It was a good day to be a Cyclone. The women's team repeated their Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Championship with top finishes and individual honors.
Moraine Valley hosted the championship race for the men and women on a rolling 5K route around campus on a warm and windy day. None of the participating colleges had enough women to field a full team, so they had to use "deadman scoring," which added points to every absent runner on the roster. With three strong runners, the Cyclones were able to capture the crown for the second consecutive year. They had 29 points with Waubonsee Community College coming in second with 33 and College of Lake County in third with 44.
"I'm so proud of the women and what they were able to accomplish. Heading into the season, I was disappointed that we wouldn't be able to defend last year's conference title, but when we found out a few days before the meet that we'd have a chance to win due to deadman scoring, it changed things," said Head Coach Dimitri Dimizas, who also earned another Skyway Coach of the Year honor.
Heading into the race, Natalia Wrobel knew she'd have to give it all she had to win against a fierce foe from Lake County, and she did just that in 20:48. She was Skyway Runner of the Year.
"Partly, it's redemption from just missing out on last year's individual title, but it's also an example of her growth over the past year to go out there with confidence and earn what she wanted," Dimizas said. "Earning Skyway Runner of the Year was one of her goals entering the season, so it was great to see her accomplish that."
Olivia Wrobel crossed the line in third place in 22:15. She had been mostly biking for the past few weeks due to injury. After running alone for most of the race, she was able to earn a personal best, earning All-Conference honors.
Jasmeene Guido has dealt with injuries throughout the season, but still crossed the line in sixth place in 26:00. "Even though she didn't run as fast as she wanted on this course, I'm still proud of her for toughing it out. It's still the fastest time she's had all season," Dimizas said.
All three women are two-time All-Conference honorees. The men's team also won the conference championship and had a Skyway Runner of the Year. This week will be about getting the runners as healthy as possible to perform well at the region meet to qualify for nationals.
Complete results can be found here.