Schaumburg girls cross-country coach Jon Macnider was looking for a smile from Colette Falsey near the finish line.
"Colette's got a great smile," Macnider said. "We love to see her smile. She smiles when she runs well."
Falsey revealed another indicator of her performance.
"Coach says my eyes get bigger when I'm doing well in a race," she said.
Falsey had a number of reasons to smile Saturday after winning the Richard Spring Invitational at Detweiller Park in Peoria.
One day before her 18th birthday, Falsey set a new personal record of 17 minutes, 7 seconds to win the 3-mile race, topping her previous best time from when she finished ninth as a sophomore at the state meet on the same course.
"I felt really strong the whole race," she said. "After the first mile, I felt great. I felt good after the second half. The third mile was easy. It was all adrenaline. My opponents made me run strong."
Falsey, a senior, set the pace for a big day for Schaumburg. Schaumburg seniors Karen Lesiewicz (seventh, 17:27) and Britten Petrey (eighth, 17:29) joined Falsey in the top eight to help the Saxons win the team title with 83 points.
"Our main focus was to feel good at the end and the beginning, and work the middle," Lesiewicz said.
Palatine placed second with 91 points and Downers Grove North scored 127 points to take third. Palatine senior Courtney Brown finished second (17:12) and Bartlett's Alyssa Schneider was third (17:13).
"I went out too hard, and I was surrounded by girls with excellent kicks at the end," Brown said. "I'm not a good kicker. I've been up and down on this course."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times