Boys cross country: Schaumburg sectional scouting
Boys cross country / Class 3A Schaumburg sectional
Where: Busse Woods
When: Saturday, 11:15 a.m.
What to know: The top five teams and top seven runners from non-qualifying teams advance to Class 3A state meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria on Nov. 7.
Quick picks: North Suburban Conference champion Lake Zurich, Mid-Suburban League champion Buffalo Grove and Prospect will contend for the title, with Hoffman Estates and Highland Park lurking. Individually, Buffalo Grove senior Kevin Salvano and Lake Zurich junior Matt Pereira are eyeing a title. Last year Pereira finished third and Salvano finished fifth in Class 3A. They will renew their battle on Saturday.
Team outlook: This is setting up to be a very interesting race. Lake Zurich definitely has the firepower up front with Pereira setting the tone. The Bears then will send twin brothers Brian and Kyle Griffith. Lake Zurich swept the top three spots in winning the Palatine regional on Saturday and will rely on its strength up front on Saturday. Buffalo Grove counters with its own three-headed monster. Salvano did not run at the Palatine regional, but the Bison senior will be looking to hook up with senior Tom Cleary and sophomore Mitchell Guittar at the sectional race. The three Bison swept the top three spots in edging Prospect by 2 points at the MSL meet. BG junior Josh Hellyer and junior Arturo Bautista will look to narrow the gap with the Bison's potent top three. Prospect may not have quite the same strength at the top, but the Knights do have a devastating pack. At the MSL meet the Knights had seven runners finish in the top 21 spots, with a 17 second split -- that could be crucial on Saturday. Senior Matt Cozine, senior Karson LeComte and junior Sean Sanaghan have paced the Knights' pack. If Prospect can keep that pack close to the front, the Knights can secure the sectional title. Hoffman Estates did not have its best race at the MSL meet, but the Hawks rebounded by winning the regional they hosted last Saturday. Senior Shiv Patel, senior Bryan Gamboa, junior Alex Makrounis, and junior Jack Worman are keys to the Hawks' effort. Senior Brett Davidson powers a Highland Park team that will also be in the hunt on Saturday. Hersey has quietly emerged as a threat to secure a state berth, with Sam Svienty leadin the way. Junior Danny Peterson keys a Fremd attack that will also be seeking a state berth. Stevenson, Warren, Palatine, Barrington, and Wheeling will be lurking in a top-notch field.
Kevin Salvano, Buffalo Grove -- The Bison senior has not had a real test since winning the First to the Finish Invite in Peoria in early September. He will get his test on Saturday in facing Pereira. Salvano cruised to the MSL title and seem primed for a big race on Saturday.
Matt Pereira, Lake Zurich -- The Bears senior finished fourth at the Palatine Invitational, but has hit his stride in October, winning the North Suburban Conference title and taking first at the Palatine regional.
Dustin Macuiba, Warren -- Macuiba finished third at the NSC meet and will get another shot at Pereira on Saturday. Last year, Macuiba finished 17th in Class 3A.
Brian Griffith/Kyle Griffith, Lake Zurich -- The Griffith twins have combined with Pereira to form a dominant front three. They both will be in the front of the action on Saturday.
Tom Cleary/Mitchell Guittar, Buffalo Grove -- Cleary and Guittar both have all-state potential and are looking to match the Griffith brothers on Saturday.
Jared Borowsky, Stevenson -- The Patriots senior gave Salvano all he could handle in finishing second to the Bison senior at an early season dual meet. Borowsky will be in the mix on Saturday.
Brett Davidson, Highland Park -- The Giants senior finished second at the Central Suburban League meet and he also finished second behind Pereira at the Wheeling Invitational.
Other runners to watch:
Wheeling: Justin Loquercio, Matt Hoffman; Fremd: Danny Peterson; Prospect: Karson LeComte, Sean Sanaghan, Matt Cozine; Hoffman Estates: Shiv Patel, Bryan Gamboa, Alex Makrounis, Jack Worman; Hersey: Sam Svienty, Dan Gerardi; McHenry: Michael Hahndorf, Tyler Lay; Palatine: Dan Trejo; Barrington: Nick Laning; Crystal Lake South: Jonathan Prus; Jacobs: Kyle Ross; Cary-Grove: Alex Ratkovich; Stevenson: Brett Lucas; Libertyville: Alex Tram; Glenbrook North: Nate Whitfield.
-- Michael Eaken