Cross Country: Lopez surges in first season with Lady Hubs

Sophomore Karina Lopez took over five minutes off her personal-best time during her first cross country season with the Lady Hubs this past fall. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Sophomore harrier slashes five minutes off PR time

Sophomore runner Karina Lopez slashed over five minutes off her personal-best time during the Rochelle Township High School cross country team’s fall season this past year. Already a varsity contributor in only her first season with the Lady Hubs, Lopez finished the season as one of the strongest racers on the team, and she’s identified where she can improve her times next year.

Lopez needed over 29 minutes to complete her first race this past fall, but the sophomore harrier surged as the season progressed. Nearly one month after her season-opener against Ottawa, where she ran a 29:08, Lopez recorded her new personal-best time against Morris, clocking in at 23:58. Lopez finished the season as one of Rochelle’s top-4 girls on the cross country team, with all four eligible to return next year after a three-win 2020 season.

“I really enjoy being part of such a unique sport because it helps push me to be better,” Lopez said. “I thought I improved a lot during my sophomore season, but there’s always room for more improvement. Next year, I’d like to continue working on adding more distance to my daily runs as well as increasing my speed. I’m happy to be a part of the RTHS cross country team.”

Lopez, who was a member of the RTHS track and field team as a freshman, was one of three sophomores who stepped up for the Lady Hub varsity cross country team this past fall. With a core group that includes Sara Johnson, Yuelma Ortiz and Ahtziri Zepeda all eligible to run again next season, Lopez said that she and her teammates are looking to continue improving.

“I thought we all performed well,” Lopez said. “I thought we tried our best and our running can always improve. Next season, I’d like to work on running faster and catching up to my other teammates during races. I’d also like to have a new personal record next season.”

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