Cross country: Waubonsie boys snap streak; Naperville North girls in a customary spot

 
By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/16/2021 5:49 PM

Angel Solis and Ethan Marshall felt perfectly at home on Saturday morning.

"We have been dreaming about this moment," Solis said.

 

When it comes to bragging rights in boys cross country on the Aurora-Naperville border, Neuqua Valley has a loud voice with its eight state trophies in program history.

But Waubonsie Valley has designs on state hardware this fall as well.

Solis and Marshall navigated the three-mile layout on their home course in Aurora and were ably supplemented by Andres Perez, Jacob Tukker and Chris Miserdino as the triumvirate all hovered around the top 10.

As a result, Waubonsie Valley earned its first league championship since its long-ago days in the Upstate Eight in 2004 by claiming the DuPage Valley Conference title over Neuqua Valley by 5 points, 38-43.

"Last week we were strategizing who to hit," Solis said. "We got it through today."

The Warriors unquestionably feasted on some home cooking on their campus course.

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"We have run this course more than anyone else has," Marshall said. "We know it backward and forwards. We know where the tactical spots are."

"Coming through is a big deal for us," Waubonsie Valley coach Kevin Rafferty said. "Cross country is ruled by the 3-4-5 runners. I have a group of kids who are together."

Noah Schalliol and Ryan Palmer, fifth and sixth, respectively, anchored the runner-up Neuqua Valley performance.

"I peaked a little too early," Schalliol said.

Naperville North senior Gabe Ryan finished second to DeKalb junior Riley Newport.

The latter was declared the champion in 15 minutes, 15.7 seconds to Ryan coming home in 15:24.1.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"It is the last DVC race I will ever run," Ryan said. "I have had a lot of success on this course."

Lucy Westlake is the latest in an awfully long line of exceptional athletes from Naperville North.

The Huskies have captured the last four officially conducted Class 3A girls state cross country meets.

Westlake was slightly three seconds faster than Naperville Central sophomore Liv Phillips to claim the DVC girls title in 17:57.9.

"I wanted to win, but I didn't think it would affect the next race (at the Oswego East regional next week)," Westlake said. "I just take it one race at a time. I am definitely happy with what I wanted to do."

Naperville North ran its league winning streak to a decade with a 29-48 triumph over Naperville Central.

"(Westlake) has won a conference championship," Naperville North coach Dan Iverson said. "That's a big deal. She is definitely one of our all-time greats."

Sophie Golobitsch was third for the Huskies; Metea Valley senior Sarah Maggio was fourth.

There can be no doubt that the Aurora-Naperville border is an epicenter of cross country excellence.

Newport is unquestionably a figure to watch at the upcoming three-week state series.

The Barbs' junior dusted all company in winning the highly coveted conference championship.

"I got second last year," Newport said. "I had a lot of confidence this year. I didn't worry about what anyone else was doing. It's the most confident I have felt about the team."

The DeKalb boys finished third with 83 points.

Annika Burchell was the high man when it comes to the Barbs' girls team at conference.

Burchell finished in the No. 27 slot to pace DeKalb, sixth with 160 points.

"I was pretty happy with my performance today," Burchell said. "This week I found myself pushing in the second half of the race."

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