PEORIA — Competing against what turned out to be one of the fastest winning times in Class 1A state cross country history, Red Bud junior Deanna Deterding didn't back down Saturday at Detweiller Park.
Deterding put the finishing touch on a brilliant season as she ran a time of 17 minutes, 46 seconds to place eighth overall, as she led the way for metro-east competitors in the 3-mile event.
Winner of the Cahokia Conference and Chester Class 1A Regional titles, Deterding finished strong, passing two runners in the final 400 yards to claim a top 10 finish.
Effingham St. Anthony freshman Anna Sophi Keller set the tone early, jumping out to a quick lead and never looking back as she ran a 16:35. That time, for Keller was 45 seconds faster than runner-up Kelsey Hildreth of Byron.
"The pace of the race was fast,'' Deterding said. "I was hoping for a top five finish and a time around 17:30. But overall I'm pleased. It was a good day.''
It also was a good day for Althoff senior Savannah Ames, who closed out her high school cross country career with an 11th-place medal.
Ames finished with a time of 17:53.
"I'm very excited. I broke 18 minutes, which is what I wanted to do, and the time was the best of my senior year,'' Ames said. "This being my last high school cross country race, I just wanted to go out and enjoy the ride today.
"It's been a great four years and I owe a lot to my coach (Gary) Calhoun. But I'm also ready to start the next chapter in my life at the college level.''
Althoff teammate Grace Rowan placed 41st in 18:45 as the Crusaders combined to give Calhoun a day to remember. Calhoun is retiring after 40 years as a coach.
"Very proud of both those young ladies. Savannah earning the 11th-place medal and I thought Grace also did well today,'' an emotional Calhoun said. "I've been very fortunate to coach a lot of great young athletes and even better people over the years.
"I'm going to miss it, but it's time to move on.''
Keri Burmester of Red Bud placed 52nd while Freeburg, which placed 18th in the team competition, was led by freshman Kristen Collier, who was 49th.
Alaina Fett of Marissa was 126th.
In the boys race, Freeburg was 17th with 428 points, followed by Sparta, which placed 18th with 492.
Nashville was 22nd with 543 points.
Jonathan Kraus led Freeburg with an 89th-place finish.
"It was just one of those days,'' Midgets coach Carl Florczyk said. "It's disappointing, but I'm still very proud of both these (boys and girls) teams They had a great season and represented themselves and the school very well.''
Sparta was led by Kenny Heaton who was 50th overall, while Jordan Love (113th) led Nashville.
Ethan DuClos of Red Bud placed 128th while Jace Dumont of Metro East Lutheran was 151st.