Caitlin Bruzzini of Crystal Lake South High School tried to make sure she saved some energy for the conclusion of Saturday’s Fox Valley Conference girls cross country meet.bruzzini(1)

Running at Veterans Acres in Crystal Lake, which she knows all so well, Bruzzini planned things out just right to capture the conference crown.

The Crystal Lake South junior was able to overtake Crystal Lake Central’s Janine Orvis in the 3-mile race’s final 20 yards to win. Her time was 19:22.8, just 1.8 seconds in front of Orvis.

“I was determined to finish first,” Bruzzini told the Daily Herald. “I wanted to make a good kick at the end and I had plenty of energy.

“It helps to run on my home course because it is such a hard course.”

While Crystal Lake South’s Bruzzini captured individual honors, Orvis helped Crystal Lake Central to the team championship. Central runners recorded a 52, nearly 30 points ahead of runner-up Huntley.

Along with Orvis, earning points for Central were: Katelyn Smith, fifth; Avani Flanagan, sixth; Maddie Hollander, 18th; and Debra Tomlinson, 21st.

Huntley had no runners finish in the top seven, but still captured second place as a team. Scoring for Huntley were: Mary Raclawski, eighth; Kate Mitchell, 12th; Lindsey Ferguson, 14th; Chloe Smith, 17th; and Victoria Watkins, 30th.

Grayslake Central was third with 117 points, paced by Megan Girmscheid’s fourth-place overall performance.

The Prairie Ridge team finished fourth, with 136 points. Scoring points for the Crystal Lake school were: Chloe Gale, ninth; Jena Berkland, 15th; Madeline Carey, 25th; Kathryn Ferguson, 42nd; and Michaela Pieroni, 45thh.

Hampshire was fifth, with Sophia Oury and Marie Mayer, finishing 10th and 11th, respectively.

Besides Bruzzini, only one other Crystal Lake South runner, Andie Kobrick, finished in the top 20, leading Crystal Lake South to finish sixth in the conference meet. Along with Bruzzini’s first-place finish and Kobrick finishing 20th, other Crystal Lake runners scoring points were: Kayla Ehrenhaft, 29th; Jenny Luken, 36th; and Lauren Cain, 59th.

Other top 10 team finishes were: Woodstock, 7th, led by Kate Jacobs’ third-place overall finish; Dundee-Crown, eighth, paced by Sylvia Waz’s seventh-place performance; Jacobs, ninth, with its top finisher being Alex Lorenz, 22nd; and McHenry, 10th, led by Shania Kranz, who was 16th.

Other teams competing in the conference meet were: Cary-Grove, 11th; Grayslake North, 12th; and Woodstock, 13th.

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