Boys cross country: MSL firsts for Salvano, Buffalo Grove

  • Buffalo Grove's Kevin Salvano takes the early lead on his way to both and individual and team championship in Saturday's Mid-Suburban League championships at Heritage Park in Wheeling.

    Buffalo Grove's Kevin Salvano takes the early lead on his way to both and individual and team championship in Saturday's Mid-Suburban League championships at Heritage Park in Wheeling. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • The Mid-Suburban League boys cross country field descends a hill Saturday at Heritage Park in Wheeling.

    The Mid-Suburban League boys cross country field descends a hill Saturday at Heritage Park in Wheeling. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Buffalo Grove's Kevin Salvano runs toward a victory in Mid-Suburban League boys cross country at Heritage Park in Wheeling on Saturday.

    Buffalo Grove's Kevin Salvano runs toward a victory in Mid-Suburban League boys cross country at Heritage Park in Wheeling on Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
By Michael Eaken
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/17/2015 6:54 PM

It was a day of firsts for the Buffalo Grove boys cross country team.

Senior Kevin Salvano, senior Tom Cleary and sophomore Mitchell Guittar went 1-2-3 in helping Buffalo Grove edge Prospect 49-52 for its first Mid-Suburban League title at Heritage Park in Wheeling.

 

Salvano had finished second and fifth in the MSL the last two seasons, and last year Buffalo Grove finished second in the team race behind Hersey last year. This year there, though, there was no stopping the Bison.

Salvano led from start to finish on a crisp fall morning in winning the MSL individual title in 15:03.27, becoming the first individual from Buffalo Grove to win the conference.

"First individual title and first team title -- it's pretty awesome," said Salvano who controlled the race from the start. "I've been kind of in the shadows the past two years; it feels good to get it."

Hoffman Estates (101 points) took third place, with Hersey (118 points) nipping Fremd (119 points) for fourth.

Salvano set the tone for BG just ahead of Cleary (15:10.27) and Guittar (15:13.61).

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"We knew going in it was going to be a toss-up," said Buffalo Grove coach Zack Crandall of his team's tight battle with Prospect. "Mitchell (Guittar) was the difference maker today. If we don't go 1-2-3, we don't win."

Cleary has also been a big difference-maker for Buffalo Grove, and the senior took plenty of satisfaction in the day's outcome.

"It's huge -- this has been our goal all season," said Cleary, whose team finished second behind Prospect in the MSL East Division race. "I wanted to stay composed in the first 2 miles and move up in the final mile."

Junior Josh Hellyer (15:48.57) and junior Arturo Bautista (16:04.16) helped secure the victory for BG by taking 18th place and 25th place.

"I didn't expect it to happen," said Guittar of the Bison 1-2-3 individual finish. "But coming at the end of the race I saw Tom (Cleary) in front of me and I knew I could make it happen.

"It's been on our mind all season. We weren't quite sure we could get the title, but we went after it."

Prospect gave BG all it could handle in placing seven runners in the top 21.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Junior Sean Sanaghan (15:25.40) and senior Karson Lecomte (15:25.82) pushed the Knights pack by finishing fifth and sixth.

"We ran our race the best we could," said Sanaghan. "BG got us with their top three."

Senior Matt Cozine (15:34.14) added a 10th-place finish for Prospect, with senior Max Crowninshield (15:39.68), senior Luke Filipic (15:40.60) and junior Jack O'Donnell (15:42.40) going 15-16-17. Sophomore Thomas John Terry (15:52.71) finished 21st for the Knights.

"I have to give BG credit, but having seven runners in the top 21 is pretty impressive," said Lecomte. "We have a lot of depth, we just to keep moving the pack up."

"They ran well, we ran well," said Prospect coach Mike Stokes of his team's near miss. "But those top three are just hard to overcome."

Senior Shiv Patel (15:27.90) and senior Bryan Gamboa (15:33.12) went 7-9 in leading Hoffman Estates to third place. Junior Jack Worman (15:53.64) and junior Alex Makrounis (15:58.60) finished 22nd and 24th for the Hawks.

"Our team ran well, but thought we could have run a bit better," said Patel, whose team won the MSL West division title. "BG and Prospect ran a heck of a race."

Junior Sam Svienty (15:36.79) and senior Dan Gerardi (15:39.22) gave defending MSL champion Hersey a lift by securing 12th and 13th place.

Fremd junior Danny Peterson (15:16.39) has had a breakout season, he added to it Saturday by taking fourth place and leading the Vikings to a fifth-place finish. Junior Luke Vogelgesang (15:52.43) added a 20th-place finish for the Vikings.

"I think some of the big workouts and races have given me confidence," said Peterson, who hung tight with the chase pack for the entire race. "I thought I could have pushed it a little harder in the second mile, but I'm really happy with the race."

Sophomore Nick Laning (15:39.54) gave Barrington a lift by taking 14th place as the Broncos finished sixth with 143 points.

Senior Dan Trejo (15:31.10) and senior Ben Kontney (15:58.19) took 8th place and 23rd place in helping Palatine to seventh place with 155 points.

Senior Justin Loquercio (15:35.05) led Wheeling to eighth place by finishing 11th, with junior Matt Hoffman (15:51.30) adding a 19th-place finish for the Wildcats.

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