Prep sports profile: Claire Costelloe

After her team narrowly missed qualifying for state last season, Neuqua Valley runner Claire Costelloe has her eye on the prize. According to head coach Tim McCoskey, the incoming senior has improved her three-mile time from 19:15 during her freshman year to a personal record of 18:02 last season. 

Name: Claire Costelloe

Age/year in school (incoming): 17/Senior

Hometown: Naperville

Sport: Cross Country

How long have you run cross country? Five years.

What do you love most about cross country?

[It’s] an outlet; no matter how long or stressful a day has been, practice makes it better. My team is like a second family.

What are your goals for the upcoming season? How will you achieve them?

Last year, my team missed qualifying for state by a handful of points. My main goal is to do whatever it takes to get them to Detweiller Park [at the state meet in Peoria] this season. Through effective training and a commitment to each other, it’s definitely within the realm of possibility.

How do you motivate yourself to train during the summer?

Thinking long term about October and November when the season becomes very serious. Training during the summer pays off in the fall.

Who has inspired you most in your athletic endeavors?

My uncle Jimmy. I grew up watching him run marathons and he’s the person who really got me interested in running. When I was in eighth grade, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but he refused to let it interfere with his life. This past fall, I watched him complete the Milwaukee marathon after finishing a round of chemotherapy.

If you didn’t run cross country, what would you be doing?

Working or volunteering more. And sleeping a lot.

What’s the best part about summer in Naperville?

Naperville has this newfound addiction to frozen yogurt shops. They’re everywhere. It’s great.

Who is your favorite athlete and why?

Jonathan Toews. He’s a talented athlete and leader. He stands with his team, even when he’s nursing an injury or cannot play.

How do you beat the heat during workouts?

Lots of water, during and after practice. Sometimes if the team’s lucky, parents will bring popsicles.

Favorite quote or words to live by:

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Profile edited by Lauren Comitor. Local coaches who would like to see an athlete featured in TribLocal should email

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