Girls cross country: Sparreo, Stevenson in top form at regional
The future is looking pretty bright for the Stevenson girls cross country team after another impressive performance Saturday afternoon in the Class 3A Lake Forest regional.
The individual race was close for the first 2 miles. Then Stevenson sophomore Isabelle Sparreo (17:05) pulled away from Libertyville sophomore Melissa Manetsch to win the 3-mile race on the Lake Forest west campus grounds by 29 seconds under windy conditions at 60 degrees.
North Suburban Conference champion Lake Forest was able to hold off the Patriots 30-40 for the championship of the eight-team meet while Highland Park placed third with 67 points.
Fourth-place Libertyville (91 points), fifth-place Mundelein (150) and sixth-place Warren (152) all earned berths to the Schaumburg sectional next Saturday at Busse Woods beginning at 10 a.m.
After placing second last weekend at the NSC meet, Sparreo looked sharp in leading the Patriots' pack on Saturday.
Senior Jessica Philipp placed sixth for the Pats followed by Natalie Sparreo in ninth, sophomore Gabriela Jagielo in 10th, sophomore Shea Kirby in 14th, and freshman Kendal Roberts in 18th.
"I was a little off the time I was going for, so I picked it up after that point (2 miles)," said Isabelle Sparreo, who was hoping to break the 17-minute barrier on this chilly afternoon. "Next week I know there is a lot of tough competition, so I'm really looking forward to it and I want to get my best time possible."
Stevenson coach Maureen LeVanti could not have been happier with the progress her young squad has shown throughout the 2015 campaign.
"She (Isabelle) has got a really good mindset and she's a great team member so it's great to see her succeed because she really deserves it," said LeVanti, whose team also got a 22nd from Lauren Appell.
"Jessica (Philipp) was under 18 minutes today, I'm really proud of her and she works really hard."
After Manetsch in second place, Libertyville also got a 16th from Sarah Pirih, a 23rd from Jenna Ocheltree, a 24th from Mia Bertaud, a 26th from Alex Houser and a 27th from Nora Tucker.
"It was a good race, they're times were good based on what they ran on this course before, and we treat this meet as a tune-up for sectionals," said Libertyville coach Bill Etnyre. "Melissa (Manetsch) has been fueled to do well at sectionals and we expect her to be competing for a top-10 place at sectionals."
Mundelein's young team was led by freshmen Clarissa Wienckowski in 17th and Andrea Cordova in 29th. Junior Sara Ouimet placed 32nd for the Mustangs.
"The team has faced a lot of adversity this season, but they made it to the next round," said first-year Mundelein coach Adam Pauley, whose squad has seven freshmen in their top seven. "We feel good about today, we're doing the best we can, and I'm very proud of our girls."
Senior Emily Jahn led Warren in 20th place while teammates Jessica DePalma (28th), and Jensen Bernard (33rd) helped bolster the Blue Devils' pack.
"We're a young team and we're trying to just learn what cross country is all about," said Warren coach Brett Heimstead. "Next week will be a good learning experience for them, it's one more chance to run as a team and run competitively."
Palatine regional: A week after finishing second by a mere 2 points to Prospect at the Mid-Suburban League conference meet, Barrington was back on top.
Barrington placed five runners in the top 17 to secure the Palatine Class 3A regional title with 54 points at Deer Grove East.
Sophomore Jocelyn Long (17:37) took charge by finishing in third place, followed by senior Lauren Conroy (18:35) in eighth.
Junior Samantha Samaryczew (18:45) and freshmen Sophie Hoeltgen (18:54) Eve Hoeltgen (19:00) completed the Fillies' scoring by going 12-14-17.
Palatine finished second with 65 points, followed by Grant (73 points), Lake Zurich (81 points), Buffalo Grove (151 points), and Crystal Lake South (175 points).
All six teams will advance to next Saturday Schaumburg Class 3A sectional at Busse Woods.
Lake Zurich senior Caitlin Shepard won the individual title, crossing the line in 17:29.
The Bears got an 11th-place finish from Kelly Ledinsky and a 15th-place effort from Kristie Houghton in finishing fourth as a team with 81 points.
Palatine senior Kelly O'Brien (17:37) took second in helping the Pirates to second place.
Senior Sam Lechowicz (fifth, 17:56) and junior Anna Buckstaff (ninth, 18:38) added key finishes for the Pirates, with Rebecca Duran (19:18) taking 23rd place.
Grant, paced by a fourth-place effort from Madison Roming and a sixth-place effort from freshman Danielle Osmon, placed third in the team race with 73 points.
Kaitlyn Ko (18:49) and senior Natalie Lezama (19:03) finished in 13th and 19th place, combining to help lead Buffalo Grove to a fifth-place finish.
Crystal Lake South grabbed the final qualifying spot with 175 points.
Kaneland regional: With senior Vivian Overbeck (18:19) in first and sophomore Lauren Katz in second, Vernon Hills won the Kaneland Class 2A regional, finishing at 43 points to edge Crystal Lake Central (52).
The Cougars' young team is really proving itself it the late stages of this season with freshman Payton Makowskyj in 11th, freshman Hannah Ray in 14th, senior Shannon Skeoch in 15th, and freshman Ryan Schofield in 16th.
Wauconda teammates Alma Lily Sanchez and Erin Levon advanced to the Woodstock North sectional next week as at-large qualifiers.
Antioch regional: Grayslake Central held off Lakes 49-68 for the championship with Carmel Catholic (81 points) taking third place.
Lakes senior Kortney Schardt returned to form by winning the 3-mile race in 18:50 while Megan Girmscheid was Grayslake Central's top runner in third.
The Rams also got a third from Lura Quandt, a ninth from Elizabeth Aho, a 14th from Umaiyal Sridas, and a 17th from Sara O'Malley.
Lakes had a solid pack behind Rae Dwyer in 10th, Megan Knuettel in 13th, and Alyssa Stromsland in 18th. Carmel was led by freshman Zella Stockhausen in fifth, and sophomore Aileen Hull in eighth.
Antioch freshman Natalie Hill was one of the top at-large sectional qualifers in 12th, as was Grayslake North freshman Caroline Riss in 27th.