Boys cross country: West Suburban Conference stands out
PEORIA -- The latest unveiling of the Class 3A boys cross country meet had a very familiar refrain Saturday at Detweiller Park.
The West Suburban Silver once again showcased its brilliance.
"We have been incredibly lucky to be part of a great conference," said Downers Grove North senior Roy Llewellyn, who gave the finest performance, sixth, among the many local qualifiers.
Downers North (179 points) could not even set the gold standard of its own league with a third-place plaque as South suburban power Sandburg denied Hinsdale Central 130-175.
"At any given meet, we are going to compete against guys we know we are going to compete against at state: York, Hinsdale Central and (Lyons Twp.)," Llewellyn said. "We know how each other races, and it creates a really fun dynamic."
York and Lyons were eighth and 12th, respectively. Neuqua Valley was 10th.
Llewellyn was almost 20 seconds off the pace of St. Charles East champion Micah Wilson, who toured the 3-mile layout in 14 minutes, 11.18 seconds.
"It's the best cross country conference in the country," said Hinsdale Central junior Dan Watcke, who was the Red Devils' lone all-state competitor with his 14th-place finish. "I don't think anyone is as tested as people in our conference. It's no wonder every year there's a great squad at nationals, our conference and state meet.'
Three other local athletes received individual state medals.
Jeff Luka finished in slot No. 16 for York; Naperville North senior checked in No. 22, while Wheaton Warrenville South senior Michael Atkins made it bookend all-state performances for the DuKane Conference by snaring the 25th and final spot.
"All race long I heard I was 30th or 29th," Atkins said. "As I was coming down the last 800 (meters) I was counting the places. I told myself, 'No regrets.' I collapsed at the line and felt good about myself. II thought I finished 26th, actually.'
In the Class 2A finals, Fenwick won its first championship with a 21-point margin of victory over Deerfield.
Fenton junior Victor Vazquez was the sole DuPage County athlete to advance to the medal stand. Vazquez was timed in 15:14.36 to place 15th.
Ryan Chung paced 12th-place Glenbard South (336 points); St. Francis (310) was one spot lower as its low man, Sam Andrzejewski, was 74th.
Daniel Kersey and Westen Myers were 64th and 66th to lead Wheaton Academy (15th, 379) at the Class 1A final.