There was no field in the state of Illinois stronger than the one at Hinsdale Central
Girls: Nine ranked teams easily made this the top sectional in the state. So, unfortunately, several good teams would not be able to advance to the state championship. #12 Lyons Township and #25 Metea Valley would not make the cut. #11 Naperville Central got things started with its first three runners crossing among the top 12. #2 Naperville North countered with its trio among the top 25. #6 Hinsdale Central
Boys: Just like the girl's race, this was the numero uno sectional in the state. In fact, there were a dozen ranked teams here which included #1 Sandburg, #2 Oswego, #4 Downers Grove North, #5 Hinsdale Central, #6 Lyons Township, and #9 Waubonsie Valley among the top 10. Even with an expanded field being able to make the state championship, there would be some very good teams left at home.
Sandburg got out well as expected with main man senior Declan Tunney leading the first two miles and in a position to steal the race until the final quarter-mile. Tunney placed fourth overall and his teammates backed him well with scoring placings spread out among the top 30 in its 70 points total. Downers Grove North has gotten itself fully healthy and put up a tremendous fight. The Trojans were once again led by Roy Llewellyn (Sr) who helped set the tempo of the race. He and his mates placed second with 85 points and possibly provided an incentive to overthrow the Eagles next weekend for the state title.
The individual race was furious and close. That meant Dan Watcke (Jr., Hinsdale Central) was lurking and with 200m to go, he shifted to the win with a smile in 15:10. He has to be among the favorites for the state title at Detweiller next Saturday.
Girls: #5 Prospect got it started with a win by placing all five runners in the top 30 and topping 86 points. Soph Lily Ginsberg led the way with an 8th place finish. The rematch between Brooke Johnston (Jr., Lake Zurich) and Aly Negovetich (Sr., Grant) was an interesting one from the start. The two stallions locked horns from the gun and ran step for step the first 2.5 miles (5:42, 11:25) before Negovetich slipped and fell at the breakpoint. Johnston would trot home in 17:11 to Negovetich's 17:20. Anna Harden (Jr., Hersey) ran on an island by herself virtually the entire way, took home the bronze medal in 17:30.
Boys: Luke Wiley (Warren) and Nick Falk (New Trier) led a flock of runners through the first mile in 4:55. They would break away at the 1.5 mile marker and then checked in at the second mile in 9:55. Wiley had a two-second lead with about 800m to go and later sealed the deal with the win in 15:00 to 15:04. New Trier walked away with the sectional title 93-99 over Barrington.
Girls: #1 York has not been challenged all season and as expected there were few speedbumps at the Lake Park HS stopover. The Lady Dukes put five runners in the top 10 to score 22 points. Sixth runner Maggie Owens (So.) was 10th overall. The individual title went to Grace Schager (Jr., Glenbard North) who appears to be back in full stride...
Boys: #16 York seems like a team at times that does not want to go to the state meet. But then again they have had some adversities according to head coach Charlie Kern. On this occasion, the Dukes were able to upend #17 St. Charles East 68-92 on the strength of a 40-second split. Keep in mind that top runner Ethan Summer (Sr.) did not compete. The Saints did earn a consolation prize in Micah Wilson (Sr) earning the victory in 15:03. He and Riley Newport (Jr., Dekalb) dueled for the first two miles (4:47, 10:00) before Wilson took off and hid.
Boys: It was a great day for the city of Plainfield who first had to endure the unbelievable travel hardships- back-to-back weekends of two-plus hours. Quincy is more than four hours away from the Plainfield city limits. #8 Plainfield South beat crosstown rival #14 Plainfield North 54-78. The Cougars perhaps had their best win as a program as they also copped the individual winner in Camyn Viger (So). Viger tracked the favorite Marcellus Mines (So., Joliet West) for the big win in 15:36. Mines had the same time.
Girls: Perhaps no one expected Anna Hunter (Sr., Yorkville) to win the individual title, but she did over some tough girls in 18:16. Her team competed well but came up five points short of #3 Minooka 56-51. It could be a change of events next weekend in Peoria.
Girls: An absolute slop fest at Fenton High School which was so bad that the state's top runner Ava Parekh (Sr., Latin) ran the second slowest time in her career (18:13). Have no fear though. Everyone else behind her was well off of their projected marks. #9 Latin took down #6 Payton and others to win their second sectional in a row with 61 points.
