Cross country: Wheaton Warrenville South wins twice
Wheaton Warrenville South's girls cross country team broke out its bright orange uniforms for Saturday afternoon's Class 3A Lake Park regional because the Tigers wanted to see each other.
Finishing first also was a good way to be seen, for the Tigers boys as well as the girls.
WW South won both races, with Bill Hauenstein taking the boys individual title. To nobody's surprise, Glenbard West junior Katelynne Hart ran away with the girls individual title, setting a personal record in the process.
Hart, a junior and two-time defending state champion, won in 16:08.2, 67 seconds faster than second-place Samantha Poglitsch of WW South.
"I wasn't exactly sure going into today what the weather was going to be like," Hart said of the cold day with gusty winds and occasional flurries. "So I wasn't exactly expecting a PR, but through the mile and 2-mile I felt really strong and I was just hoping as I was coming around the track, hoping to PR."
WW South won the girls team title with 34 points, and York took second with 47. Glenbard West (60 points), Wheaton North (106), Glenbard East (151) and Glenbard North (202) also advanced to next week's Niles West sectional.
"Just the momentum throughout the team is just crazy right now," Poglitsch said. "The bonding and how we raced today. We raced as a team and I'm really proud of the whole team."
What makes the Tigers special is that you never know what order they will finish in. They all can step up and contribute.
Five Tigers finished in the first 11: behind Poglitsch came senior Laurel Moneysmith, junior Kaitlyn Nenninger, junior Haley Ansiel and senior Sarah Kulkarni.
"This is a young group but a very, very experienced group," Tigers coach Rob Harvey said, "and I think that they trust what they're doing, they trust their coaches and they trust their program. They trust their teammates, they trust themselves. So I think you're really just starting to see kids gathering together and going."
Hauenstein got help winning the boys race when he saw teammate Scott Maison running ahead. Hauenstein won in 14:43.6, with Maison 5.9 seconds behind in second place. Glenbard West seniors Stephen Moody and Rory Cavan crossed the finish line next.
"I've got to give credit to my teammate Scott," Hauenstein said. "He just like took the lead with a mile and a half to go, and I was like, I've got to get up there with my teammate. He's just doing so well and I was just so mesmerized by how he took the lead. I was just like, I've got to follow his example."
The rest of the Tigers followed Maison's example also. The Tigers won the boys team title with 26 points, putting six runners in the first dozen, including Sean Maison, Jacob Kluckhohn, Jared Peaslee and Ethan Seng.
"We talked about how we were trying to help each other and help our teammates get a pack going," Hauenstein said. "At the 2-mile I was hurting, he was hurting, but we were both hurting together, and I think that's something that really kept us going and helped us throughout the rest of the race."
Glenbard West took second with 49 points, followed by York (55), Wheaton North (114), Glenbard North (162) and Leyden (170), all of which advanced to the sectional.