Cross country: Quinn sisters lead York to West Suburban Silver meet title

York senior Michaela Quinn isn't used to having sophomore sister Maggie nearby during cross country races.

"Usually in workouts she'll come up with me but then fall off a little bit," Michaela Quinn said.

Yet in the state's toughest conference Saturday, as Michaela was winning, Maggie was a close second at the West Suburban Conference Silver Meet at Proviso West.

Michaela (18:50.28 for 3.04 miles) won for the first time after being second as a freshman and last year behind graduated teammate Bria Bennis. Maggie ran 18:52.18.

The Dukes, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A by and MileSplitIL, captured their fourth straight Silver title with just 18 points. They swept the first four spots and put all seven runners among the first 12 of the 16 all-conference individuals.

"Honestly, going into it I was just focusing on the team getting first," Michaela Quinn said. "I was not expecting (Maggie) to stay up with me and when I was pulling away from the pack, it was good to see someone, my own sister, come up with me. It's really special."

York seniors Katherine Klimek (19:03.77) and Anna McGrail (19:05.28) were third and fourth, senior Maggie Owens (19:18.26) eighth and sophomores GiGi Hill and Sophia Galiano-Sanchez 10th and 12th.

Michaela Quinn and Klimek join an elite group of four-time varsity all-conference runners.

"I've never ran with (Michaela) like that side by side. It was surprising but really fun," Maggie Quinn said. "I was thinking to have a good race. Just having confidence in myself really helped me."

No. 4/3 Downers North (47) was second, followed by No. 13/8 Lyons Township (95), No. 14/20 Hinsdale Central (108), Oak Park-River Forest (130) and No. 21/18 Glenbard West (136).

"The girls ran awesome today," York coach Lauren DeAngelis said. "When I saw the Quinn sisters (move ahead), I was like, 'Oh, that's a battle.' Michaela does not want Maggie to beat her in a practice, in a meet. They all finished so well."

Downers North junior Alayna Todnem (19:05.68), sophomore Lily Eddington (19:14.83) and junior Ava Gilley (19:17.36) were fifth through seventh and senior Sarah Paul ninth.

This was the Trojans' first race since losing No. 1-2 runner Kenzie Willard (broken foot) and having Audrey Casten sidelined (hip) after the Twilight Invite at Naperville North Oct. 4.

LT's Julianne Melby (13th) and Hinsdale Central's Lily Hodneland (14th) and Pola Dygon (16th) also were all-conference.

In the boys race, No. 1-rated Downers Grove North (37) won its first title since the COVID-affected 2020 season.

Hinsdale Central senior Aden Bandukwala, the defending 3A state champion, won in 15:57.44.

Bandukwala, who won the Twilight Invite by 4.3 seconds, is rounding into form after two September invite finishes out of the top 10.

"It's always a stacked conference. I was definitely looking to win," Bandukwala said. "I got to match up against DGN and LT and Oak Park (at Twilight) so I had momentum."

Downers North sophomore Philip Cupial (16:00.47), the 2022 Silver sophomore champion, was second after junior teammate Grant Schroder (5th, 16:18.95) pushed the mid-race pace.

"I was pumped after the race. All of the adrenaline really fueled me," Cupial said. "When I saw Aden win state last year, it gave me the perspective of what I could be in November."

Senior Ryan Eddington (6th, 16:21.10), sophomore Will Surratt (9th) and senior Isaac Moss (15th) also were all-conference.

The surging Trojans still await the return of senior Caden Weber, a 2022 all-stater with Eddington.

"All of the guys raced pretty solid," Downers North coach John Sipple said. "I really loved Grant kind of taking a chance, big race there, and let it rip. (Cupial) did a great job covering that move and then working up when Aden went. I love that."

No. 10/16 LT (56) used its best race to edge No. 6/5 OPRF (68) for second, followed by two-time defending champion and No. 19/NR Hinsdale Central (105), York (119) and No. 25/20 Glenbard West (128).

LT seniors and returning all-staters Cillian Henning (16:05.26) and Nick Strayer (16:13.43) were third and fourth. Juniors Ben Wuggazer and John O'Halloran were 10th and 14th. Also all-conference were York junior Zach Saltiel (8th) and Hinsdale Central senior Maxwell Lowe (12th).

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