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updated: 9/27/2012 9:30 PM

Palatine, Hersey clinch division titles

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By Michael Eaken
Daily Herald Correspondent

Palatine's boys cross country team ran a bit cold in a sixth-place finish on Saturday in the invitational it hosted, but the Pirates were sure hot on Thursday.

Palatine had seven runners finish in the top 10 in cruising to two victories at the Mid-Suburban League West triangular at Deer Grove East.

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Palatine defeated Hoffman 20-43 and Schaumburg 24-37 in securing its 11th straight MSL West division title.

Schaumburg senior Evan Prizy took first in 15:00 leading the Saxons to a 24-33 victory over Hoffman Estates. Billy Thomas (15:16) led the Hawks by taking second.

Palatine senior Christian Zambrano (15:26) took third to lead Palatine.

"We just wanted to get back to work," said Palatine coach Chris Quick whose team won its 27th division title and also continued its dual winning streak but notching victories No. 67 and 68. "We just wanted to hit that first mile."

And the Pirates did that, with five runners in the top seven at the mile mark.

"We wanted to go out hard and run aggressive," said Zambrano. "It's a big deal winning the division, and we just want to keep the streak alive"

Senior Brian Smith (15:42), sophomore Graham Brown (15:47), senior Zach Stella (15:52), and senior Andrew Clingerman (15:57) then finished fifth through eighth to complete the Pirates' scoring.

"That was one of our main goals to pack up after coming off a tough run on Saturday," said Smith. "We wanted to be aggressive early to set the tone."

Prizy did a nice job of doing just that for Schaumburg. The senior battled Thomas and Zambrano the first mile and then took charge midway through the second mile.

"I felt really good today," said Prizy. "I'm feeling confident and I just want to keep progressing and give it everything I have."

Senior Juan Barajas (15:39) added a fourth-place finish for the Saxons.

Thomas took the lead early in the second mile for Hoffman, but the Hawks junior could not match Prizy's strong finish.

"It shows me where I'm at," said Thomas who has also had a strong season. "I'm motivated to keep improving."

Hersey takes East title: Hersey took another step forward on Thursday at the Elk Grove triangular.

The Huskies defeated Buffalo Grove 22-35, and added a victory over host Elk Grove 15-46 in securing its first MSL East Division title since 2007.

Sophomore David Rodriguez (15:39) and junior Andy Philipose (15:47) led the charge for Hersey by taking second and third place.

"The guys were really pumped up, this was one of our goals," said Hersey coach Jay Renaud. "We are really working together."

Senior Ryan Kearns (15:54) took fourth for Hersey, followed by junior Jack O'Neil (16:04) and senior Robert Somary (16:05), who took sixth and seventh place.

Hersey lost its opening dual meet at Palatine, but the Huskies have come on strong since. Now the Huskies are hoping to ride this momentum into the postseason.

"We've improved so much since the beginning of the season," said Renaud. "We're starting to click, but we haven't run our best race yet."

Junior Steven Salvano (15:28) took first leading Buffalo Grove to a 19-42 victory over Elk Grove. Kevin Salvano (15:58) and sophomore Jake Wenzel (16:14) added fifth and eighth place for the Bison.

Junior Joey Kramer (16:15) and junior Mike Frinter (16:15) paced host Elk Grove, finishing in ninth and 10th place.

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