Vernon Hills' excessively syllabled sophomore "Viviancalana" Overbeck won two long races, appropriately enough, and then there was Grant's team, which captured its own invitational.
If the Bulldogs had accomplished Saturday's feat before, no one seemed to know. Suffice it to say, it had been a long, long, long, long time ago.
Grant finished with a lot of points (135), 10 more than runner-up Lakes and many more than third-place Grayslake Central (87) in the 10-team field. In Jackie Randall's seven years with the program (the last six as head coach), the Bulldogs had never won the Lady Bulldog invite.
And fittingly, as well, Grant ended the meet triumphantly, winning the 1,600-meter relay. The Bulldogs clocked a time of 4:11.20, well ahead of second-place Lakes (4:23.40), as Delaney Basala anchored a foursome that also featured leadoff-leg Emily Troemel, Brooke Drabek and Dana Nozime.
For the sophomore Basala, it was an especially fabulous day in Fox Lake. Her victorious 400-dash time of 59.40 marked the first time she ever broke a minute in the event. Her effort -- which just bettered the Class 3A state-qualifying mark of 59.44 -- moved her to tears.
"It's been my dream to be in the sub-60 (seconds) group," said Basala, adding that she's had the dream since she started running track in the seventh grade. "I'm just so excited to be there this early in the season."
Overbeck, whose first name is actually Vivian, cruised to victory in the 3,200 run (11:50.80) and then won the 1,600 (5:33.30), just ahead of Cougars teammate Samantha Hershmann (5:33.70).
The heat sheet had Overbeck's first name listed as "Viviancalana."
Funny guy, that Vernon Hills coach Jason Rush.
"Our coach made up names for all of us on the heat sheet today," said Overbeck, whose teammates included the skinny Cassie 'MamaCass' Lira, Ali 'Alibaba' Pearson and Kasey 'KC' Firnbach.
"Just keeping it loose," Rush said with a sheepish grin. "And the girls liked it."
Rush likes how Overbeck, who ran JV cross country as a freshman, continues to develop into an elite distance runner. Even Saturday's gusty winds couldn't throw her off her game.
"It was an all-right day," the 5-foot-3 Overbeck said. "The wind on the backstretch is pretty bad. It wasn't too good of a day for the two-mile because it was really windy."
Grant's Troemel didn't let the wind affect her either. The senior, whose freshman sister Lauren also runs track for the Bulldogs, sped to first-place finishes in the 100 hurdles (16.10) and 300 hurdles (48.00).
"(The 100 hurdles time) is right where I was at the end of last season, so it's good that I'm running that at the beginning of the season," Troemel said. "(The 300 hurdles time) is so much better than last season. This is close to what I was running at sectionals last year. I'm just really excited."
Lakes junior Brittani Griesbaum won the long jump with a length of 18-1.5. Her 19-1 didn't count, as she scratched by "half an inch," according to her estimation.
"I'm still working on my finishing, which is what's been hurting me," said Griesbaum, whose personal-best long jump is 18-9.
Griesbaum also won the 100 (12.30) and 200 (25.90) dashes. Lakes took the 400 relay (52.00) with Devin Kirkland, Erica Terry, Shannon Taylor and Dylan Tagliapietra. Terry also claimed the triple jump (32-5.5). The Eagles' Kortney Schardt finished first in the 800 (2:26.60).
Grayslake Central boasted a pair of champions: its 800 relay team of Leah Kloss, Maddy Jacobs, Maggie Nielsen and Jazmynn Foster (1:49.80), and Katherine Schroeder (pole vault, 10-6).
Grant also won the 3,200 relay (10:15.90) with Drabek, Lindsey Lewis, Madison Romig and Lauren Troemel. The Bulldogs' Aerial Darby was first in the shot put (36-3) and second in the discus to Maine East's Elanta Slowek (123-10).