Lauren Van Vlierbergen was tired of a being a runner-up.
So the talented Jacobs senior did something about it.
After finishing second the last 2 years, Van Vlierbergen easily claimed top honors at Saturday's McHenry County girls cross country meet held at Crystal Lake's Lippold Park Saturday.
Van Vlierbergen, who is injury free for the first time in 2 years, cruised to a 3.1 mile time of 17:51.6. Kate Jacobs of Woodstock was a distant second with a clocking of 18:21.8.
"It was certainly a goal to win the county meet after finishing second the last 2 years," said Van Vlierbergen. "I did a lot of training in the summer and felt really good today. It is nice to be injury free."
Also finishing in the Top 10 for the Golden Eagles was Molly Barnes (9th). Chloe Walsh placed 15th followed by Kathryn Van Vlierbergen (21st) and Courtney Eubanks (28th).
Cary-Grove's top finisher was Morgan Schulz with a fourth-place finish.
"Morgan is such a good athlete, but she is still in her second year as a cross country runner," said Cary-Grove coach Mark Anderson. "She is still adapting to running the sport."
Schulz was followed by Talia Duzey (18th), Sarah Riley (19th), Gretchen Price (31st) and Molly MacDuff (32nd).
Crystal Lake South's top runner was Kiley Britten with an 11th place finish. The next 4 runners for the Gators were Caitlin Bruzzini (13th), Andie Kobrick (16th), Jenny Luken (39th) and Alanna Norris (50th).
Huntley received a Top 10 effort from Kelly Meehlieb, who was sixth. Katie Mitchell was 22nd, followed by Jerissa Chan (33rd), Kiera Daily (51st) and Sabrina Celli (54th).
Boys race: Crystal Lake South veteran coach Rich Eschmann saw the future blink before his eyes. He liked what he saw.
Freshman Jake Becker paced the youthful Gators with a fourth-place finish in a time of 15:47.3. Sophomore Jon Prus placed 14th, followed by Doug Cain (16th), Tommy Melone (21st) and Justin Miller (23rd).
"Our top runners are a freshman and a sophomore and our team was really focused today," said Eschmann. "The kids really worked hard in the summer. This was our best county meet in 6, 7 or 8 years."
McHenry senior standout Jesse Reiser won the meet with an impressive 14:53.00 clocking.
Jacobs placed 3 runners in the Top 25 with Matthew Goldby eighth, Garrett Brenizer 11th and Kyle Ross 19th. Rounding out the Top 5 for the Golden Eagles were Cole Schwarz (28th) and Joseph Sipiorski (29th).
Huntley's Seth Conroy landed in the Top 10 with a ninth-place finish. Keagan Smith placed 15th, followed by Mike Grocholski (18th). Matt Kapol nek (31st) and Zach Hollman (37th).
Cary-Grove's top runner was Mike Saxon with a 26th place finish followed by John Cody (30th), Kyle Adams (32nd), Sang Seo (35th), and Tyler Stordahl (36th).