Over the last 12 years, the Quartons have frequently made the early November trip to the IHSA Cross Country State Finals at Detweiller Park in Peoria, but this last outing was a bittersweet one for the family.
This year's trip on Saturday, Nov. 9, marked the sixth and final time one of Brian and Lori Quarton's daughters would compete at the cross country state meet as senior Caroline Quarton ended her career on the sport's biggest stage.
Quarton, who was making her second appearance after having run at state as a freshman, finished 125th in the 215-runner field. While her finish was nine spots behind where she ran in 2016, Quarton shaved five seconds off her overall time, running a 20:00.47 compared to her 20:05 as a freshman.
The state run ended the run of Quartons at the girls state meet, which included older sisters Alexandria, who was 66th in 2015, and Victoria, who was 69th in 2009, 21st in 2010 and ninth in 2011, Litchfield's best ever finish in cross country.
While the Quarton girls are done at the state meet, there may still be another chapter of the same story ahead for the family. Younger brother Camden, who will be a freshman next year, finished 25th at the IESA State Cross Country Meet, earning all-state honors, something even his sisters didn't accomplish.