Salvano leads Buffalo Grove to Libertyville regional triumph
The Buffalo Grove boys cross country team came ready to run Saturday afternoon at the Class 3A Libertyville regional.
Behind the strength of individual champ Kevin Salvano, the Bison rolled to the regional championship with 34 points to easily outdistance Highland Park (90 points) in second and Warren (98) in third.
The fourth-place host Wildcats (103 points) also earned a trip to the Schaumburg sectional next Saturday at Busse Woods along with fifth-place Stevenson (108), and sixth-place Mundelein (109).
Due to a teachers strike in Waukegan, the regional meet consisted of only eight teams as opposed to the traditional nine-team regional field.
Salvano (15:34) held off Stevenson senior Sam Oh by six seconds to win the 3-mile race on the hilly Adler Park course. Salvano and the Bison really shined Saturday under the 70-degrees running conditions after finishing second to Hersey by only 6 points last weekend at the Mid-Suburban League meet.
"The main goal was to just win as easy as possible, but at the same time I knew Oh would be tough competition so I didn't want to take it too easy," said Salvano, who placed 20th in the state as a sophomore. "We're peaking at the right time with our fitness and we're hoping for some good things in two weeks."
The Bison's pack running was just great with No. 2 runner Jake Wenzel placing sixth. Then Buffalo Grove had the group of Tripp Wallner, Montana Nimerfroh, Evan Schmidt, and Jack Lenard take places 8-11 to carry the squad to the regional crown for the third straight year.
"They looked really good and our goal was to put as many in the top 10 as possible today," said Buffalo Grove coach Zack Crandall. "Next week is a tough sectional individually so hopefully he (Salvano) is top four or five. I think he can finish top five in the state. He's been running really strong lately."
Warren's push for third place was led by junior Dustin Macuiba in third, Jaime Delgado in 13th, and Jakob Martinez in 18th.
"The whole object is to advance (to sectionals) and we advanced," said Warren coach Bill Dawson. "Hopefully we're going to have two new kids running next week and hopefully those two will make us better."
Libertyville had an especially strong effort from its top trio Saturday with Stephen Richardson (12th), Nick Seneczko (14th), and Alex Tam (17th) setting the tone for the Wildcats' pack.
"They ran smart today and they all moved up about 15 to 20 places during the race," said Libertyville coach Mark Buesing. "We don't have that top-10 guy this year so it's important for them to pack it up and run smart as a team."
Besides Oh's strong finish, the Patriots also got a stellar performance from junior Jared Borowsky in fourth place. Sophomore Paul Udoni added a 21st-place run for the Pats.
"Sam and Jared look awesome, but some of our guys looked a little better last week," said Stevenson coach Scott Sommers. "Sam hasn't been beaten by too many guys this year so I picture him finishing in the top 10 in the (sectional) race. Jared has been getting better every week the last month and if he continues that he has a good chance of getting downstate."
Mundelein had a solid trio with Uly Hagerdorn in 16th, Mickey Cardenas in 20th, and Mitchell Alberts in 22nd. Eli Hinkle added a 15th-place finish for Buffalo Grove while Carlos Rosas was Round Lake's top runner in 24th.
In Class 2A, Yorkville ran to the championship of the Woodstock regional at Emricson Park with 49 points. Vernon Hills nipped Crystal Lake Central 74-76 for second place as the Cougars advanced to the Kaneland sectional next Saturday.
Yorkville senior Jake Hoffert was the individual champ in 15:43 while Vernon Hills sophomore Shane Williamson placed third in 15:52.
At the Antioch regional, Grayslake Central rolled to the championship on the 3-mile Fox River State Park course just over the Wisconsin state line with 28 points.
The Rams will be joined at the Kaneland sectional by third place Carmel (111 points), fourth-place Grayslake North (116), fifth-place Antioch (118), and sixth-place Lakes (127).
Grayslake Central sophomore Jack Aho won the race in 16:06 and he got great support from teammates Jack Battaglia (fourth), Max Brunk (fifth), and John Girmscheid (seventh).
Grayslake North was led by Liam O'Connell in ninth while Carmel teammates Patrick Pastika and Michael Cusack placed 12th and 14th, respectively.