By PAUL HINES
David Modert ran a career best race, and Mallory Bergbower made her fourth straight appearance at the cross country state finals Saturday.
Mt. Vernon’s Modert finished 34th overall in a time of 15:16. It was 14 seconds faster than his previous best on a 3.1 mile course.
“He knew he gave it his best effort,” Mt. Vernon coach Clint Turner said. “By running that faster time, that kind of affirmed that for him too.”
Webber’s Bergbower finished her 1A race in a time of 19:34 and was 99th overall. Decatur St. Teresa’s Ivy Handley won the race in 17:24.
“She just had an outstanding high school cross country career,” Webber coach Roger Yates said. “She’s raised the bar pretty high. So it’s going to be hard for someone to come in and match her.”
Modert had to contend with a fast-tempo race. John Wold of Glenbard South was the 2A champion and finished in a time of 14:16. Modert said entering the race he was hoping for a personal best time that would finish his season with all-state honors. The top 25 runners are named to the all-state team.
“I was still happy with my time and just fortunate that everything worked out where I could (run a personal best) by that much,” Modert said.
Bergbower’s state race ends an era of family cross country athletes at Webber. Her siblings Breanna and Josh also competed for the school. Breanna made a trio of state final appearances, and Josh had one.
Both athletes will continue into track season. Turner added the experience Modert had this year with the state final will aid him as he prepares for his senior season.
“The bar’s been raised,” Turner said. “We know (a) 5:05, 5:06 pace isn’t going to do it. He’s going to have to be able to run a five-minute pace.”