WW South 2nd, Batavia 3rd at SCN invite

Having seen how Chris Orlow can dominate at practice, Batavia coach Mike DiDomenico was that much happier watching the junior run Saturday at St. Charles North’s Invitational at LeRoy Oakes.

Orlow covered the course in 15:26.9 to finish fifth, leading Batavia to a third-place finish out of 18 teams. Niles North won the invite followed by Wheaton Warrenville South.

“Chris is a workhorse,” DiDomenico said. “He’s been doing a nice job. We challenged him today to get out there because at practice he’s a workhorse and we need him to transfer that to the course. He did that today.”

Teammate Mitch Zabka wasn’t far behind in 11th.

“Mitch has been there and has been consistent,” DiDomenico said. “He probably would have liked a better time today but I can always count on Mitch for consistency. Hopefully we get a couple guys back from injury and will solidify the team and shut that door. We can’t give up any spaces. This has to be a team concentrated effort.”

Sophomore Ryan Wieties ran a 16:00.02 to finish third for the Bulldogs and 25th overall.

“Ryan in the center did a nice job,” DiDomenico said. “I am pleasantly surprised (with the team’s third-place finish). The kids ran well but I felt our back door needs to move up a little more. The other teams are running a nice pack, and when other teams are running a nice pack you are looking for your fourth, fifth, sixth guy. It was a good day. We’re obviously happy, but the season to me and hopefully these kids understand, the season starts at conference or after conference.”

Batavia’s 105 total left it 14 points ahead of fourth-place St. Charles North.

Spencer Gray and Nicholas Borger came in next to each other in sixth and seventh to lead the North Stars on a course pushed back about 50 yards longer than it ran earlier this season for the Leavey invite.

“When Niles North was coming over, they have a great pack, Wheaton Warrenville South is running great, we knew it would be a good meet,” North Stars coach Kevin Harrington said. “I’m happy with how we ran but certainly not our best.

“We wanted to have a pack at the mile and we held that together. That was the only point we were going to emphasize because we really need to run together. We broke down a little in the second half of the race but we had some really good runs out of the kids. We’ve got a lot of guys fighting it out for our fourth, fifth, sixth spot which is good for us but we’ve got to figure it out pretty soon.”

John Graft finished 10th for Marmion. The Cadets placed fifth in the team standings with 150 points, one point ahead of Waubonsie Valley. Other local teams included Geneva in eighth, Glenbard North 10th, Burlington Central 11th and Metea Valley 12th.

Micah Beller from Niles North nipped Jones College Prep’s Jamison Dale 15:00.9 to 15:01.1 to win the race.

Wheaton Warrenville South junior Nolan McKenna tried his best to stay with those two front-runners and finished fourth in 15:16.1.

“I thought I did well considering the competition that is here,” McKenna said. “Just working it up the hill and trying to stay with them and they were making surges and trying to stay with them as long as possible.”

McKenna — who placed 14th at Peoria, seventh at the Hornet-Red Devil and third at Wauconda earlier this fall — ran in this race as a sophomore and took eighth.

“I’m just progressing, staying injury free and trying to help my team out,” McKenna said.

That he did Saturday as the Tigers scored 100 points to trail only Niles North at 63. The rest of their top five: Kyle Cepeda, 14th, Daryle Worley, 17th, David Dillon, 30th and Andrew Martz, 35th.

“We’ve been training for this type of course and I think we did real well,” McKenna said.

Waubonsie Valley’s Justin Morrison finished ninth.

BRIAN HILL/bhill@dailyherald.comNolan McKenna, of Wheaton Warrenville South heads to fourth place during St. Charles North Cross County Invite Saturday September 29, 2012 at LeRoy Oakes in St. Charles.
  Batavia’s Chris Orlow and St. Charles North’s Spencer Gray finish fifth and sixth, respectively, at the St. Charles North invitational Saturday at LeRoy Oakes in St. Charles. BRIAN HILL/
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