Emma Argo defended her turf as the returning state champion won the individual Class 1A girls race Saturday at the mega First to the Finish Invitational at Detweiller Park to lead Eureka to the team title
Argo covered the 3-mile state meet course in 17 minutes, 54.3 seconds to clip Staunton's Lydia Roller (17:55.1). Argo's teammate Alexi Fogo placed sixth as Eureka claimed team honors with 129 points, 38 better than second-place Winnebago. Olympia was fifth (188) and El Paso-Gridley seventh in the 65-team meet that featured 274 runners.
"This is really a confidence booster to get back into competing," said Argo. "There's definitely a lot of pressure coming off of last year to compete well. It was nice to just get back into competing. (Pressure) is part of it and it's good to use it as motivation to work hard."
In the Class 2A girls race, Dunlap placed fifth and Washington ninth out of 58 teams. Individually, Morton senior Aspen Gordon was the top area finisher with a sixth-place finish (18:00.8). Macy Priess (18:30.9) led Dunlap with a 12th-place finish. Belvidere North won the team title.
In the 3A girls race, defending state champ Naperville North won the team title. Dunlap transfer Campbell Petersen was 10th in 17:32 for Naperville North.