Jessica Ackerman, Vaccaro win regional
Girls take off on their start of the IHSA cross country regional at Harms Woods in Skokie Saturday, Oct. 20. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
SKOKIE — New Trier senior Jessica Ackerman won Saturday’s regional cross country race at Harm’s Woods, setting the pace for the defending state champion Trevians, who took the team title.
Ackerman clocked in at 17 minutes, 23.09 seconds, to finish more than seven seconds ahead of Maine South junior Emily Leonard, who crossed in 17:30.20. New Trier sophomore Mimi Smith was third in 17:37.47, while New Trier senior Courtney Ackerman finished fourth in 17:42.06.
The Trevians won the regional title with 33 points, taking positions 1-3-4-11-14.
“I knew I wanted to go out fast, and I was really glad there was no clock out there,” Jessica Ackerman said. “I just tried to hold a bit of a lead. Knowing there are people behind me is good motivation.”
Maine South (46), Glenbrook North (86), Loyola (96) and Evanston (121) were the other teams to qualify for next weekend’s sectional at Niles West.
“I definitely was happy with my race,” Leonard said. “I went out under control, and I was able to surge past Mimi. I then kept Jessica in my sight.
“New Trier’s top three is so good. To beat any of them is a good day.”
In the boys race, Maine South won the title with 31 points behind Jon Vaccaro’s victory. The senior came home in 15:14.74 to outdistance New Trier senior Ethan Kaplan, who finished in 15:21.89.
New Trier (52), Niles North (65), Loyola (114) and Glenbrook South (150) also advanced out of the Loyola regional race.
Pick up your local Pioneer Press newspaper on Thursday to read more about the regional and sectional cross country meets.