Before Matt Pereira ran off -- because running is what the Lake Zurich freshman does -- a classmate made a request.
"Matt," a senior Bear shouted to an exhausted Pereira on Lake Zurich's track Friday. "Before I leave for college, make sure you sign something for me."
Pereira had just clocked a time of 9:18.19 in the 3,200-meter run, breaking the meet record in the sixth annual Lake Zurich invite and setting the school record, as well.
The skinny kid is quickly becoming a big man on campus -- and perhaps in the state, for that matter. Heck, maybe his autograph is indeed worth seeking.
At the Warren invite last weekend, Pereira ran a 4:17 mile, which he called a "pretty big PR." The time shocked him.
Then, running on a cool but windy night Friday, Pereira showed off his distance prowess in the 3,200 run.
"I was able to hit my goal, which was to beat the school record," said Pereira, who ran downstate in cross country last fall, despite suffering an injury during the regular season. "I faded a little bit at the end, but I'm pretty happy with my performance."
Lakes and Barrington had to be satisfied with their efforts too. In a thrilling 1,600 relay to end the track events, Lakes' Jake Balliu edged Barrington's John Andraschko, and Lakes (249 points) won the championship over runner-up Barrington (235.5). Lake Zurich (135) was a distant third in the seven-team field.
Alex Murray, Brandon Thiel, Robert Kuhlman and Balliu clocked a 3:27.24 to Barrington's 3:27.30.
"It was a heck of a race. Barrington's a heck of a team," Balliu said. "Us and them were going at it all day, and it was great to end the day with a win. It was fun."
Lakes also got a pair of wins from junior Corey Hertz, who captured the 400 (50.26) and then the 200 (22.75).
"It was a pretty good meet, good competition in the sprints," Hertz said. "I'm pretty happy with my runs. It was hard to go into the wind at the start of the (200)."
Barrington started the evening by cruising to victory in the 3,200 relay with Tyler Anderson, Andraschko, Kurtis Monahan and anchor Adam Phillips. The foursome ran 8:50.75, nearly four seconds ahead of runner-up Lake Zurich.
"I usually run the first leg so I'm used to fighting for position," said Phillips, who was basically unchallenged on his two laps. "We're just messing with lineups, seeing what we have. We got a lot of guys that can be on this relay."
Barrington won the 400 relay, too, as Griffin Claes, Brandon Melynchuk, Terry McGovern and J.P. Brooks went 44.70.
"It was good," said Brooks, who anchored. "We had some good competition. We're just trying to keep getting better times."
After Barrington's 400-relay win, it was Pereira's turn to shine. After his jaw-dropping 1,600 race six days earlier, the young Bear had no letup.
"Coach (J.B.) Hanson was doing some research, and from what we've found so far, we believe that he has the fastest mile ever for a freshman in the state," Lake Zurich head coach Randal Dunbar said of Pereira. "And, currently, he has the fastest freshman mile in the country. ... It's exciting. I know he's excited. He's a great kid. Very humble."
Lakes' Roldophe Boyer (15.42) edged Barrington's Jace Goetsch (15.68) in the 110 hurdles, before Claes won the 100 (10.97) ahead of runner-up Hertz (11.14). Ryan Perkins of Barrington finished first in the 800 with a time of 2:00.67.
Then it was Barrington's Claes, Melynchuk, Brooks and Christian Ocampo winning the 800 relay in 1:30.99.
Barrington's Parker Deloye sped to a winning 40.55 in the 300 hurdles, before his Broncos teammate Kyle Monahan (4:37.41) held off Lakes' Jimmy Burchard (4:38.57) in the 1,600 run.
Monahan grabbed the lead on the third lap.
"I haven't run a mile since cross country. I ran a 4:27 in time trials and haven't been able to approach that yet," said Monahan, who's the identical twin of Kurtis. "I got boxed in (during the 1,600). My coach told me to make a move. He said, 'You got to be more aggressive.' So third lap, I just broke free and tried to use my little 400 speed maybe a little bit (smiling), and I didn't look back from there."
The weightman relay was worth the wait for Lakes, as Ryan Campbell, Troy Kincaid, Ryan Mullen and anchor Dan Recker won with a surprisingly good 50.26. Mullen earlier won the shot put (51-9) and discus (150-5).
Carmel got a first-place effort from David Biondo, who cleared 13 feet in the pole vault. Other winners included Lakes' Cameron Ruiz in the long jump (21-0.5), Bubba Hudson in the high jump (6-4), and Lake Zurich's Adam Griffith in the triple jump (41-1).