It was all smiles for the Latin Royals who dominated their regional
Last year at this time, the post-season kicked off with the Ilinois High School Association sponsoring the regionals. Lincoln Park became a popular destination for many cross country teams throughout the city and suburbs. This time around it was Chicago Latin High School hosting 1A boys and girls action.
#10 Chicago Depaul Prep would be the heavy favorite and early on, a quartet of Rams plus several runners from Chicago University HS bid their time for the first half of the race while Ariana Tramil (Jr., Chicago Phoenix Military Academy) led. She hit the first mile in 6:41. Soon after Lorelei Travers (Fr., Depaul Prep) had enough and moved to the front and sped off. She passed the second mile in 13:33. A short lead turned into a big win for Travers in 19:50. The victory was a monumental one for the Rams who cruised with 18 points- all seven runners were in the top 10.
The matchup that everyone was waiting for was #2 Latin and #4 Depaul Prep. Talk around the circles was that these two teams are vying for the small-school state title in a few weeks. That means they would have to clash for three straight weekends.
Right away the fast-starting Akili Parekh (Jr.) and his Roman mates got the jump against Depaul. Parekh, Ryan Hardiman (Sr., Latin), and Kieran Subra (Sr., Chicago Lycee) hit the first mile in approximately 4:55.
By the second mile, a close eye-ball test turned into a whooping by Latin. The same group was 10:11 but the troubled back-end scoring pack was sandwiched between #3 runner Ben Gibson (Fr.) in 11:20. This was good news because they were ahead of Depaul's scorers.
The final verdict was Subra coming home for the win in 15:17. He won by five seconds over Hardiman but the Romans crushed the Rams with 22 points.