Meet results 2013

IHSA State Meet

November 9th, 2013

Peoria, IL

Kyla Steman (91st place) 18:25


Kyla Steman, senior at ETHS, represented EGXC as an individual qualifier at the IHSA State Cross Country meet this past Saturday, November 9, 2013. Steman was excited to cap off her last high school season with this significant accomplishment, and she made it one worth remembering.

The meet took place on a sunny day in Peoria, Illinois, where spectators and athletes could feel the energy and excitement in the air. According to Steman, being at the state meet was “amazing.” “It was like all the excitement from all the other races had been combined,” she said.

When it came time for her race, Steman reflected on where she was and what she was about to do. She noted feeling very in-tune with the other athletes. According to Steman, “Being in the race was unlike any other racing experience I’ve ever had. Knowing that you’re a part of a sea of about 200 girls all striving toward the same goal really makes you feel connected.” 

When the gun went off, that sea of 200 girls took off running along with Steman. Shortly after starting, though, Steman found herself missing one of a runner’s most valuable possessions: her shoe.

Steman had lost her shoe about a mile into the race, when another racer accidentally stepped on her heel. Two EGXC fans who were there to cheer Kyla on pointed this out to Coach Zachary Herrmann right before Steman came to the 1.5 mile mark of the 3 mile race. Herrmann explained that he had not even noticed, as Steman had seemed so fluid and natural.

Steman might have lost her shoe, but she did not lose her composure. “When I lost my shoe, I hesitated for a moment,” she said, “but I had to leave it behind.” Steman went on to finish the race in an impressive 18 minutes and 25 seconds, placing 91st among 200 girls.

Steman’s teammates and coaches were impressed, but not at all surprised. “Running with one shoe for the majority of the race and finishing a mere 13 seconds from her personal record speaks to how determined and resolved she is,” states Coach Zachary Herrmann. “She simply doesn’t let things get in her way; she doesn’t make excuses for herself.”

This resolve and dedication are part of what brought Steman here in the first place, and they will likely lead her to continued success in the future. Steman is planning to run in college, and she is eager to see what lies ahead.

Not only have Steman’s performances this season set her up for future successes, but they have set a new standard for Evanston Girls Cross Country as a program, as well. According to Herrmann, “Kyla has shown us that our program is capable of producing state-caliber athletes, and I know the team is determined to follow her lead next year.”

Several EGXC runners took a fan bus to Peoria to cheer Steman on, and the energy and excitement was contagious.  Coach Herrmann shared that it was powerful for the athletes to see so many of the same runners they have seen all year racing in the state meet. “There’s no longer a ‘this is out of our league’ sentiment,” he shared. “The girls know they can do it and that they belong here.”

Steman has also noticed this newfound sense of confidence. “I’m also really excited for EGXC,” she stated. “We’re moving up, and I think people have started to take notice of that.”

Steman is continuing to train with college ambitions on her mind, while the team takes a short break before hitting the pavement again this winter.

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IHSA Sectionals 

November 2nd, 2013

Lake Park High School

Evanston (9th place) 237 points

Varsity top 7:
Kyla Steman (20th place) 18:12
Emma Dzweirzynski (30th place) 18:39
Gabrielle Disnmore (49th place) 19:14
Camilla Zecker (66th place) 19:33
Lydia Hoopingarner (72nd place) 19:38
Sophie Hawkins (87th place) 20:02
Hunter Wortmann (122nd place) 24:42

Evanston Girls Advance One to State

Evanston Girls Cross Country ended their season with an impressive performance at the Sectionals meet on Saturday, November 2nd. The team finished 9th out of 18 teams, missing the state qualifying cut-off as a team but advancing one individual runner.

Coach Zachary Herrmann reflected on the race. “We approached sectionals with a clear goal of accomplishing something Evanston Girls Cross Country has not done since 2005- –qualify a team for the state meet,” he said. “While we came up short, this season has given us plenty of evidence that we are nearly there.”

