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Madeline Perez is wild card as Central chases WSC Silver’s title

10/15/2013, 2:15pm CDT
By George M. Wilcox | gwilcox@pioneerlocal.com | @geomwilcox

Red Devils feature strong balance to compensate for Glenbard West stars.

Glenbard West’s Abby Shaver, Hinsdale Central’s Emma Sullivan and Niles West’s Gillian Flippo finish the Hornet-Red Devil Invitational.

Glenbard West’s Abby Shaver, Hinsdale Central’s Emma Sullivan and Niles West’s Gillian Flippo finish the Hornet-Red Devil Invitational. Shaver and Sullivan both will be hoping to bring a conference tropy to their school on Saturday. | Jon Langham/For Su

With five teams ranked in Dyestatil.com’s top 20, the West Suburban Silver ranks as one of the best girls cross country conferences in the state along with the Mid-Suburban West.

There is a big X-factor in this weekend’s conference meet and it all depends on whether Glenbard West’s Madeline Perez will race. Perez, the defending Class 3A state champion, has nursed an injury all year and did not compete in a dual meet against Lyons Oct. 10 in Glen Ellyn.

Even if Perez misses the conference meet at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Proviso West in Hillside, she can run in the regional the following week to be eligible for sectional and state meet berths.

No. 4 Glenbard West and No. 5 Hinsdale Central are likely to battle for the title at Proviso West. Glenbard West also features Glenbard East transfer Lindsay Graham, Lisa Luczak and rising star Grace Rogers, while the Devils have balance with Alexa Haff, Annie Zaher, Camila Horowicz and Becca Marcotte.

Senior Lexi Rudofski, a three-year varsity runner, will compete in her final conference meet for No. 17 Lyons. Rudofski has been Lyons’ No. 1 runner on the season and will run on the Proviso West course for the third time in her career.

“The whole team has a lot of confidence,” Rudofski said. “We know we’ll be up there in the conference (race). I’m excited, but sad that this will be my last one. I loved every single second of it. It has had such a big impact on me. I love my team, I love my coaches and I love the program.”

Freshman Mary Blankemeier has emerged as the top runner for No. 7 OPRF this season. The Huskies could challenge with returnees Erin Schrobilgen, a senior, and Hannah Gorin, a junior.

In the Gold, No. 9 Downers Grove South is the clear favorite. Hinsdale South junior Tori Salazar, a two-time state qualifier at Lemont, will make her conference meet debut while junior Sarah Leganski has taken over the role as the Hornets’ new No. 2 runner.

Salvador surprises in
first varsity race

Emily Schader saw something special in freshman Jasmine Salvador, so when the Leyden coach learned that teams could enter nine runners in the Tigers Invite varsity race on Oct. 10, she didn’t hesitate to give Salvador a chance.

Salvador responded by beating two varsity regulars and taking 51st overall and seventh on the team in 22 minutes, 1 second.

“I put her in this race because I had the feeling she could really step up when challenged,” Schader said. “She’s been holding back in other meets just because I don’t think she knew how to run. But she had a stellar race.”

Salvador came into her first varsity race feeling anxious.

“I was really nervous because I didn’t think I could keep up,” she said. “We’ve actually run this course before, so I knew where the soft spots were so it wasn’t as hard as other races.”

Salvador finished the race strong, passing three runners down the final stretch. Her solid performance gives Schader something to think about when she decides on seven runners for her lineup at Saturday’s West Suburban Gold meet.

Leyden is led by Angela Pyrdol, Misia Szelazek and Estafania Ramirez.

Red Devils feature strong balance to compensate for Glenbard West stars.

Glenbard West’s Abby Shaver, Hinsdale Central’s Emma Sullivan and Niles West’s Gillian Flippo finish the Hornet-Red Devil Invitational. Shaver and Sullivan both will be hoping to bring a conference tropy to their school on Saturday. | Jon Langham/For Su

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