Alyssa Edwards and Yorkville missed out on shopping at Mall of America.
Still, it was quite an experience in Minnesota.
The Foxes this past weekend made the trek north for the Roy Griak Invitational, held on the campus of the University of the Minnesota. The prestigious meet featured 45 teams and more than 450 runners from around the country, including several teams ranked nationally.
Yorkville more than held its own.
The Foxes, led by Edwards, took sixth place in the meet won by defending Class 3A state champion Naperville North.
Yorkville coach Chris Muth tempered his enthusiasm, but liked where his team is at.
“I think we are in a good spot,” Muth said. “As a team finish we could have done better. The results weren’t necessarily what we were looking for but the process is in a good spot.”
The conditions were quite hilly, a challenge made even more so by sweltering conditions. Muth said it’s good preparation for what lies ahead.
“It’s a weekend trip, which is what we will have to make for sectionals, state and Nike regionals,” Muth said. “It’s good to see that competition, to see what it’s like at the starting time where each team is good, that you have to run with the best. It’s an invaluable experience that you can’t simulate.”
Edwards finished the 5-kilometer course in 19 minutes, 12.6 seconds, good for 11th place. Yorkville freshman Helena Kleronomos was next through the chute for the Foxes in 19:37.6 for 18th place.
“The combination of the heat and the hills made the course really tough and mentally challenging,” Muth said. “Alyssa and Helena really overcame what was put in front of them.”
Olivia Borowiak was 39th in 20:13.0, Mady Klebenow 77th in 21:02.7 and Sara Klemm 83rd in 21:06.8.
“Knowing that the weather will cool down, and that the courses will get shorter and flatter, this was really the pinnacle of what we will face,” Muth said. “Knowing that, the girls did really well.”
The Foxes now get a 10-day training period before the Twilight Invitational on Oct. 4 at Naperville North. That meet is expected to include the top five ranked teams in the state, and seven of the top 10.
“It’s a great test at the three-quarter mark of the season against the best of the best,” Muth said, “and then you turn around and we go to West Aurora (Oct. 7). If you are not running with the intensity you need you will be clipped at the end. The rest of the year we have to be on top of our game, as close to perfect as possible.”