DOWNERS GROVE — Madeline Perez, the defending Class 3A state champion in the 3,200- and 1,600-meter runs, returned from a leg injury to compete for the first time this season Thursday night at the West Suburban Silver meet.
The Georgetown-bound senior from Glenbard West realized there is more work to be done.
Perez ran the anchor leg for Glenbard West's runner-up 3,200 relay and finished third in the 1,600 (5 minutes, 4.19 seconds) in her only individual event.
"My main goal was to just get some points for my team," Perez said. "I was disappointed I did not get 10 points for Glenbard West [for the win]."
Oak Park-River Forest freshman Mary Blankemeier (5:01.59) won the 1,600 to beat Hinsdale Central senior Anne Zaher (5:02.68). Blankemeier ran third for most of the race behind Perez and Zaher before passing the seniors in the final 200 meters.
"I was not sure what to expect," Blankemeier said. "I wanted to stay back with them. I thought I would try to break away with 800 [left], but they were going fast. I broke when I saw [Zaher] go."
The 1,600 featured four of the top 23 runners from the state cross country meet, including Blankemeier (fifth), Glenbard West's Grace Rogers (21st) and Lyons' Lexy Rudolfski (23rd).
Lyons (118 points) captured its third consecutive conference title at Downers Grove North behind junior Emma Haugen's wins in the 100 hurdles (15.60), high jump (5-foot-5) and triple jump (36-2 1/2). Haugen earned all of Lyons' wins.
Runner-up OPRF (98) won five events, while sophomore Norma Abdur-Rafia took titles in the 100 (12.95) and 200 (25.59). Another sophomore, Chena Underhill (47.31), beat senior teammate Amari Wilkerson (47.43) in the 300 hurdles.