It was a mixed bag for Jacobs junior Lauren Van Vlierbergen at Saturday's McHenry County Cross Country Meet held at McHenry County Township Park in Johnsburg.
Van Vlierbergen was a little disappointed she finished a distant second to county champion Maura Beattie of Woodstock, but Van Vlierbergen was happy she was able to run the 3-mile course pain free.
Van Vlierbergen, who was hindered by a hip injury all last season during the cross country and track seasons, placed second with a time of 18:37.9. Beattie breezed through the course in a clocking of 17:52.5 to claim the county championship.
"Maura is a great runner but I was hoping for a little better time," said Van Vlierbergen. "I had a good first race and I ran pain free."
The Cary-Grove junior trio of Morgan Schulz, Gretchen Price and Talia Duzey placed fourth, fifth and sixth respectively in the meet.
"I am very happy with the way we ran," said Duzey. "I am a little dehydrated, but it was a good first meet of the year."
Other finishers for the Trojans were Sarah Riley (21st), Molly MacDuff (24th), Magalie Baker (28th), Quinn Bugner (42nd) and Maddie Good (55th).
'It is nice to see that we have Morgan and Gretchen who can push Talia at the top," C-G said coach Mark Anderson. "The first meet is a good measuring stick and we did well."
For Jacobs, Van Vlierbergen's sister Kathryn finished 12th followed by Kayla Giuliano (16th), Courtney Eubanks (22nd), Alex Lorenz (23rd), Taylor Bona (33rd) and Molly Barnes (34th).
Huntley's top performer was Kate Mitchell who was 18th. Kelly Meehleib also cracked the Top 25 with a 25th place finish. Jerissa Chan placed 27th followed by Savannah Henn (45th) and Sabrina Celli (63rd).
Kiley Britten was Crystal Lake South's top runner with a 15th place finish. Malgorzata Waz placed 26th with Andie Kobrick (29th), Bianca Jimenez was 51st and Julia Meyer 52nd.
Boys race: The future looks bright for the Huntley boys cross country team.
With sophomore Keagan Smith and Seth Conroy finishing fourth and 10th respectively, Red Raiders head coach Matt Kaplan likes the progress of his young duo.
"Keagan and Seth both met the plan," said Kaplan. "We needed a meet for them to get the nervousness and jitters out of the way. They both have room for improvement but ran well."
Smith, who ran varsity for the Red Raiders most of last season as a freshman, was glad to get the season under way.
"I have worked hard in the off season, but the competition at the county meet is what I needed," said Smith. "We had a hard week of practice in the heat to prepare for the season and it paid off today,"
Jim Jestus was the next Raider to finish with a 35th place finish. Ricky Raclawski was 47th followed by Kyler Callanan who was 71st.
Jacobs senior Corey Albrecht cracked the Top 10 with a sixth-place finish. Jeremy Horn was 51st followed by Dylan Rogers who was 75th.
Cary-Grove's top finisher was John Cody who was 18th. Michael Saxon was 26th, Tyler Stordahl placed 30th, Sang Seo 32nd and Jack Adams 43rd.
David Lenzini was Crystal Lake South's top runner with a 23rd place finish. Matt Lundine was 39th and Justin Miller 41st.
No team scores are recorded at the meet.