Ahmari wins Spartan Classic girls' title, Rockets take home team honors

St. Joseph - University High Kate Ahmari turned in the top time in the women's race at the 2021 Spartan Classic on Saturday. The junior's time of 17:25.70 helped the Illinek cross country team finish 5th in the overall team standings. The sub-18 minute time was a new PR for Ahmari and ranks as the 19th fastest time in the state this season.

Malia Fairbanks runs at 2019 IHSA state cross country meet
Unity's Malia Fairbanks runs her first lap around the course during the 2019 IHSA Cross Country State Finals. Fairbanks finished 13th overall at Saturday's Spartan Classic in St. Joseph.
It was an Illini Prairie Conference sweep of the top three places in the team standings. Unity, who had six runners finish in the top 20, won the girls' title with a score of 56 points off the efforts of the first five. Monticello finished second with 66 points and host St. Joseph-Ogden rounded out the top three places with 87 points.

It was a day of outstanding running performances for Unity on the three-mile course. Erica Woodard led the Unity squad finishing in 5th place. She was followed by Olivia Shike (18:38.04), Malia Fairbanks (18:41.58), and senior Harper Hancock (18:44.42) who finished 14th overall. Caelyn Kleparski's 17th place finish at 19:02.25 cemented the Rockets' dominant performance on Saturday.

Shike, Harper, and Kleparski turned in career-best times. Meanwhile, Woodard's time of 18:03.62, along with Fairbanks, and Reagan Stringer who clocked in at 18th place (19:02.27), gave season-best performances.

St. Joseph-Ogden enjoyed notable performances from freshman Savanna Franzen and senior Ava Knap. Franzen finished in third place with a time of 17:57.82 and Knap, who followed her over the finish line five seconds later, stopped the clock at 18:02.03 in fourth-place. Both times were personal records for each runner.

Spartan Kailyn Ingram, who PR'd at 19:48.7 last week at the Richard Spring Invitational in Peoria, shaved off another 48 seconds off her three-mile time to 19:00.26.

Top 20 Spartan Classic Times

1. Kate Ahmari 17:25.70 Urbana University
2. Mabry Bruhn 17:29.41 Monticello
3. Savanna Franzen 17:57.82 SJO
4. Ava Knap 18:02.03 SJO
5. Erica Woodard 18:03.62 Unity
6. Hadessah Austin 18:18.98 Seeger
7. Estella Miller 18:26.80 Monticello
8. Sylvia Miller 18:32.69 Monticello
9. Aleigha Garrison 18:34.61 Champaign (Judah Christian)
10. Trixie Johnson 18:37.24 Paxton-Buckley-Loda
11. Olivia Shike 18:38.04 Unity
12. Jennifer Romero 18:40.84 Seeger
13. Malia Fairbanks 18:41.58 Unity
14. Harper Hancock 18:44.42 Unity
15. Nellie Melick 18:49.39 El Paso-Gridley
16. Kailyn Ingram 19:00.26 SJO
17. Caelyn Kleparski 19:02.25 Unity
18. Reagen Stringer 19:02.27 Unity
19. Macie Russell 19:02.37 Oakwood
20. Rachel Koon 19:05.64 Monticello