Boys cross country: St. Charles East's Wilson writes storybook ending
Micah Wilson has scaled a formidable mountain for the second time as a member of the St. Charles East boys cross country team.
Two years after leading the Saints to their first team state championship in program history and a spring removed from a 3,200-meter track state title, the Wisconsin-Madison recruit returned to Detweiller Park Saturday afternoon.
He left a conquering hero.
Wilson made it bookend personal state titles for area athletes as he followed the example set by Rosary senior Lianna Surtz with his first individual championship in 14 minutes, 11.18 seconds.
Wilson is the first state champion in school history, adding his individual touch to the Saints' Class 3A title from 2019.
"It's been a great experience," Wilson said of his four years in the Saints' program. "The team experience was a lot more fun. The team championship is going to have a higher place in my heart. This doesn't compare to the team title."
Wilson defeated New Trier senior Nick Falk by almost three seconds.
"I never doubted that I would be a state champion," Wilson said. "Ever since I was in middle school, I have dreamed of this."
"He was the No. 1 returner (from two years ago)," St. Charles East coach Chris Bosworth said of Wilson. "He has established himself as one of the best distance runners in the state."
Dylan Angel Lainez (South Elgin) and Mitch Garcia (St. Charles East) were the only other local athletes in the top 92 in 3A.
The Saints (17th) and Hampshire (28th) were the only local teams to make the state cut.
Sandburg (130 points), Hinsdale Central (175) and Downers North (179) were the three trophy-winning programs.
The explosive maturation of Yusuf Baig was further on display in the Class 2A.
Admittedly one of the slowest runners in the Burlington Central program as a newcomer, Baig was fifth in 14:51.55.
"I am going to get ready for track," Baig said. "The first mile went out so fast. I definitely thought I could get under (top 10). It's an amazing experience."
Kaneland was technically the defending champion.
But its sole all-state athlete, Evan Nosek, was in seventh grade in the fall of 2019.
"I was going after (Bartonville Limestone runner-up) Wilson Georges," said Nosek, who came home in 21st place. "I was so proud of that (state-championship) team. I am just happy I am doing the sport."
The Knights' bid for back-to-back state trophies fell short as Fenwick defeated Deerfield 120-141; downstate Morton denied Kaneland 164-185 for third.
Christian Phillips (45th), Nolan Allen (53rd), David Valkanov (70th) and Trevor Neal (93rd) rounded out the Knights' contributing lineup.
In Class 1A, Harvest Christian junior Daniel Winkelman was fourth in 14:42.27.