Schaumburg junior Ali Gutt was held out of the Mid-Suburban League conference meet due to missing a practice after oversleeping.
On Saturday, the Saxons junior was wide awake.
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Gutt pulled away in the final mile in securing the individual title in 17:54, helping Schaumburg edge host Hoffman Estates 38-41 for the Class 3A regional title at Busse Woods.
"She looked awake," said Schaumburg coach Jason Beer of Gutt's performance that helped the Saxons come from behind in the final mile to secure the title. "I thought we started hard, maybe a bit too hard, but then we settled in and we're able to come back at the end."
Prospect took third with 88 points, followed by Rolling Meadows (103), Conant (132) and Fremd (133).
All six teams advance to Saturday's Schaumburg sectional at Busse Woods.
Gutt took charge of the race early and then broke free in the final mile, holding off Rolling Meadows senior Vanessa Sanchez (18:11) and Hoffman Estates senior Solome Haile (18:13).
"I was definitely angry and I was putting that toward my race," said Gutt who opened up the race in the final mile. "I just decided to take the race."
Gutt was followed by junior Erin Falsey (18:16) and freshman Ellie O'Connell (18:17) who took fourth and fifth place, with junior Caroline Kurdej (18:40) adding eighth place, giving a Saxons a powerful front four.
But it was senior Debra Sodimu (19:19), who took 20th place, that helped seal the victory for the Saxons.
"She knows how to close the door," said Beer of Sodimu, who did not falter down the stretch. "Now we're looking to continue the momentum going forward."
Hoffman Estates held the lead at the 2-mile mark, with Haile pushing the pace. Both junior Alondra Aguirre (18:17) and junior Yazmin Nunez (18:19) came on strong going 6-7, with sophomore Meagan Biddle (18:41) adding a ninth-place finish.
"We're definitely taking a step forward and narrowing the gap," said Solome Haile of the Hawks' progress. "We just need to be able to finish it."
Senior Elsabet Haile (19:08) and sophomore Reena Prahbu (19:12) contributed to the Hawks' attack, finishing 16th and 18th.
"We haven't seen our best yet," said Hoffman coach Kirk Macnider. "We ran well today, it's just hard when you're winning the race and it's there for you and you lose in the last 300 meters."
Prospect is surging hard and continued to climb on Saturday as freshman duo Aileen White (18:42) and Brooke Wilson (18:50) went 10-12 to pace the Knights. Junior Hannah Getschman (19:05) and junior Ellen Siefke (19:38) took 14th and 25th.
"It feels good to keep moving up," said White who finished 25th at the MSL meet. "We've improved a lot over the season, and we're looking to continue that next week."
A hard-charging Vanesss Sanchez took second helping Rolling Meadows secure fourth place. She was followed by sophomore Sara O'Malley (19:07), sophomore Gabby Sanchez (19:19), and sophomore Leslie Rosiles (19:27) who took 15th, 19th, and 23rd place for the Mustangs.
Sanchez was sitting in the sixth spot at the 2-mile mark, but the Mustang senior surged in the final mile, with the final burst at the finish in taking second.
"It's really mental," said Sanchez of her final push. "You just have to think you have more juice and more gears."
Sophomore Natalie Lakomski (18:58) and sophomore Zoe Shoro (19:24) took 13th and 22nd place in pushing Conant to fifth place.
Fremd junior Ayako Higuchi, who finished second at the MSL meet, sat out due to the flu, but junior Katie Escobar (18:46) and junior Anita Grudzien (19:21) took 11th and 21st place helping the Vikings advance to the sectional with a sixth-place finish.
Hersey freshman Hailey Bowes (19:10) was the top individual qualifier finishing in 17th place for the Huskies.