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updated: 10/18/2012 8:32 PM

Girls cross country: regional scouting, Northwest

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By Michael Eaken
Daily Herald Correspondent

Scouting girls cross country regionals

What to know: The top seven teams and top five runners from non-qualifying teams advance to the sectionals. Rankings below are from the Illinois Cross Country Coaches Poll.

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CLASS 3A

Hoffman Estates Regional

Where: Busse Woods When: 10 a.m.

Advancement: Schaumburg sectional

Outlook: This could be a very interesting all Mid-Suburban League regional. No. 11 Schaumburg, Fremd, Prospect, and Hoffman Estates are ready to tangle. Sophomore Caroline Kurdej took second in the MSL for Schaumburg and she is joined by fellow sophomore Ali Gutt and sophomore Erin Falsey, who aided the Saxons' third-place MSL effort. Fremd, Prospect, and Hoffman will give chase in a very competitive field. Fremd senior Kelly Breen, Prospect senior Lauren Poplawski and Hoffman junior Solome Haile will add to the strong field.

Grant Regional

Where: Camp Henry Horner, Ingleside When: 11 a.m.

Advancement: Schaumburg sectional

Outlook: No. 4 Palatine nipped No. 7 Barrington by 6 points for the MSL title; look for another close match on Saturday. A healthy Cassidy McPherson should give Palatine a lift. Senior Tess Wasowicz and junior Jess Lincoln give the Pirates a tough 1-2 punch. Barrington freshman Lauren Conroy shocked the conference by winning the individual title, and the Fillies frosh seems to get better each week. Junior Caroline Reynolds also was a big surprise with her seventh-place finish for Barrington. Lake Zurich and Cary-Grove will be looking to put some pressure on Palatine and Barrington. Lake Zurich junior Meaghan Gelinas, Grant junior Lindsey Lewis, McHenry sophomore Lauren Opatrny, and Cary-Grove sophomore Talia Duzey will challenge.

Libertyville Regional

Where: Adler Park When: 2 p.m.

Advancement: Schaumburg sectional

Outlook: Lake Forest and Warren went 1-2 at the North Suburban Conference meet. Mundelein is also a team that cannot be overlooked in the nine-team regional. Lake Forest senior Elle Chody nipped Warren senior Meg Tully for the NSC crown. Buffalo Grove freshman Kailtyn Ko is good enough to win the title; the Bison frosh took third in the MSL. Mundelein senior Ellie Palacios has had a strong season.

Loyola Regional

Where: Harm's Woods When: 10 a.m.

Advancement: Niles West sectional

Outlook: No. 3 New Trier will be the heavy favorite at Loyola. Senior Courtney Ackerman, senior Jessica Ackerman and sophomore Mimi Smith give the defending Class 3A state champions a powerful boost. New Trier edged Maine South for the Central Suburban title last week. Junior Emily Leonard powers Maine South. Maine West will also be part of the 10-team field.

St. Ignatius Regional

Where: Washington Park, Chicago When: Noon

Advancement: Niles West sectional

Outlook: Leyden will be a part of the 10-team regional that features nine Chicago schools. Senior Danyle Segura will push the Eagles attack.

CLASS 2A

St. Viator Regional

Where: Melas Park When: 9 a.m.

Advancement: Fenton sectional

Outlook: St. Viator finished in fourth place at the East Suburban Catholic Conference meet, but only 19 points in back of champion Benet. Senior Hanna Winter looked really strong in taking second place, with junior Meghan Carroll adding a fourth-place finish for the Lions.

-- Michael Eaken

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