EGXC knew they had some tough competition going in to the meet on Saturday. Coach Herrmann had told the team that Maine South, Loyola, and Saint Ignatius were the teams against whom they would need to compete in order to qualify. He was right. Those teams finished in 4th, 5th, and 6th places, respectively.

Evanston beat one of those teams, Loyola, last week in Regionals. According to Herrmann, “It was bittersweet seeing Loyola capture the fifth spot. They beat us easily earlier in the season at the Patrick Savage Invite, only for us to come back and beat them by two points at last week’s regional. Last week gave us confidence that we could do it again, but we also knew we would all have to be perfect, and we weren’t.”

While they did not qualify for team advancement to the state meet, Coach Herrmann was still proud of the team’s performance. The team finished with an average time of 19:04, which is just 9 seconds off the season’s fastest average. 

EGXC’s performance revealed significant improvement since this time last year, as well. Last year at Sectionals the team did not come close to making it down state, finishing 142 points away from the last team qualifying spot. This year, the team’s finish was a mere 32 points away.

Most of the girls may be done for the season, but it is not yet over for top runner Kyla Steman. Steman, a senior, ran a personal record of 18:12 to earn the 6th individual qualifier spot. According to Herrmann, “Kyla did exactly what she had to do. She had a game plan and stuck with it.”

Steman has had an impressive season, cutting her times significantly almost every time she raced. According to Herrmann, much of Steman’'s success this year can be attributed to her work ethic and attitude. “Kyla’s resolve is impressive,” he states. “She is very matter-of-fact about her goals, and she has a way of simply getting the job done.”

“To qualify as an individual for the state meet her senior year, especially in a year as competitive as this, is an exciting thing for Steman and for the entire program,” Herrmann said. “We look forward to seeing EGXC represented at the State Meet and watching Kyla cap off a breakthrough season.” 

The senior will race at 1pm this Saturday, November 9th at Detweiller Park in Peoria.

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IHSA Regionals

October 26th, 2013

Niles West High School

Varsity (2nd place) 66 points

Kyla Steman (6th place) 18:13
Emma Dzwierzynski (7th place) 18:13
Cami Zecker (15th place) 19:06
Gabby Dinsmore (18th place) 19:28
Lydia Hoopingarner (20th place) 19:36
Sophie Hawkins (30th place) 20:05
Hunter Wortmann (36th place) 20:33

EGXC Advances to Sectionals!

Evanston Girls Cross Country placed 2nd out of nine schools in their IHSA Regionals invitational on Saturday, October 26th. The team gave their most impressive performance to date, with the top 5 finishers clocking in at an average time of 18:55. Kyla Steman and Emma Dzwierzynski were the squad’s first and second finishers, with Steman finishing in 18:13 and Dzwierznski coming in less than one second behind.

Evanston went in to the meet with a plan. They had their eyes set on Loyola Academy, a team they have not yet beaten but whom they will likely need to beat in order to be legitimate competitors for a state qualifying spot. Coach Zachary Herrmann helped the girls come up with their strategy. “At Thursday’s team meeting I handed out results from our conference meet along with results from Loyola’s conference meet,” he explained. “I posed a very simple question to the girls: Figure out what we need to do to beat Loyola.” The girls developed a few scenarios, all of which required spectacular performances from themselves and their teammates.  “The girls seemed empowered and excited about the prospect of beating such a competitive team, which was our main objective for our performance at Regionals,” said Herrmann.

This excitement and confidence carried over into race day. With the prospect of a trip to State in the back of their minds, the girls drew upon the hard work they have been putting forth all season. “Before the race started I told the girls, ‘Give yourselves a reason to believe something special can happen next week,’” Herrmann said. “Throughout the entire race I saw girls matching themselves up with Loyola runners, extending themselves, and staying aggressive.”

In the end, Loyola’s average time was a few seconds faster than Evanston’s. Thanks to two significant personal records by Steman and Dzwierzynski, a huge push to pass Loyola’s third runner in the final 300 meters by Zecker, and a heroic finish and personal record by Hoopingarner, though, the team managed to edge out Loyola by two points.

