Hersey made quite a statement on Tuesday.
The Huskies were coming off a successful run at the Peoria Notre Dame Richard Spring meet on Saturday, finished third and just 13 points behind first-place Neuqua Valley.
And on Tuesday in critical Mid-Suburban League East dual meet, the Huskies once again answered the challenge.
Hersey placed eight runners in the top 10 in rolling to an impressive 23-38 MSL East victory at Prospect.
"It's definitely a stepping stone," said Hersey coach Kevin Young of his talented squad. "This dual meet always brings out the best in both teams, and I felt like our guys ran really composed."
Hersey is currently ranked No. 4 in the Illinois Cross Country Coaches Poll, while Prospect entered the dual meet ranked No. 13.
Prospect threw a hard opening curve and led after the first mile.
But the Huskies answered in a big way over the final 2 miles in pulling away with a commanding victory that leaves them in charge of the MSL East.
Sophomore Josh Methner led the Huskies' effort by winning in 15:27. The sophomore took control of the race in the second mile and did not look back.
"We kept it conservative early and then slowly picked it up," said Methner. "We are certainly a confident team right now -- everybody is healthy and we are looking good."
Senior Jack Terry (15:33) and junior Andrew Reimann (15:35) gave the Knights a lift by taking second and third place. Terry pushed the pace early, giving the Knights their lead at the mile.
"Our plan was to take it out hard and try to wear them out," said Terry of the Knights' early surge. "They definitely countered. I didn't expect anything less from them, they are a great team."
The Huskies lost by 1 point to the Knights last season, but they made sure that it would not be close on Tuesday.
Sophomore Max Svienty (15:41), junior Thomas McCarthy (15:42), senior Nate Mayo (15:52), junior Ryan Buch (15:52), senior Ryan Theisen (15:52), senior Jack Fredian (16:03) and senior Quinn Cunningham (16:06) formed an orange wall in securing fourth-through-tenth place.
McCarthy definitely gave the Huskies a nice lift with his fifth-place performance.
"I feel like we are in a great spot right now," said Svienty. "It was tough but we pushed it through the second and third mile. We are excited and we're ready, we'll keep racing and keep working."
Senior Nate Cozine (16:10) provided the Knights with an 11th-place finish.
"They're very talented," said Prospect coach Mike Stokes of the Huskies' run. "We have some work to do, but Terry and Reimann showed they have stuff."
Hersey will host a triangular on Thursday, Sept. 28 against Rolling Meadows and Elk Grove, where the Huskies will be looking to nail down the MSL East title.
Palatine 22, Barrington 33: Palatine took a big step toward securing its second consecutive Mid-Suburban West title.
The Pirates used a nice front pack in securing a critical 22-33 MSL West dual meet victory over Barrington at Deer Grove East.
Barrington senior Nick Laning continued his strong season by winning in 15:22.
But Palatine answered with senior Evan Eckels (15:50), sophomore Richard Jacobo (15:52) and senior Art Oshinson (16:00) taking 2-3-4.
Barrrington junior Greg Van Hollen (16:13) took fifth place, but Palatine junior Joe Ahlgrim (16:20) and senior Henry Lechowicz (16:32) responded by taking sixth and seventh place to secure the victory.
Palatine can wrap up the MSL West title next Thurday (Sept. 28) if it can claim a pair of victories at the Schaumburg triangular.
"We trying to focus on what we're trying to do," said Palatine coach Chris Quick of his team's performance. "I'm real proud that they went out and did exactly what we wanted to do tonight. We just want to keep building with each little step."