Boys cross country: Warren shines on 'home' course
After being displaced from its home course for over a week due to flooding, the Warren boys cross country team wanted to put together a good showing Saturday morning at the Bill Dawson Blue Devil Invitational.
And despite having to move from their familiar 3-mile O'Plaine Road course to Shiloh Park in Zion, the Blue Devils did just that, as they placed second to Glenbrook South by an 88-93 margin in the 19-team field.
Rolling Meadows had a strong third-place showing with 127 points, while Mid-Suburban League rivals Fremd (164 points) and Wheeling (177) placed fifth and sixth, respectively, under comfortable running conditions.
Senior Hunter Subry was Warren's top runner in fourth place with strong support from teammates Luke Wiley in eighth and John Wiser in 13th.
"Considering we're injured, I thought we ran really well," said Dawson, who is in his 38th season as Warren's coach. "The top three have been running really well all season, and if we're healthy we can do well with our fourth and fifth runners moving up."
Rolling Meadows also had a great trio with Stephen Barretto in sixth, Jack Martin in ninth and Jacob Johnson-Wright in 10th.
"Stephen ran really well, and we had three in the top 10 today," said Rolling Meadows coach Frank Schweda, whose team reached the Class 3A state meet last year. "We're looking for a fifth guy, really. That is kind of our weak spot right now, and we'll see how we do going forward."
Antioch senior standout Charlie Smith won the race in 15:43, while Cary-Grove senior Maxum Caesar (2018 state qualifier) placed third in 15:48.
Smith placed 10th in Class 2A as a sophomore, before finishing fourth in 2018.
"I was trading the lead with a couple of guys until I took the lead for good with about 400 meters left," said Smith, who competed for the first time this season Tuesday at Grayslake Central due to a nagging shin injury. "We've really just got to get a good pack together. Our main goal is to get to state, and that is something our school has never done as a team."
Round Lake was led by Diego Giron in seventh place. Alex Picchi led Crystal Lake South's pack in 12th place. Cary-Grove's No. 2-runner was Ian Barnes in 14th followed by Lakes' R.J. Migas in 15th and Maine East's Erik Osorio-Cruz in 16th. Fremd's Jack Wolski held off Wheeling's Isidro Bahena for 18th place, while Round Lake's Cody Arenas added a 21st-place run.
"It seems like it was really not a fast course so I think that (15:48) was a great time for him (Caesar), and he's starting to believe in himself," said Cary-Grove coach Layne Holter. "He is certainly hungry. He's healthy, he's stronger, and he's pretty driven, so now we need to keep building his confidence and testing his limits."
Wheeling's Bryan Martinez placed 22nd, followed by Fremd's Purchit Dhruvh (24th), Rolling Meadows' Jose Castillo (27th), CLS's Topher Davis (28th), Warren's Carlos Villa (29th), Fenton's Sam Elizondo (31st) and Carmel Catholic's Alexander Speer (32nd).
"We did OK, but we're still missing one of our top guys (Matt Brown) with a stress fracture," said CLS coach Rich Eschman, whose team placed 10th. "(Picchi) has gotten a lot better from last year to this year. He had a great track season, and it has carried over into cross country season."
Losing its home course has proved to be a challenge for Warren.
"We're doing a lot of road running, so it throws you off your routine," said Warren assistant coach Joe Stubenvoll. "But our fourth and fifth guys did a really nice job of stepping up today after we had a week of heavy training."