Boys cross country: Runner-up regional finish for Stevenson
The road to the 70th boys cross country state meet got underway Saturday afternoon on the 3-mile Lake Forest west campus course.
It was a close race down to the finish, but Highland Park's depth was able to capture the championship of the nine-team Class 3A regional meet. The Giants finished with 56 points to better runner-up Stevenson (70), while Warren was a close third with 75 points.
Fourth-place squads Libertyville (106 points), fifth-place Mundelein (117), and the sixth-place host Scouts (132) also earned a berth to the Schaumburg sectional next Saturday at Busse Woods.
The race for the individual crown was a good one Saturday under windy, 60 degree temperatures as Warren senior Dustin Macuiba (14:54) pulled way from runner-up Jared Borowsky of Stevenson by seven seconds for first place. Highland Park's Brett Davidson (15:02) was a close third.
"With about 600 meters to go I took off and there was a group of about four or five of us right together in the woods," said Macuiba, who placed 17th in the state last year.
"I'm looking forward to sectionals and hopefully it won't be as windy so we don't have to run as much of a tactical race."
After not running at the North Suburban Conference meet, Borowsky was a strong front-runner for the Patriots followed by sophomore teammates Brett Lucas (sixth), Nikita Sparreo (18th), and Jacob Sparreo (20th). Junior Paul Udoni placed 24th for the Pats.
"Jared looked good and this is a good building-block for him right before sectionals," said Stevenson coach Scott Sommers. "Brett ran a really good race and I think he's still learning the distance right now. I think there are eight teams (at sectionals) that are deserving to make it (to state), and three teams will get left out."
Besides Macuiba, the Blue Devils got a 10th from Julian Ruiz, a 13th from Brady Roegner, and a 19th from Andrew Miller. Alex Delgado is expected to return to Warren's lineup for the sectional meet.
"He (Macuiba) really ran well, and he hasn't had a bad race all year even in the races he hasn't won," said Warren coach Bill Dawson. "We kind of trained through this meet because we were pretty confident we would advance so we had a pretty tough week of practice."
Libertyville sophomore Alex Tam had an outstanding fifth-place run, especially when you consider being slowed down when his shoe almost came off during the first mile of the race. The Wildcats also got a strong ninth-place showing from junior Stephen Richardson.
"They (Tam and Richardson) have put in the work, they want it so badly they run their hearts out," said first-year Libertyville coach Stuart Mendelsohn. "I believe if they hit their p.r.'s (at sectionals) they have a very good chance of making state."
Mundelein freshman Mike Parduhn shined again with a 12th-place finish for the Mustangs followed by teammates Uly Hagedorn (22nd), Robert St. Clair (23rd), and Dario Carillo (26th).
"Mike (Parduhn) is out-performing everything I asked him to do, and every single race now he surprises me," said Mundelein coach Kurt Rutz. "We were OK in places and we struggled in places. I thought Robert (St. Clair) ran a better race than his last two or three races."
Palatine regional: Lake Zurich junior Matt Pereira set the tone by taking first place in 14:58 and leading the Bears to the Class 3A Palatine regional title with 43 points at Deer Grove East.
Junior Brian Griffith (15:06) and junior Kyle Griffith (15:08) were not far off the winning pace in taking second and third place in helping Lake Zurich to the title.
Mid-Suburban League champion Buffalo Grove was without No. 1 runner Kevin Salvano, but the Bison were able to secure second place with 71 points.
McHenry (93 points), Jacobs (106 points), Palatine (113 points), and Barrington (147 points) rounded out the top six teams with all advancing to next week's Schaumburg Class 3A sectional race at Busse Woods starting at 11:15 a.m.
Senior Tom Cleary (15:21) and Mitchell Guittar (15:22) went 4-5 to pace the Bison attack. Junior Josh Hellyer (15:39) supplied a 12th-place finish, with junior Arturo Bautista (16:03) adding a 19th-place finish.
Senior Dan Trejo (15:55) and junior Ben Kontney (16:00) went 16-17 to power Palatine, with freshman Jorge Corona (16:06) adding 21st place.
Sophomore Nick Laning (15:37) secured 10th place in pacing Barrington. The Broncos also got strong efforts from senior Scott Williams (20th, 16:05) and sophomore Connor Mahoney (24th, 16:08).
Antioch regional: Grayslake Central produced an impressive show of force, narrowly missing the minimum score on the way to a regional victory.
Rams juniors Jack Aho (15:21) and Matt Aho (15:57) finished 1-2 individually, and Jack Battaglia (16:21), John Girmscheid (16:27) and Eli Minsky (16:39) placed 4-5-6 as Grayslake Central finished with 18 points.
Lakes, paced by an 11th-place run by Jeremy Wallace (17:10), placed second with 102 points, just ahead of Richmond-Burton (103).
Grayslake North placed fifth with 114 and got an eight-place effort from Liam O'Connell (17:01).
Carmel Catholic grabbed the final qualifying spot with 130 points. The Corsairs were led by Stephen Lacke (13th, 17:14).
Advancing as individuals for the host Sequoits were Kevin Vettesse (31st, 18:11), Joe Sculuca (32nd, 18:13) and Alex Besson (34th, 18:15).
Kaneland regional: Vernon Hills ran to third place in the Kaneland regional as junior Shane Williamson (16:00) led the Cougars with a second-place finish.
Crystal Lake Central nipped Kaneland 72-73 for the team title.
Vernon Hills pack got a 16th from Trevor Moyers, a 19th from Caleb Ju, and a 20th from Alex Geier.