In reflecting on the race, Herrmann shared, “Every day during practice I remind the girls that we have to be perfect in order to be prepared for races like this. There is very small margin for error.” There were literally dozens of opportunities for this particular race to finish differently than it did. Evanston, however, came in with a plan and executed. They made tough decisions during the most difficult parts of the race in order to earn the second spot out of the Regional competition.

The team is definitely energized by their success, but it’s an uphill climb ahead. According to Herrmann, there are at least a half dozen schools, many of which have beaten Evanston in the past, that EGXC will need to beat to qualify for state as a team next weekend. Whichever way the season goes, though, Evanston has made a name for itself this year. In Herrmann’s words, “Regardless of what happens, as long as we continue to stay focused and race our best, this season will be noted as a huge step for our program.” Herrmann and the girls look forward to what promises to be an exciting Sectionals meet this coming Saturday, November 2nd.

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Central Suburban League (CSL) 

October 19, 2013

Niles West High School

Varsity (3rd place out of 6 South Division Schools): 75 points

Varsity (3rd place out of 12 North and South Combined Results): 88 points 

JV (3rd place): 86 points
Frosh/Soph (3rd place): 86 points

Varsity top 7

Kyla Steman (8th place) 18:23.2
Emma Dzwierzynski (12th place) 18:40.0
Gabrielle Dinsmore (14th place) 18:55.6
Camilla Zecker (20th place) 19:38.6
Lydia Hoopingarner (21st place) 19:46.2
Tess Hoopingarner (23rd place) 19:50.4
Hunter Wortmann (28th place) 20:06.6

Evanston Girls Cross Country gave an impressive performance at the CSL Conference meet this past Saturday, October 17th.  The varsity squad placed 3rd among 6 teams in the south division, with 3 athletes earning all-conference recognition.

According to head coach Zachary Herrmann, varsity athletes Kyla Steman, Emma Dzwierzynski, and Gabby Dinsmore all set significant personal records to earn their All-Conference honors. “Earning all conference honors in a conference like ours, in a year like this, means a whole lot,” Herrmann stated. “It’s validating and exciting to see their training come together as we approach the IHSA series.”

Not only did the team perform well against some fierce competition, but the girls showed significant improvement from their own past performance, as well. The top five varsity runners averaged a 19:04 pace, which is 30 seconds faster than the varsity team ran last year at the sectional meet, two weeks further into the season.  Last year EGXC had just one all conference athlete, and this year they have 3.

The regular season may be over, but EGXC still has much to prove. “Our varsity team’s racing has given us no indication that they are approaching any sort of limit on what they can accomplish this season. I’m confident that we have a lot more to see from this team,” Herrmann stated.

EGXC faces a tough and exciting road ahead. Post-season competition is more intense than ever, with several teams who missed qualifying for state improving from last year.  According to Herrmann, “There are a lot of teams within striking distance, which makes this a very exciting time for our team.” So what exactly does Evanston need to do to to remain competitive? “We need to continue to stay focused, race smart, and dip into the months of training that have helped bring us to where we are now,” says Herrmann. The team looks forward to competing in Regionals this coming Saturday, October  26th, at 2pm at Niles West High School.  

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Walt Disney World Cross Country Classic

October 12th, 2013

Varsity (6th place in 4A Division) 212 points

Varsity- 11th Fastest Team out of 105 Varsity Girls Teams

Varsity Top 7:

Kyla Steman (17th place) 19:53

Emma Dzwierzynski (35th place) 20:53

Cami Zecker (48th place) 21:09

Hunter Wortmann (51st place) 21:10

Sophie Hawkins (62nd place) 21:35

Gabby Dinsmore (72nd place) 21:50

Caitlin Westerfield (123rd place) 23:34


Wheeling Wildcat Invite

Varsity (14th place) 394 points

Frosh/Soph (6th place) 210 points

Open (16th place) 440 points


Varsity Top 7:

