Hardies tops Fox in showdown
Updated: June 4, 2012 10:47AM
For slightly more than five minutes, old friends became rivals at the Wheaton Warrenville South Invitational.
In the marquee event on a cold evening, Naperville Central’s Amanda Fox, the defending Class 3A state champion in cross country, faced the 2010 cross country state runner-up in Jill Hardies of Hinsdale Central. It was the first meeting of the season between the duo, who will likely meet again at the state meet May 17-19 in Charleston.
Hardies, a junior, held off Fox, a senior, after taking the lead halfway through the 1600-meter run. Hardies fell short of matching last week’s winning time at Glenbard West’s Pariseau Invitational, but Hardies (5:04.42) beat Fox (5:05.09) with Wheaton Warrenville South junior Hope Schmelzies (5:05.67) finishing only a few steps behind Fox.
Fox and Hardies know each other well and keep in touch during the season. They were roommates when they both attended the University of Wisconin cross country camp in the summer of 2010.
“This will help me a lot,” Fox said. “I know I have to get as fast as I can get. I’m in a good position.”
After battling an injury to her left foot most of the season, Hardies won for the second time in as many weekends in her only appearances outdoors. Fox lost for the second time in two weeks after finishing third at the Glenbard East Invitational.
Hardies originally injured her foot in last year’s Wheaton Warrenville South Invitational and her decision to keep running backfired. Hardies was unable to run in last year’s sectional so she became ineligible for the state meet. She still has to ice her foot after competing at Glenbard West and will treat the foot with ice again Saturday.
She reinjured her foot one week before the West Suburban Conference Silver Division indoor meet.
“I couldn’t run for five weeks until last week (before Glenbard West),” Hardies said. “Maybe this was a blessing in disguise. My team and coaches (Pat Richards and Mark McCabe) have done so much to get me through it.”
Wheaton Warrenville South (141) won back-to-back titles for the third time in five years at its own invitational. The Tigers won the 3200 relay with Erin Herrmann, Schmelzie, McKenna Kiple and Amy Yong, the 800 relay with Margaret Dandsdill, Jennifer Fiola, Jessica Spera and Emily Phillip and the 1600 relay with Kiple, Schmelzie, Yong and Phillip. Individual Tigers winners were Desirae Ranberg (discus) and Erin Zappia (high jump).
“We’ve got a very balanced team,” Tigers coach Rob Harvey said. “We do. We scored in about every event, though I don’t know if we did.”
“I tell my kids, ‘We don’t care about times and distance. We care about attitude and effort,’” Harvey said.