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Sports

Girls Cross Country: Emily Eberhart paces Foxes to 13th at Nike Cross Nationals

The Yorkville High School girls cross country team competed at Nike Cross Nationals in Portland this past weekend, placing 13th. Team members are Emily Eberhart, Kailey Fox, Helena Kleronomos, Sara Klemm, Hailey Simmons, Anna Hunter, Olivia Borowiak.
The Yorkville High School girls cross country team competed at Nike Cross Nationals in Portland this past weekend, placing 13th. Team members are Emily Eberhart, Kailey Fox, Helena Kleronomos, Sara Klemm, Hailey Simmons, Anna Hunter, Olivia Borowiak.

To Emily Eberhart, it was a good way to go out.

Eberhart, a senior, and Yorkville competed at Nike Cross Nationals for the second time last weekend in Portland. She finished 100th there as a junior.

She made her last high school cross country race a memorable one.

Eberhart placed 39th, running the 5,000-meter course in 17:59.8, to lead the Foxes to a 13th-place finish.

"I was excited with how I ran," Eberhart said. "Last year I didn't have my best race. This being my senior year, I was glad to run well in last cross country race. Coach gave me a plan and I executed it well."

Foxes' coach Chris Muth was proud of Eberhart's performance.

"Individually, Emily ran one of the best races i have ever seen out of our program's history," Muth said. "To see what she was able to do, get top 40 at that meet, is amazing for her."

Muddy conditions made running challenging on the course.

Yorkville, 18th last year, improved to 13th as a team. Central Oregon was the team champion, with Naperville North second.

Following Eberhart for Yorkville was Kailey Fox (73rd, 18:24.5), Hailey Simmons (123rd, 19:03.5), Anna Hunter (128th, 19:07.8), Olivia Borowiak (142nd, 19:13.8), Helena Kleronomos (143rd, 19:13.8) and Sara Klemm (159th, 19:30.3).

"Honest opinion, we had some really really solid performances, but it was not our best team race of the year," Muth said. "Don't get me wrong, 13th is something to be proud of, but knowing what we are capable of we were not able to put it all together. It was one of those days that not all of our girls were at their best."

Eberhart definitely felt the experience from last year paid dividends.

"It was to our advantage that we had the experience, knowing the course better and when to kick, where the hills are," Eberhart said. "It helped us a little bit this year. We kind of went into it blind last year. As a team, we definitely had a little bit higher expectations. It didn't turn out how we wanted, but that speaks to the standard of our program. Thirteenth in the nation is a great accomplishment and I believe that they will be back next year. With the coaching, and the wonderful girls they'll go to even greater places."

The meet capped off a season that saw Yorkville win the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational in Minnesota, and take second at the Class 3A state meet.

"Extremely proud of the season and the work the girls put in," Muth said. "We peaked at state, which was our No. 1 goal. It's a long season, not to make excuses. When you are racing the nation's best it is hard to hide. There is not a lot of wiggle room."

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