Lydia Hoopingarner (44th place) 21:01

Tess Hoopingarner (52nd place) 21:17

Sarah Danson (93rd place) 22:58

Maya Crowe-Barnes (101st place) 23:50

Jessie Caines (104th place) 24:20

Gabby Abrams (108th place) 26:04

Olasumbo Babaolala (109th place) 26:25


The Evanston Girls Cross Country varsity team traveled to Orlando, Florida to compete in the Walt Disney World Cross Country Classic this past weekend. The prior day’s early morning flight meant they were short on sleep, but they were certainly not short on energy. The team gave a very impressive performance in the 5k race, placing 6th out of 32 4A schools from around the nation.  In fact, the top 5 finishers clocked in at the 11th fastest average time among the 105 varsity teams who competed across the 4 divisions this past weekend. race attracted a much more competitive field this year. According to Coach Zachary Herrmann, there were only 6 girls who ran sub-20 minutes for the 5k course last year. This year, there were 17, including Evanston’s very own Kyla Steman.

The weekend’s activities were a clear departure from those of the typical Evanston teenager, and the weather was quite different from what we typically experience in October in the Midwest.  The girls were up to the challenge, though. “They adjusted very well to the humidity and the temperature, proving that they can run well and race tough regardless of the conditions," Herrmann commented.

The excitement of hanging out with Mickey Mouse at a pasta party and visiting the Magic Kingdom might have contributed to the Wildkits’ energy, but in the end their success was a result of their hard work. “We’ve certainly built an ethic on the team this year that doesn’t allow us to make excuses,” Herrmann said. “We show up ready to run hard. We show up ready to race.”

Herrmann hopes this weekend’s success will give the girls confidence moving into the conference meet next weekend.

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Patrick Savage Invite
October 5th, 2013

Varsity and JV bring home trophies!

Varsity (3rd place) 117 points 
Junior Varsity (1st place) 60 points
Frosh/Soph (6th place) 165 points

Varsity Top 7:
Emma Dzwierzynski (8th place) 18:52
Gabrielle Dinsmore (13th place) 19:29
Cami Zecker (25th place) 19:51
Tess Hoopingarner (26th place) 19:52
Lydia Hoopingarner (45th place) 20:23
Sophie Hawkins (73rd place) 21:05
Hunter Wortmann (81st place) 21:24

JV Top 7:
(2 mile race)
Olivia Kaminski (8th place) 14:10
Katie Christensen (9th place) 14:11
Sarah Danson (10th place) 14:14
Mamie Tabet (11th place) 14:16
Jessie Caines (22nd place) 14:51
Gabby Abrams (27th place) 15:01
Dulce Torres (32nd place) 15:03

Evanston Girls Cross Country gave another strong performance at the Pat Savage Invite on Saturday, October 5th. The Varsity team took 3rd place among 24 schools, showing an impressive depth of skill within the Wildkit squad. Not only did the team earn trophies in two of the three races, but the girls showed significant levels of growth on all levels. Coach Zachary Herrmann commented, "In spite of missing our number one runner to the SAT, we still managed to average 45 seconds faster for our top 5 varsity runners compared to last year."

The junior varsity and frosh/soph teams had much to celebrate, as well, earning a 1st place trophy within the JV race and a 6th place finish for frosh/soph. These strong performances even further demonstrate how the team's hard work is paying off this year.

Though celebrating these successes was certainly exciting, the varsity team did not seem completely satisfied with the third place finish. According to Herrmann, "They know that there's still a lot more left inside." The team has a few more weeks to bring it all together for conference and post-season competition. This coming weekend, the top 8 will compete in Disney World while the rest of the team competes at the Wildcat Invite in Wheeling.

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Warren Cross Country Invitational 
September 21st, 2013

Evanston - 94 points (1st place)

Varsity Top 7:
Kyla Steman (11th place) 18:43
Emma Dzwierzynski (13th place) 18:54
Cami Zecker (15th place) 18:58
Gabby Dinsmore (25th place) 19:14
Hunter Wortmann (30th place) 19:21
Sophie Hawkins (49th place) 20:03
Caitlin Westerfield (79th place) 20:57

Junior Varsity:
Evanston - 80 points (2nd place)

Evanston - 226 (7th place)

EGXC Varsity - First Place Invite Champions!

