On Nov. 3, the Geneseo girls' cross country team and lone boys' team qualifier, Jordan Starkey battled with the top runners in the state at the IHSA cross country state finals at Detweiller Park in Peoria.
"In all honesty, everyone was disappointed they didn't place higher, but they all ran personal bests," said head coach Don Fredericks. "After the dust settles and we look things over, we had six out of our eight runners run lifetime bests and the two who didn't were real close. They ran their best, and we are real proud of them. It was a good closing to a great season."
Starkey was the highest finisher out of the Geneseo runners as he placed 43rd with a time of 15 minutes and 19 seconds.
"Jordan got himself into a good position and went out faster than he normally does so he took a chance that way," said Fredericks. "He is now the 11th fastest boy in school history. He is a warrior and wanted to be All-State."
The Lady Leafs combined to take 17th overall.
"The girls held their own and did a good job," said Fredericks. "It was a lofty goal to be in the Top 10, but we didn't get it due to a lack of trying. The field was incredibly fast for both the boys and girls. The depth was jaw-dropping. By far this was the fastest field I have seen. It was cool to be a part of that."
Emily Ford led the way for Geneseo in 70th place as she crossed the finish line in 18:37.
Halle Olson took 114th in 19:04, followed by Maggie Schlindwein in 122nd place with a time of 19:15.
Taylor Claus placed 126th with a time of 19:17, while Lauren Coulter came in 140th in 19:32.
Katie Puls finished the race in 163rd at 19:55, followed by Morgan Kelly in 184th at 20:22.
"I am very proud of Jordan and the girls and it was amazing to see how many people were there to support them," said Fredericks.
"It was a great season. We are just in a hot bed for distance running and the sport has just exploded in Illinois. It is an honor to be a part of that and pushing everyone to a higher level.
"We will lose key pieces to the puzzle, but we do have a lot coming back and will look to the future. It was a very successful season."