Kelsey Schrader’s time of 16 minutes, 54 seconds at the IHSA Class 3A state meet would’ve won the earlier 2A race by two seconds. She would’ve been a state champion.
After finishing as the 2011 2A state runner-up and taking 10th place in the 3A race this year, Schrader didn’t complain about DeKalb’s untimely jump up in class. Instead, she saw it as a learning opportunity.
“You get more out of it, a bigger pack to run with and more competition,” Schrader said. “It’s a little more enjoyable. Being in a bigger class really helps you reach limits you might not have thought you could.”
Schrader set a personal record at the state meet. The 10th-place finish followed her first-ever sectional championship and victories at the regional and Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference meets.
For Schrader’s accomplishments throughout the season, she has been named the Daily Chronicle Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. It is the third consecutive season Schrader has received the award.
“We talked about not really worrying about who’s in front of her the first half of the season,” DeKalb coach Mike Wolf said. “She’s proven it even more so this year when we get to conference and the state series, she’s ready to perform at a high level.”
Wolf credits Schrader’s success partially because of her increased involvement in her own training, often asking Wolf questions.
Schrader said she’s also more become a more confident runner and is competing in the NXN Regional Championships and Foot Locker Midwest Regional, two additional postseason races.
“These extra meets are pretty much the top runners in multiple states,” Schrader said. “To be able to run against states and see how you are up against them i think it can boost your confidence and you learn a lot more about yourself as a runner. You learn how to race a little smarter and what you need to do.”
DeKalb has switched back and forth between 2A and 3A during each of Schrader’s three seasons. But if Schrader had it her way, the Barbs would stay in 3A for senior season.
“I’d want to be in 3A just because...no one is going to take anything from you,” Schrader said. “You’re in the top class so you’re racing the toughest girls, the biggest schools. You’re more likely to run a little faster of times.”
DAILY CHRONICLE ALL-AREA GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY TEAM
Kelsey Schrader, DeKalb, jr. Schrader took 10th place in the fastest girls state meet in Illinois history. She won the Northern Illinois Big 12 conference meet along with titles in the regional and sectional meets. Her first-place finish at the Class 3A St. Charles Sectional was the first sectional win of her career.
Victoria Clinton, so., Kaneland Clinton took almost a full minute off her personal record win the Class 2A state championship in 16:56. She helped lead Kaneland to a sixth-place team finish at state. Clinton was third at the NI Big 12 conference meet, took first at the Kaneland Regional and second place at the Belvidere Sectional.
Brianna Bower, fr., Kaneland Bower had an impressive debut season for the Knights. She was Kaneland's second-best runner in the postseason meets and finished 32nd overall at the 2A state meet in 18:09.
Danielle Dlabal, sr., DeKalb Dlabal was DeKalb's No. 2 runner behind Schrader and helped the team advance to sectionals in Class 3A. Dlabal took 13th at the NI Big 12 meet and placed 39th at the St. Charles East Sectional.
Sydney Strang, jr., Kaneland Strang led a strong middle pack of Kaneland runners that helped the Knights consistently place well throughout the season. She dropped more than a minute off her time from sectionals to state, finishing in 38th place at 18:14.
Second Team Morgan Morreale, sr., Sycamore Aislinn Loswig, so, Kaneland Amanda Lesak, sr., Kaneland Maggie Lalowski, jr., Sycamore Sara Schafer, jr., DeKalb