Boys cross country: Mundelein runs to first NSC title
It's been a long road to get to the mountain top, but Mundelein won its first North Suburban Conference boys cross country championship in school history Saturday morning in Vernon Hills.
The Mustangs finally toppled longtime rival and runner-up Lake Zurich 39-59 to take home the title on the 3-mile Vernon Hills Athletic Complex course with temperatures at only 38 degrees when the race started.
Host Stevenson took third place with 91 points followed closely by Warren (102 points) in fourth.
Lake Zurich sophomores Jack Gilboy (second) and Jake Myers (third) were the keys for Lake Zurich. But they could not overcome the Mundelein's depth, which included junior Carter Schorr in fourth, junior Dillon Blake in fifth and senior Robert St. Clair in sixth.
"I think it's a big, big step, but it's not our main goal for the season," Schorr said. "We've waited to get to our peak a lot later this year, and I think the program has been the best it's ever been this year."
The Musangs' pack was bolstered by Aidan Afonso (11th), Dario Carrillo (13th), Matt Olorvida (14th) and Sean Finerty (17th). All seven Mundelein runners earned all-conference honors.
"We really didn't get out as aggressively as I would like today, but Carter had a really good middle race," Mundelein coach Kurt Rutz said. "Lake Zurich is always so good. To beat them ever for us is a thrill and an honor because it's such a great program they have."
The Mustangs also handed the Bears their first NSC dual-meet loss in 10 years this fall to snap a winning streak of more than 70 in a row.
"I've seen (Mundelein) grow the last four years and they deserve everything they get, so I hope they can stay healthy before state," Lake Zurich coach J.B. Hanson said. "Those two (Gilboy and Myers) were phenomenal today, and they are two of the best sophomores in the state."
Libertyville's William Gordon placed seventh followed by Stevenson's Anthony Rodriguez in eighth, Stevenson's Alex Beckerman in ninth and Warren's Griffen Pash in 10th. Lake Zurich's Adam Cupples placed 12th, while Warren's Luke Wiley placed 15th.
"We were missing our No. 3 kid (Corey Pacernick) so the rest of them really stepped up," Stevenson coach Scott Somers said. "This is Anthony's first year running cross country so he's still learning how to race the 3-mile."
NLCC meet: In the Northern Lake County Conference meet, Lakes ran to the title by a 47-72 score over Antioch at the Lakes Athletic Complex.
Antioch's Charlie Smith was the individual champion followed by Grayslake North's Connor Riss, Antioch's Mikey Volkmar and Grant's Justin Splitt.
The Eagles' pack of RJ Migas (fifth), Jack Erwin (sixth) and Owen Wenberg (seventh) were the keys to victory while Grayslake Central's Craig Hundley placed eighth.