2023 Nike XC Town Twilight Invitational – An Illinois Preview
By Michael Newman
A number of Illinois schools will cross the border east to run at the Nike XC Town Twilight Meet beginning Saturday at the Lavern Gibson XC Course in Terre, Haute Indiana. The first race will start at 6:00 PM EDT (5 PM CDT) with the Girls Junior Varsity races.
Prospect and Plainfield South ran well in this meet last year on their way to state championships in November. Both squads could again be in the top three in the Championship races.
Here is a look at the two championship races focusing on Illinois teams and athletes.
Girls USA Race of Champions – 9:00 PM EDT
Defending Illinois Class 3A State Champions #4 Prospect has been tested during the first month of this cross country season running against fellow Illinois powers York and Downers Grove North in the past three weeks. The Knights dominated this meet last year winning with 34 points placing their first 4 runners in the top 10. Prospect returns three from that foursome led by Veronica Znajda who ran 16:56 at Detweiller Park to win the Richard Spring Invitational. Teammates Lily Ginsberg and Meg Peterson were within 20-25 seconds of their teammate and should be in the front pack in this race. The key for the Knights is their split between the first three and their pack led by Ireland Wildhart. It started to get closer last week in their race at Palatine. Closing that gap even closer could get Prospect a repeat win. The Knights enter this meet ranked #21 nationally by DyeStat.com.
The last race for #25 O’Fallon was at Detweiller Park when they finished 18th at the Richard Spring Invitational led by the 25th place finish from Ellie Bush. Peoria Notre Dame is one of the top ranked Class 1A team in Illinois and will be the third Illinois team to run in the championship race.
Liv Phillips from Naperville Central will run individually and could contend for a top 10 finish in this race. Phillips comes off her race last week at the Minooka Invitational on the 3-mile Channahon Park course where she won in 17:05 setting a new course record. Marshall will have three runners in the championship race. Their top runner, Molly Farrell, had a strong race last week at the Woodbridge XC Classic finishing 34th but running 16:50 on the fast three mile course.
Illinois Prairie Conference rivals Erica Woodard of Class 1A…