The kiss was worth waiting for.
Denied the chance to do their customary pre-race kissing of the baton Thursday night, after the final heat of the 1,600-meter relay was postponed due to lingering lightning in the area, Vernon Hills' relay girls settled for a makeup kiss Friday at Stevenson, as the North Suburban Conference meet was concluded.
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"Since freshman year, it's always been like that, no matter who's on the team," Cougars senior Taylor Krue said. "We (kiss) the baton in correct order and we just run."
It's not just lip service.
Vernon Hills captured the 1,600 relay in a season-best 4:02.8, as anchor Krue held off a surge by Helen Schlachtenhaufen of Lake Forest (4:02.9). Taylor Pearson, Abbie Letts and Ali Peacock ran the first three legs for the Cougars, with Pearson opening a lead that was never relinquished.
The triple jump, which was the only other event not completed Thursday, was won by Warren's Amber Cook (36 feet 3), with Lake Zurich's Kaeley Ferguson (35-1) taking second.
Lake Forest's runner-up finish in the 1,600 relay secured the Scouts' championship. Lake Forest finished with 91 points. Vernon Hills (81) edged Warren (80), which was third in the 1,600 relay, for second place. Libertyville (67) was fourth, and Grant (60) squeezed past Lakes (59) for fifth. Lake Zurich (37) was seventh, followed by Stevenson (24), Wauconda (20) -- which elected to be scratched from the 1,600 relay due to prom -- Zion-Benton (19), Mundelein (11) and Antioch (8).
Count Krue as among those who would have preferred to finish the 1,600 relay Thursday night.
"We were warmed up already," Krue said. "I really just wanted to go and (race), instead of waiting around for a while. It's just really a lot better when you've stretched and warmed up to just go run and do it."
Fortunately for the Cougars, who were the top seed, resuming the meet the next day didn't derail them.
Their time was a season best.
"I was very glad that we were all fresh and ran as well as we did today," Krue said. "We got our rest. ... I think we're really ready for sectionals next week. I'm very excited for that."