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updated: 8/30/2011 9:20 PM

S. Elgin's Gonzalez wins Elgin title

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  • South Elgin's Francisco Garcia leads the pack to the finish line during the Elgin cross country invitational Tuesday at Lords Park.

       South Elgin's Francisco Garcia leads the pack to the finish line during the Elgin cross country invitational Tuesday at Lords Park.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Eventual winner Fernando Garcia of South Elgin rounds a late corner in second place during the Elgin cross country invitational Tuesday at Lords Park. He is surrounded by Batavia teammates Mike Redmond in front, who eventually finished third, and Chris Spadafora who finished fourth. Behind them are Bartlett teammates Joey Salatino, who finished second and Connor Rachford who finished fifth.

       Eventual winner Fernando Garcia of South Elgin rounds a late corner in second place during the Elgin cross country invitational Tuesday at Lords Park. He is surrounded by Batavia teammates Mike Redmond in front, who eventually finished third, and Chris Spadafora who finished fourth. Behind them are Bartlett teammates Joey Salatino, who finished second and Connor Rachford who finished fifth.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Eventual second place finisher Joey Salatino of Bartlett lifts his jersey in the starting sprint during the Elgin cross country invitational Tuesday at Lords Park.

       Eventual second place finisher Joey Salatino of Bartlett lifts his jersey in the starting sprint during the Elgin cross country invitational Tuesday at Lords Park.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Second place finisher Joey Salatino of Bartlett and winner Francisco Garcia of South Elgin relax after finishing the Elgin cross country invitational Tuesday at Lords Park.

       Second place finisher Joey Salatino of Bartlett and winner Francisco Garcia of South Elgin relax after finishing the Elgin cross country invitational Tuesday at Lords Park.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North teammates laugh as Grant Markowicz holds the championship trophy after the Elgin cross country invitational Tuesday at Lords Park. Markowicz placed sixth overall. All five North Star runners finished in the top 15.

       St. Charles North teammates laugh as Grant Markowicz holds the championship trophy after the Elgin cross country invitational Tuesday at Lords Park. Markowicz placed sixth overall. All five North Star runners finished in the top 15.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
By Brian Schaumburg
Daily Herald Correspondent

South Elgin senior Francisco Gonzalez said he did not expect to win the Elgin City Cross Country Invitational on Tuesday.

In most teams' first meet of the season, Gonzalez ran the 3-mile course at Lords Park in 16:05.5 to beat Bartlett's Joey Salatino by 5.2 seconds.

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"I just wanted to see where I was at early in the season and work from there," Gonzalez said.

The pace was fast in the first mile, about 5 minutes, Gonzalez said. He felt good during the second mile and took the lead. He didn't give it up and ran a personal best at the course.

"It went out fast," Gonzalez said. "I tried to hold back. It's warm and the first meet of the season. Everyone wanted to stay conservative."

St. Charles North won the team title, scoring 49 points. Bartlett (50) was second, followed by Batavia (82), South Elgin (133) and Glenbard North (151).

Salatino's second-place finish was one of five in the top 16 for the Hawks. Connor Rachford was fifth (16:23.2), Mike Cotton was 13th (16:56.5), Alejandro Hernandez was 14th (16:58.3) and Dan Cotton was 16th (17:09.6).

Batavia's Mike Redmond (16:16.3) and Chris Spadafora (16:29.6) finished third and fourth individually.

Streamwood's Jhoan Lino took eighth (16:50.2). Peter Lennard was Larkin's top finisher, placing 19th in 17:12.6. St. Edward's John Danner was 23rd in 17:15.7. Dillon Muscat led Dundee-Crown, finishing 24th in 17:19.1. Tanner Bednar (46th, 18:18.6) was Elgin's top runner.

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