Lyons Township runner Haley Prokaski defelects credit to her teammates
Updated: September 7, 2012 12:41PM
WESTERN SPRINGS — Senior Haley Prokaski may be considered the top runner on the Lyons Township girls cross country team this season.
Prokaski doesn’t view it that way, however.
“Lexy (Rudofski) is so good,” Prokaski said of her teammate and friend. “She’s like my twin. We’re basically like the same person as me. She’s amazing.”
Prokaski and Rudofski, who is a junior, have formed a bond as the team’s top two runners this season.
They helped the Lions finish 11th at last year’s state meet and are hoping their solid one-two punch at the top of the lineup can lead to a top-10 performance this season.
Rudofski made her state debut as a sophomore when she finished 101st with a time of 18:32. She appears poised for a much improved season.
Rudofski gives a big assist to Prokaski, who placed 57th at state last year after taking 111th as a sophomore.
“It’s amazing training with Haley,” Rudofski said. “I love running with her. We’re such a good pair to run together. We help each other so much during races. If I’m behind, she’ll tell me to move up. I’ve learned so much from her and it’s nice being friends.”
Even though Prokaski is a year older than Rudofski, the elder runner has no doubts that she wouldn’t fare as well without the junior’s presence on the course.
The two are almost always close enough to communicate with each other during the race.
“She is my motivation all the way,” Prokaski said. “Anytime either one of us is hurting, we’re always encouraging each other to keep going. We’re just neck and neck the whole way and help each other so much.”
LT finished fourth at its own season-opening invitational Saturday in Western Springs.
The key to the Lions’ success this season hinges on its pack mentality and LT coach Stetson Steele knows that starts with Prokaski and Rudofski.
“They’re our top two runners,” Steele said. “They do a good job of pushing each other.”