Girls cross country: Warren, Lake Zurich's Burns claim NSC championships
Saturday was a day that the Warren girls cross country team will remember for a long time, as the surprising Blue Devils captured the North Suburban Conference team title in a close finish.
Warren placed first with 63 points on the 3-mile Vernon Hills course, while Libertyville (65 points) placed second over Mundelein (65 points) based on a sixth-runner tiebreaker. Stevenson was a close fourth with 70 points, while Lake Zurich (112) placed fifth behind individual champion Emily Burns (18:17.6).
"I'm really happy. It's going way better than I expected this year, and I'm really proud of everyone," said Burns, who missed qualifying for state by one place as a junior. "A lot of people are dropping times, and Hayley Burke is back today after missing five or six weeks."
Warren was led by freshmen Raina Rice (fifth) and Athena McGinn (sixth), while teammate Ashley Kachurik placed 10th.
"They went for it today, and I couldn't be more proud of their effort and the work they're putting in," Warren coach Brett Heimstead said. "Athena and Brooke (Sturt) stepped up as freshmen on a big stage and it really was a team effort."
Stevenson's Kendall Roberts placed second followed by Mundelein's Jordyn Miller in third and Libertyville's Bree Ponchak in fourth. Mundelein's Claire Schoenfield placed eighth to edge Libertyville's Annalese Chudy in ninth.
"I'm really happy with how they ran. Mentally they stayed in it the whole time, and they had a great race," Libertyville coach Alison Reifenberg said. "Bree looked great, she stuck with the 3-5 runners, and she did what she needed to do."
Natalie Sorenson placed 11th for Stevenson, while Mundelein's Andrea Cordova placed 14th.
"We definitely ran really well today, and this was Miller's first 3-mile race since August," Mundelein coach Carsyn Rodriguez said. "I'm very surprised how the results worked out, and we just need to work on sticking together closer as a team out there."
NLCC meet: Grant toppled Lakes 39-76 for the championship of the Northern Lake County Conference meet, while Round Lake's Fatima Giron won the individual crown.
Lakes' Brooke Stromsland took second place followed by Grant's Aly Negovetich (third), Grayslake North's Kelli Tosic (fourth), Grayslake North's Caroline Riss (fifth), Grant's Jana Nehila (sixth) and Grant's Eva Cardy (seventh).
Wauconda's Jessie Pakaski placed eighth to nip Grayslake Central's Bryn Sato in ninth.