Howland sets season best at state

By on November 11, 2010

by Keith Beebe
Peoria—A two-year layoff from cross-country running didn’t seem to have much of an effect on Kaneland High School’s Jen Howland at the IHSA 2A State Final on Saturday in Peoria.

Howland, a world-class triathlete who competed in the International Triathlon Union’s Women’s Junior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, last September, finished in 51st place with a season-best time of 18:26.

“For someone who had not run high school cross country (in) over two years, I would say she did a great job,” KHS Coach Doug Ecker said. “She only started practicing with us the last week (of) September (and had) only five to six weeks of practice and limited meet experience.”

Howland missed the last two cross-country seasons because of injuries, including two broken legs brought on by stress fractures in her shins in 2009.

Photo: Kaneland’s Jen Howland (880) finished 51st at Saturday’s IHSA State Cross Country meet. In what is considered the fastest race in the history of the state meet, Howland’s time of 18:26 would have been good enough for All-State last season. Photo by Linda Bell