YOUTH CROSS COUNTRY: Chicago Park Trailblazers run down medals
The power outage may have prevented school from taking place and it did postpone the last NCAL Cross Country event, the Miner Mile, but it couldn’t stop the momentum of the Chicago Park Trailblazers.
Coming into the culminating event of the year, the team had no less than 61% of its runners take home medals at an event. In the fourth and fifth grades that meant you were in the top 20. Fourth grade athletes Kaylee Gibbs and Jasmine Tofte medaled at every one the six events attended, as well did fifth grade athletes Jackson Miles and Jayden Tofte.
In order to bring home a medal at the sixth-eighth grade levels, it took reaching the top 15 to get a whiff of a medallion. The sixth grade team was anchored by Aby Mooers who placed top 10 in every race of the season, her classmates, Aria Merritt and Colin Hatch, were right behind taking a medal in home in six and four events respectively. The seventh grade saw a phenomenal group of student-athletes rise to their potential with Jada Moore, Hunter Crowe and Kate Fore run their best races of the year in the final two events finishing with their best performances of the year and taking a combined 12 medals throughout the year.
The veterans (eighth grade unit) had the breakout performer of the year in Codi Myers, who in his first year running medaled in every race in which he competed. The Chicago Park team was led by two student-athletes. Jade Biittner and Koen Cayabyab were a force to be reckoned with on the trail. Cayabyab took first in five of the seven races, falling short to Nevada City School of the Arts’ Grayson-Allen Shively at the Lyman Gilmore and Miner Mile. Shively set the all-time record for the course as Cayabyab PR’d at 5:45 which proved to be fourth best all-time.
Jade Biittner proved to be untouchable this year, winning all six events attended. Her time 6:23 stands as 5th best all-time among females on the Miner Mile course. The Chicago Park Blazers saved their best performance for last as 75% of the team medaled on the final event of the year.
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