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updated: 10/1/2011 6:47 PM

Marengo, Benet, Jacobs lead Harland team finish

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By John Bumbales
Daily Herald Correspondent

Heading into the 38th Annual Harland Invite hosted by Antioch, girls country runners knew they were going to have some major obstacles to overcome.

The main road blocks on the 3-mile Fox River State Park course are very large, steep hills which can get the best of even the experienced runners.

Two runners who conquered the course where Marengo teammates Katie Adams (17:19) and Allie Sprague (17:20) as that duo placed 1-2 to carry the Indians to the championship of the 19-team meet 42-56 over Benet Academy.

Jacobs' young squad continued to impress Saturday with a third-place score of 81 points as the Golden Eagles rolled past fourth-place squad Lakes (132 points).

The North Suburban Conference was well represented near the top of the final standings as Warren placed fifth with 141 points followed by Vernon Hills (166 points) in sixth.

Jacobs was led by freshman Lauren VanVlierbergen (17:48) in fourth place, junior Sam Baran in 13th, sophomore Kayla Guiliano in 14th, and freshman Courtney Eubanks in 20th.

"I'm very excited where our girls finished taking third to two very solid teams," said Jacobs coach Kevin Christian. "Being so young we've had to be very patient with them but they have definitely exceeded my expectations."

Lakes was led by senior teammates Kathryn Dean in fifth and Hannah Wittman in 11th before the Eagles squad headed out for their homecoming activities Saturday night. Freshman Brittani Griesbaum placed 25th for Lakes.

"We were hoping to run with Marengo today, but they had a great day today for their program," said Lakes coach Keith West. "We had some good individual performances today from our top three and we're gearing up for the Wheeling Invitational next Saturday."

Junior Meg Tully led Warren's pack in 16th place followed by freshman teammate Becky Haight in 19th and senior Andrea Saigh in 22nd.

"I think the girls worked hard, they went out like we asked them to, and they really worked the middle of the race," said Warren assistant coach Kathy Delzotti. "We focused this week on being able to attack the hills."

Ali Marks was Vernon Hills' top runner in 21st place followed by teammate Danielle Fiarito in 27th.

"We had a nice group today and they packed it up pretty nicely for the most part," said Vernon Hills coach Suzanne Richert. "I was happy with their effort on the hills because this is a very tough course."

Sophomore Lindsey Lewis continued to shine for Grant with a ninth-place run.

"Lindsey ran OK today, but she had some shin issues this week a little bit," said Grant coach Jeff Durlak. "She's had such a consistent year so far that she was due for a race like today which wasn't her best."