LT girls' XC wins conference: Runners celebrate after a long, successful season

            Over the past season, the most difficult race for varsity runner Claudia Lundgren ’16 was the Oct. 19 conference meet, where, on a downhill slope, the splints in her shin became a stress fracture. Prior to this trauma, she had been in line to go to state, but for the second year in a row an injury prevented her from getting there.
            “I experienced a lot of pain through the last quarter of it and I really wanted to do well at that meet,” Lundgren said.
            Even missing one of its faster varsity runners, the LT girls’ cross country team brought victory home to LT when they won the West Suburban Conference meet.
            “Most of them ran their best race at conference, and for some of them it was their last race of the year,” assistant cross country coach Luke Taylor said. “And we want ultimately, for our kids, for their best race to be the last race because that’s what they’re working up to.”
            However, Taylor attributes the overall successful season to the high number of students who signed up for summer running.
            “It was from the get-go,” Taylor said.
            The LT team had an undefeated 6-0 dual record, which pulled it through at conference for the win. After the regular season, the team went on to the IHSA sectional meet, and from there has sent two runners, varsity runners Lexy Rudofski ‘14, who placed third at sectionals, and Katie Hamor ‘14, who placed 21st, to continue at the IHSA state meet.
            LT’s traditional rival, Hinsdale Central, was a top contender and among the top 10 teams. They had a dual record of 4-2, and their top two runners placed first and 16th at IHSA sectionals.
            “Right now is probably our hardest moment, having not made it to state, so we’re trying to get over that, and get past that, and look forward to track,” Lundgren Despite not making it to state, the team is still rooting for the two girls who did make it.
            “It’s fun to cheer our teammates because it’s fun to see their work pay off and beat other teams,” Lundgren said.
            For Taylor, the best thing about cross country was “just seeing how excited the kids were after they’d run a good race, or see how they’ve improved from the first day,” he said.
            Several runners have experienced improvement throughout the season. Sophomore runner Cari Cotts  ’16, who initially joined to ease her asthma symptoms, has gone from a 25:30 meet on her preseason three-mile run to a 22:15 meet.
            “It’s really hard to jump right into it if you’re not a runner before, and by the end of the season, you’re part of the team,” Taylor said. “And you come back year after year because you’ve found something you really enjoy doing.”

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