Evanston Girls Cross Country gave an outstanding performance at the Warren Invite on Saturday, September 21st. The athletes pushed themselves to the limit at every level, and their hard work paid off in the end. The frosh/soph team placed 7th, the JV team placed 2nd, and the Varsity team placed 1st out of 24 schools. Along with the team trophies, over 12 girls brought home individual medals after finishing within the top 50. To top off the afternoon, Evanston girls received the Girls Overall Team award, which was calculated by adding the scores from all three races together. 

A competitive varsity race was one of the highlights of the day. "The varsity team finally gave us a glimpse of what they're capable of this year," said Coach Zachary Herrmann. "After a 7th place finish last year, we were hoping for a top 5 finish this year to move into the trophies. As the race unfolded, our expectations increased as we started to see our athletes put themselves up front and not let up." 

18 minutes later, they still hadn't let up. The varsity girls crossed the finish line faster than any varsity team has in recent history, finishing with an average race time of 19:02. "I always knew we were capable of a race like this, I just wasn't sure when it would happen," Herrmann commented. "It's incredibly gratifying to see our girls begin to tap into their training and their potential."

Even more impressive than the varsity squad's 1st place finish is the depth of strength revealed across all 3 teams. Girls at all levels have been working extremely hard this season, and times are dropping rapidly as a result. "Winning the Girls Overall Team award helps validate the incredible amount of work the entire program has put in this year," Herrmann said. The team looks forward to continuing to uncover its potential at a conference quad meet this coming Tuesday!

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First to the Finish Cross Country Invite, Saturday, September 14th
Detweiller Park, Peoria
Varsity: 20th Place

Varsity Top 7 finishers:
Kyla Steman (68th) 19:07
Cami Zecker (119th) 19:51
Gabi Dinsmore (129th) 20:07
Hunter Wortmann (152nd) 20:33
Sophie Hawkins (156th) 20:38
Caitlin Westerfield (173rd) 21:01
Mamie Tabet (186th) 21:16

The Evanston Girls Cross Country team gave an impressive performance at Saturday's meet at Detweiler Park in Peoria, IL. The student athletes showed improvement all around, with most girls running faster times than last week. In addition, the varsity team finished a lower place than last year, with a faster average pace for the top five runners. Coach Zachary Herrmann shared, "Even without last week's number three runner, we managed an impressive showing full of big personal records.  All but one of our runners ran faster than last week, many of them dropping anywhere between 1 and 4 minutes off of their times." With each race, more and more girls emerge as strong competitors. According to Herrmann, "We have nearly double the number of girls running sub 7 minute pace for 3 miles than we did last year, illustrating a team with far more depth and a lot of potential.  We still have a lot of work to do." We look forward to meeting our conference competitors at Tuesday's quad meet at Niles West!

Hinsdale, Saturday, September 7th:

Varsity: 9th place
Frosh/Soph: 12th place

Varsity top 7:
Cami Zecker (42nd), 19:55
Kyla Steman (44th), 19:57
Emma Dzwierzynski (49th), 19:59
Gabi Dinsmore (57th), 20:42
Hunter Wortmann (59th), 20:45
Lydia Hoopingarner (64th), 20:58
Tess Hoopingarner (74th), 21:37

Evanston Girls Cross Country had a great first meet at Hinsdale on Saturday, September 7th! We had over 70 girls race in the 3 mile races, many of whom set personal records. The athletes showed a great deal of improvement since last year, and our team appears to be stronger overall. Our top 5 varsity runners ran a faster average time than the varsity team ran last year and reduced the split between the 1st and 5th runners by a minute. Our varsity team placed 9th (moving up from 10th place last year), and our frosh/soph team placed 12th. This is just the beginning, though! From Coach Zachary Herrmann's perspective, "The results from Hinsdale are encouraging, but there's still a ways to go before we truly tap into the incredible amount of training many of our athletes put in this summer.  It's early, and there's a great deal more to come from this team." We are excited for Peoria this coming weekend!

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