Contributor Carson Vittorio breaks down each race through his vocal lense
With mostly sunny skies and the Mercury flying in the upper 50s and lower 60s, Saturday was a grand day for many of the best middle-school cross country runners across the state. As well, beautiful Maxwell Park served as the backdrop for the tremendous event sponsored by the Illinois Elementary School Association.
8th grader Morgan Mackie of Chicago Queen of All Saints took charge right away with a first mile in 5:45 before winning the two-mile title with a sparkling time of 11:32. Mackie was nearly 17 seconds ahead of Becca Heitzig of Lincoln West Lincoln-Broadwell. The team title was awarded to Queen of All Saints who scored 51 points to finish ahead of rival Old St. Mary of Chicago and their 74 points.
|1||Chicago Queen of All Saints||51|
|2||Chicago Old St. Mary's||74|
|3||Chicago St. Benedict||115|
|5||La Grange St. Francis||231|
Christian Provost was one of the favorites entering the championship. The 8th grader from Bishop McNamara in Kankakee had to make up a sizable deficit against 8th grader Nicholas Strayer of Lagrange St. Francis. Strayer had nearly a 10-second lead on the field through the first mile (5:12) but succumbed to Provost's patience and fortitude who prevailed in 10:29 to Stayer's 10:34... last year's darling team St. Ben's of Chicago was not able to repeat.
|1||Chicago Old St. Mary's||82|
|2||La Grange St. Francis||123|
|3||Buffalo Grove St. Mary||137|
|4||Kankakee Bishop McNamara||191|
|5||Dixon St. Mary's||219|
8th grader Bella Dormier of Round Lake Park and 7th grader Maria Polyakov of River Forest Roosevelt battled in close proximity for the first mile in 5:39-40 before Dormier moved ahead for good in winning with a time of 11:21.1. Polyakov held on for second in 11:26.0... Tolono Unity continues to restock its high school program winning another state team title.
|2||Chicago Latin School||130|
|4||East Peoria Central||170|
Arguably the tightest race of the day saw a string of runners of 5:20 for the opening mile before 8th grader Isaac Crumrine of Riverton took flight against his peers in winning by three seconds over Benjamin Gibson of Chicago Latin School in 10:36.
|2||La Grange Gurrie||136|
The main event and everyone's big-time favorite to watch was 8th grader Ali Ince of Normal Kingsley. The local favorite did not waste any time in going after the record. It was the first mile in 5:30 that put Ince more than 11 seconds on her nearest competitor. Though Ince slowed and fell far shy of the 11:00 barrier, she was still lengths ahead of 8th Marley Andelman of St. Charles Wredling 11:17-11:29.
|5||Mt. Prospect Lincoln||200|
The final race of the day turned out to be a barn burner. A sizzling opening mile by Morton Junior High School 8th grader Yonas Wuthrich in 4:56 seemed to be the recipe in eventually he and teammate 8th grader Josh Weeks linking up and running away to victory. Weeks was the one who held on for the win in 10:05. Wuthrich ran a fine time of 10:11 for second.
|1||Lake in the Hills Marlowe||140|
|8||Bolingbrook Jane Addams||277|
|9||New Lenox Martino||281|