Boys: You know it's a tough one when winner Jake Phillips (Jr., Chicago Marist) can only muster 16:18. He survived and advance as did seven other schools led by #1 Oak Park Fenwick who scored a hearty 59 points. This sectional was rated the tops for its classification.
Girls: #2 Dunlap had an unexpected competitive battle with #15 Normal University but won 64-81. The 1:01 scoring split was the key winning factor for the Eagles. The Pioneers had the individual champ Delaney Fitzgerald (Jr.) in 17:58.
Boys: Wilson Georges (Sr., Limestone) is still on track as one of the favorites to win the state title. He won on the 2.94 mile Black Partridge Park layout in 15:02. #3 Morton had their way with the competition by placing all five runners in the top 20 and scoring 39 points.
Girls: Becca Heitzig (So., Lincoln) won by almost a minute in 18:12. #3 Chatham-Glenwood was led by senior Nia Gibson's third-place effort in 19:16. Overall, the Titans had four other runners in the top 20 to score a scant 54 points.
Boys: Alex Partlow (Sr., Carbondale) has proven to be of his worthy top dog premium status as he was the only runner in the state to break 15:00. Partlow clocked 14:57 and won by a minute over Brenden Heitzig (Jr., Lincoln). #7 Mahomet-Seymour put all five scorers in the top 20 en route to a 61-point performance.
Girls: Elia Ton-that (Sr., Chicago Northside Prep) trailed Mary Grace Hegberg (Sr., St. Viator) by three seconds through the first two miles before mounting a surge and winning by 13 seconds over Hadley Ferrero (Fr., Crystal Lake Central) in 18:05. Hegberg placed third in 18:29. #1 Crystal Lake South survived a scare in beating #7 Grayslake Central 100-112. #5 Vernon Hills was third with 116 points.
Boys: Michael Schumacher (Sr., St. Viator) and Yusuf Baig (Jr., Burlington Central) waged a tough battle but Schumacher won 15:42-15:46. #2 Deerfield had no issues in winning the title with 55 points in distancing themselves from #10 Crystal Lake Central's 141 tallies.
Girls: Top-ranked Winnebago won another sectional. This time the 'Bagos scored 26 points (1,3,5,7,10). Their sixth runner was 11th in case she was needed. Grace Erb (Jr) won by 21 seconds in 19:28 for 5K.
Boys: #7 Rockford Christian beat #5 Riverdale 49-66 on the strength of a 1:10 scoring split. Brock Loftus (Sr., Amboy) won the 5K in 16:19.
Decatur St. Teresa-
Girls: #2 Tolono Unity cruised with 57 points. The Rockets were led by sophomore Erica Woodard's seventh place in 19:14. The supporting cast was awesome as three teammates were in the top 15 overall. Kate Ahmari (Jr., Urbana University) won in sloppy conditions with a time of 18:05.
Boys: Could Ryder James (Sr., PBL) upset his pal Drew Rogers next weekend in Peoria? He is as sharp as any runner in the state. James clocked the competition in 15:24- nearly a minute better than second-place Logan Beckmier of Arthur. Beckmier's #3 squad beat #1 St. Joseph-Ogden 75-87. Look for a strong rematch next weekend.
Boys: Miles Sheppard (Sr., West Hancock) seems to be ready for the state championship. He cruised to the win in 15:06. #4 Normal University roughed up the field with 49 points.
Girls: It was a 5K distance that Lianna Surtz (Sr., Rosary) mastered in 18:46. The #6 Royals beat Wheaton Academy 57-83.
Boys: Even with a sore foot Drew Rogers (Sr., Herscher) was strong enough to toy with the field and win in 15:35. Expect Rogers to issue more pain to his opponents next weekend in Peoria. #2 Chicago Latin's rematch against #8 Chicago Depaul Prep was a tight tilt but the Romans prevailed 56-61.
Girls: #15 Duquoin represented the deep south and won with 77 points. Olivia Phillips led her team with a second-place finish. The individual winner was a complete surprise in Ahry Comer (So., Pope County). Her expected match-up against Elena Rybak (Fr., Father Givney) did not materialize. Comer won by 21 seconds in 18:30.
Boys: The unheralded Gavin Genisio (So., Benton) won the individual title in 15:13 and his team was victorious as well with 68 points.
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