A tenth place finish at the 3A state meet held in Peoria at Detweiller Park is a very good way to end the season but as a member of Palatine’s first place finish in 2009 and second place finish last year, junior runner Tess Wasowicz was left with a bit of disappointment.
“I have realized that not every single season can go perfect which is difficult to accept after coming off of teams the past two years that have placed 21st and 8th at Nationals,” Wasowicz said.
The Lady Pirates found themselves in the unfortunate situation of chasing all day as they were down early in the meet to first place finisher Winnetka. Palatine finished the state meet with 270 team points good for tenth place and a state medal but New Trier impressively had three racers cross the finish line in the top ten on their way to 82 points and a convincing state win.
Wasowicz attributes the tenth place finish for the Lady Pirates to teammate Jessica Lincoln. The sophomore not only led all Palatine runners but shaved 40 seconds off of last year’s 76th finish at Detwieller.
“Jessica Lincoln brought Palatine home with an All-State medal,” Wasowicz said.
Despite Lincoln’s 17th place finish (17:21) and Wasowicz’s 26th (17:34), the Lady Pirates were down by 19 points to New Trier, but in third place with two racers across the line.
But even with senior Ellen Smith’s (66th with 18:08) improved performance from last year’s run at state, the immergence of sophomore Cassidy McPherson (84th with 18:24) and senior Laura Schweikert (162nd with 19:07), the other contributors to Palatine’s points, the team was unable to make a dent in New Trier’s lead.
“The team trained with guts and desire all year, but when it came down to it, we just didn't put it all together,” Wasowicz said.
“I went into the race focused and ready to accomplish my goal – a high all-state finish, but reality quickly kicked in at about the third mile,” she said. “Basically everything fell apart and I found it extremely difficult to hold on to anyone who passed me.”
Junior Jacqui Paneral (167th with 19:12) and freshman Kara Burton (196th with 19:37) also ran but didn’t factor in the decision.
“We had a very young team this year but I know that with mistakes and failures you get feedback,” said Wasowicz who feels that the team’s growth throughout the season will help them for a bid at state next year.