Jalyssa Blazek

Turkey Valley’s Blazek claims UIC title

Trojans’ freshman closes strong to win girls race; Byrne, Franzen also earn all-league honors

When Turkey Valley coach Sarah Bakula saw where freshman Jalyssa Blazek was two-thirds through the Upper Iowa Conference race, Bakula couldn’t help but smile.

“She got out with the leaders and she was in perfect control of her race,” Bakula said, “and I knew she was sitting — well, running obviously — in good position.”

Blazek was as she took the lead late in the race and steadily pulled away to beat second-place Haley Meyer by 26 seconds for the UIC crown. 

And Blazek’s run wasn’t the only bright spot at a meet that was originally slated to be at Turkey Valley but had to be moved to North Fayette Valley because of wet conditions as both Jaycie Byrne and Isaac Franzen also earned all-conference honors. Byrne finished sixth in the girls race while Franzen was 11th in the boys race.

“Right now, we’re at the point of the season where everything comes down to places,” Bakula said, “and so we weren’t focused as much on times as we were making sure we ran where we should be as far as the field goes.”

More on the story may be found in the Oct. 16 Tribune.

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