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Repeat Skyway champs, Victoria Granz headed to nationals

Repeat Skyway champs, Victoria Granz headed to nationals

The Cyclone women's cross country team repeated as Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference champions and qualified one for the national tournament after overcoming plenty of obstacles leading to the conference and NJCAA Region IV championships in Galesburg, Illinois.

In the last six seasons, the Cyclones have brought home five conference championships. They took third overall in region standings. Victoria Granz was part of both big wins and for the second straight year qualified for the national tournament. She finished ninth in the region and fourth in conference, running a 20:46, giving her All-Region and All-Conference honors. Coming in behind her with close times was Madison Krisch (21:43, 16th in region and 7th in conference), Adali Haro (21:58, 18th, 9th), Nicole Pannitto (22:59, 24th, 12th), Jaime Funk (23:37, 32nd, 18th) and Yasmeen Abuhayyeh (23:56, 34th, 19th). Krisch and Haro also earned All-Conference honors for their top 10 finish.

"I am so incredibly proud of all of the women! They overcame so much over the season as a team and as individuals, and they persevered to bring home the conference title. All six of them ran lifetime PRs which is an amazing way to the end the season," said Head Coach Dimitri Dimizas. "Victoria will represent her teammates at nationals. I know that she'll make them all proud. She's going down as one of the best runners in Moraine Valley history, and I'm glad I was around to witness it. Victoria and Madison are only the fourth pair of teammates to earn All-Conference both years. I know Adali will want to repeat her achievement next season, and she'll do what she needs to do to build on it.

"I'm sad that the season has ended for the other five, but they can all walk away with their heads held high. Everyone showed incredible maturity at this meet. With only six runners we knew that everyone's contribution was important. They all stepped up to help each other," Dimizas added.

Granz will head to the national championship on Nov. 9 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with two of her counterparts from the Cyclones men's team, Grant Wright and Suhyab Froukh.