[OCTOBER 18, 2014] – Over 600 runners and several thousand fans were on hand for the 36th IESA State Championships Saturday morning.  Race conditions were good, although a couple muddy spots remained on the course from the rainy weather earlier in the week.  Temperatures were in the upper 40’s for the 11:00am Class 2A Girls Race.  Despite the clouds and cool breeze, a colorful scene was unfolding at Maxwell Park as 208 of the fastest girls in the state were warming up for the State Finals. 

EPGJH Cross Country had already made history by putting its first team on the line at the IESA State Championship Meet.  The 7 Titan runners warming up were also the first Girls Team in the district to qualify for State at any level – high school or junior high.  But even more records were to fall before the clock would strike 12 noon. 

Cate Atkins (12.11) and Sophi Allen (12.13) started strong in the 208-runner field, passing the half mile in about 35th place.  They blazed past the mile mark in 5.53 – the fastest mile either had ever run – and moved into 26th and 28th, just a couple places out of the Top 25, which is what it takes to earn All-State honors.  By 1.5 miles they had moved into a pack of runners which included 25th place.  With 400 meters to go, Atkins opened a gap on Allen and surged into 23rd overall as she crossed the finish line.  Allen gave it everything she had down the home stretch, just barely holding off Caroline Jachino of Pleasant Plains for 25th place.  EPG’s Allen beat Jachino to the line by about a foot, claiming the last All-State spot by less than one second. 

The excitement was not over yet, though.  Hannah Ludy (13.31), who had twice run 14.33 this season and never faster, entered the meet as EPG’s #6 runner.  She finished #3 for the Titans at State, and was so far up in the field during the 3200-meter race that her coach completely missed seeing her among the other 207 runners.  Ludy ran to a mind-blowing PR of 1 minute 2 seconds, placing 147th and moving from #25 on the EPG all-time list to #12.

Read more: 3 All-State XC Runners for EPGJH Titan Girls Team places 15th at State Finals

On Friday, October 17th, six eighth grade Writin’ Titan coaches and Mr. Martin presented at the Illinois Association for Teachers of English annual conference in Crystal Lake.   During the presentation, entitled “Student-led Writing Centers:  Addressing the Common Core and Promoting Better Writing,” teachers from across the state listened as coaches outlined our junior high’s writing program and discussed their experiences as peer tutors.  Pictured below are the six coaches along with Mr. Martin and Dr. Julie Cheville of ISU, who also helped present.  Our coaches did a terrific job representing our school and promoting writing centers, receiving many compliments afterward from the teachers in attendance.



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