a senior at East and one of the top four runners on the team, was injured for the majority of the season. This along with several minor injuries threw the girls off a bit throughout the season.

As the season was coming to a close, the girls walked away with a second-place title at sectionals, qualifying them for the IHSA State XC Championships.

The boy’s cross-country team has high hopes for next season.

“Though we placed higher than expected by predictions, getting 24th out of 28 teams was still quite crushing, and I just hope that next year will be a little better as many of our newer varsity runners (including myself) are able to improve over the next couple of months,” said Frontjes.

Lexton Rockwell, who finished his last season as a senior, expressed his gratitude for the rest of the team.

“Having a team wanting to see the best out of everyone, no matter what race they are in, is something really special. We were able to grow together as a team this year,” stated

Maahi Patel, Lauren Lewison, Brooklyn Walker, Morgan Sandlund, Eleanor Clark, Mitch Garcia and Lexton Rockwell crossed the finish line for the final time this year at state.

Eleanor Clark, a senior who has run cross-country for all four years at East, said, “It was so exciting to qualify for state again. It was nice to do that final race with the whole team and just to go across the line with them for the last time.”