LANSING | For Illiana Christian's Alexa Beezhold, life in first place can sometimes be tough running out in front and all alone.
Beezhold won the girls race at the Illiana Christian Invitational with a time of 19 minutes, 22 seconds, more than 30 seconds faster than second-place finisher Cassidy Devenouges of Bishop McNamara. In a close competition, the Illiana girls won the team standings over Bishop McNamara by five points, 37-42. The Marian Catholic girls took fifth (132) in the team standings while Bloom Township placed sixth (136).
"I didn't get as good a time as I'd like to," Beezhold said. "I was trying to just focus, because I was running by myself. We're just trying to get to the right spot to peak again. I think we'll get there."
Bloom Township's Gina Narcisi finished in third for the Blazing Trojans with a time of 19:56. Bloom's Sullibet Ramirez finished sixth with a time of 20:05.
"It was kind of a slow start, but me and Gina kept it up there," Ramirez said. "I finished strong and felt good about that. I'm starting up where I left off last year, so that's good."
Illiana Christian's Emma Pawlowski finished fifth for the Vikings. Alex Clausing and Monica Smits captured seventh and ninth place respectively for Illiana. T.F. North's Monica Munoz placed 11th in 20:45.
"I improved my time and it's all mentality," Munoz said. "Just keep pushing yourself, and that's what I had in my mind the whole time. I have a goal to at least get nineteen minutes before the end of the season."
In the boys race, Illiana Christian's Nick Fiene finished first with a time of 15:39. Viking Tony Wandaal finished second, and the Illiana Christian boys captured first (24) in the team competition over Lincoln Way East (40). Marian Catholic finished fourth (135), while T.F. South finished fifth (145).
"Today was a good day to run," Fiene said. "We had a real hard week training wise, leading up to this. I'd say we ran hard today, but we really didn't race."
Marian Catholic's Camren Howard was fourth with a time of 16:01.
"The course is really flat and there's no hills or inclines," Howard said. "The course is pretty easy, and I got my PR today. So, I'm pretty happy about that."