Hersey is showing no signs of slowing down.
Having won the Mid-Suburban League title and the Hoffman Estates regional title the past two weekends, the Huskies kept rolling right along at the Class 3A Schaumburg sectional on Saturday.
On a cool and overcast morning, Hersey placed five runners in the top 29 in winning the sectional title with 93 points at Busse Woods.
“I feel really good,” said Hersey coach Jay Renaud, whose team won its first sectional title. “We want to keep the momentum going, keep that winning attitude and it should serve us well at the state meet.”
Buffalo Grove kept it close, taking second with 119 points, followed by Palatine (154 points) and Lake Zurich (157 points).
Conant and Prospect tied for fifth and the final qualifying spot with 184 points. All six teams advance to the Class 3A state meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria next Saturday.
McHenry junior Jesse Reiser made his move entering the final mile and hung tight down the home stretch in winning the individual title in 15:03, holding off a strong challenge by Conant junior Zach Dale (15:05) and Highland Park senior Angel Estrada (15:12).
“The final mile I tried to separate myself a little bit,” said Reiser of his race-changing move. “Zach (Dale) and Angel (Estrada) stuck with me the whole time, but the final 200 meters I just moved.”
Dale, the MSL champion, pressured Reiser right up to the finish, but ran out of room in taking second.
“I was just trying to hang on,” said Dale of the battle in the final mile. “I really wanted a win, but it’s great experience for next weekend.”
Palatine junior Graham Brown (15:19) and Hoffman Estates senior Billy Thomas (15:28) stayed closed to the leaders through the first two miles and finished 4-5.
Fremd senior Harry Winter (15:36) and senior Nick Vucovich (15:38) finished 9th and 11th and will join Reiser, Estrada, Thomas, Libertyville senior Pat Human (10th place), and Warren sophomore Dustin Macuiba (12th place) as individual qualifiers at the Class 3A state meet.
Hersey junior David Rodriguez (15:34) and senior Andy Philipose (15:34) set the tone for Hersey in taking 7-8. The two Huskies worked side by side the entire race.
“We were looking to work together,” said Philipose of the Huskies attack. “We wanted to stay relaxed through the first mile and then move up.”
“We came in and accomplished what we wanted to do,” said Rodriguez.
Hersey’s back pack then closed the door, with senior Jack O’Neil (15:52), junior Grant Von Der Lippe (15:57) and senior Erick DeLoera (15:59) taking 21st, 28th, and 29th place.
“I thought we really worked well together,” said O’Neil, who came on strong in the final mile. “It’s the climax of the season; this is what we’ve all been waiting for.”
Buffalo Grove had its best race of the season, as sophomore Kevin Salvano (15:45), junior Jake Wenzel (15:46), and sophomore Tom Cleary (15:46) went 14-15-16 to lead the Bison charge.
Senior Steven Salvano (15:54) continued to improve after battling through an early season virus in taking 25th place for BG.
“It felt great to stick together as a pack,” said Wenzel of the Bison charge. “We haven’t done that all season.”
“We stepped it up and kept our focus on higher level,” added Cleary. “We kept it going at practice making sure we are peaking at the right time.”
Palatine had one of its runners drop out of the race, but Brown help set the tone for the Pirates with a fourth-place finish. He hung tight with the leaders for 2 miles and finished strong in taking fourth place.
“It feels really good, peaking at the right time,” said Brown, “As a team were gaining momentum every week and hoping for big things at the state meet.”
Senior Argeni Bailon (15:48) and senior Emil Kozakiewicz (16:07) took 18th and 37th place in aiding the Pirates’ attack.
Sophomore Matt Pereira (15:30) took sixth place in pushing Lake Zurich to a fourth-place finish.
Dale set the tone for Conant, but juniors James Janczy (15:56) and Shujaat Sultan (16:00) kept thing rolling for the Cougars by taking 27th and 30th place.
Senior James Pesce (16:19) also came up big, taking 46th place in helping the Cougars qualify to their first state meet since 2008.
“For three weeks they have been talking about putting our best effort on the course,” said Conant coach John Powers. “We want to make the performance we had today a habit.”
Junior Mike Anderson (15:47) and senior Blake Hallman (15:48) went 17th and 19th in pushing and helping Prospect tie for the fifth and final spot.
Senior Ben Pederson (16:06) also contributed with a 36th-place finish.
“It was a tough start to the season, but they came here today and did a great job,” said Prospect coach Mike Stokes, whose team lost it first three dual meets of the season before finishing strong. “We were patient and we stuck with the plan.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.