Cross country: Lake Zurich boys, Lake Forest girls take NSC titles

The Lake Zurich boys cross country dynasty continued to roll right along Saturday morning as the Bears headed out for the North Suburban Conference meet on the grounds of the Lake Forest West Campus.

And on this very cool morning Lake Zurich completely dominated the eight-team field as the Bears placed five runners in the top eight places to roll to the championship by a whopping 20-61 margin over runner-up Mundelein. Warren was a close third with 65 points while Stevenson (89 points) placed fourth.

Lake Zurich senior Dylan Myers fell just short of the 3-mile course record with a winning time of 14:49.8 while teammate Braden Eckman took runner-up honors.

The Bears' pack-running was sensational with Will Perez in fourth, Cole Boudreault in fifth, and George Sabev in eighth to carry Lake Zurich to its 14th NSC title in the past 17 years.

"We've just been really working together as a team. Our goal is top three, and we want to take home a trophy at the end of the season at state," said Myers. "So we've just been doing whatever we can to get to that point."

Javier Mata led Mundelein in third place followed by Warren's Cole Kaether in sixth, and Stevenson's Dylan Zimmerman in seventh. Warren's Fahim Rafi and Mundelein's Alberto Diaz rounded out the top 10 as the top 22 made all-conference.

"He (Myers) is running very strong, he's looking very fit, and I think this is the third race in a row where he missed the course record by like three seconds," said Lake Zurich coach J.B. Hanson. "The first four were all seniors and our fifth guy (Sabev) is a junior so we're a very experienced team and they have high expectations."

In the girls race, the host Scouts held off Warren 57-79 for the team title while Libertyville edged Lake Zurich 98-102 for fourth place. Stevenson placed fifth with 107 points.

After placing third in Class 3A last year, Lake Zurich senior Brooke Johnston showed she is a state-title contender as she rolled to first place in 17:05.2. Warren's Mia Pasha placed second Saturday with a smile on her face.

"Honestly I was really glad. I didn't know exactly what to expect because my cold lingered a little bit and it has affected me before this season," Johnston said. "I feel like I'm getting back healthy, my workouts have been really good and everything so I was hopeful that today would pay off and I would feel back to my old self. And I think I do so I'm very happy how it went."

Libertyville was led by Margaret McGormley in sixth while Praise Oyebanji was Mundelein's top finisher in seventh. Nanoko Seki led Stevenson's pack in ninth while Kate Mondejar was Warren's No. 2 runner in 10th.

"It was an all-around solid performance. They ran well, and it's a tough conference so I'm very proud of them," said Warren assistant coach Jacob Buddell. "Mia (Pasha) looked great, she placed sixth at state last year so she's hoping to place in the top five this year."

Adeline Gobble added a 12th-place finish for the Patriots to outdistance Lake Zurich's Lindsey Bitzer in 14th. Libertyville's duo of Sheila Tucker and Liz George placed 16th and 17th, respectively.

"The girls ran well overall as a team and they came out here doing what they needed to do running as a pack," said Libertyville coach Megan Sharp, who pointed to a few keys for the rest of the season. "We need to stay healthy and still run with that pack mentality, and run together at the top."

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