Barrington's boys cross country team placed eighth in the state in Class 3A last season, and the Broncos look like they will be in the state mix once again this season.
Barrington keeps rolling despite losing two-time all-state runner Erik Peterson to graduation. For the moment, the Broncos are also missing top returning runner Ryan Burgoon, who also made all-state last season with a 23rd-place finish in Class 3A.
But thanks to a tight pack, Barrington has found early success this season. The Broncos continued to surge with a 24-33 Mid-Suburban League West victory over host Schaumburg at Macnider Cross Country Course at Hoover School on Thursday.
Schaumburg senior Evan Prizy set the pace by taking first on 3.1 mile course in 16:27, but senior Mike Rappleye (16:48) ignited the Broncos by taking second. Barrington swept spots 4 through 7 to claim victory.
"That's what they been doing all year," said Barrington coach Ty Gorman of the tight Broncos pack that has won two duals and also took first at the Lake County Invitational. "These guys have been together a long time and there is a good chemistry here."
Senior Kerry Frank (17:00), senior Andrew McAuliff (17:18), sophomore Konrad Eiring (17:22), and Ryan Perkins (17:28) kept the line moving for Barrington, taking fourth through seventh place.
Burgoon is set to return on Saturday at the Wauconda Invitational, and the senior will add to an experienced and talented group.
"We're focusing on working together," said Rappleye. "So far it's worked pretty well."
Prizy cruised to the victory by a 21-second margin, and the Saxons senior showed he's ready to make his mark after he and the Saxons narrowly missed qualifying for state last season.
"It was a huge disappointment," said Prizy of his Saxon team that finished sixth at the Schaumburg sectional last season, one spot short of qualifying for the state meet. "This year we're definitely using that as fuel to get us going."
Senior Juan Barajas (16:52) helped the Saxons by taking third place, with senior Travis Rauch (17:41) and senior Mikias Tibebu (17:42) finish eighth and ninth.
"We're getting there, and we'll get stronger as the season progresses," said Schaumburg coach Scott Lilley. "We're looking to close the gap on our top two, and get the guys closer, and we'll see what happens."