Cross country: Furlong, Barrington set the pace heading into sectionals
Joey Furlong set the pace Saturday for a great day of cross country running by Barrington.
The Broncos' senior finished first at the Class 3A Schaumburg regional at Busse Woods, and his superior effort helped lead his boys squad to the team title as well.
Furlong's winning time was 14:58.5, and Barrington took the regional championship with 39 points, just ahead of runner-up Palatine (41 points).
"This means a lot," said Furlong of coming up with the victory in his senior season. "We know that you have to do well in the regionals to have a successful postseason.
"It was a very fun race. All our coaches gave us good race strategy -- we went out together as a team, stuck together during the first half of the race, then in the second half we were just able to go."
Broncos coach Tom Root agreed, saying that it was a "huge day" for Furlong.
"Last year as a junior he was one of our top three runners," said Root, "and as a matter of fact he's been one of our strongest runners since he was a freshman. This year he has been focused being one of the leaders of our group, he focuses on his teammates, and he just attacks every time and goes for the win.
"Joey made a strong move (Saturday) and didn't look back."
Next up for Barrington will be this Saturday's Hoffman Estates sectional, back at Busse Woods, where it will again face off against the Pirates, who saw Mason Krieg (15:14.3) finish third individually at the regional.
Also at sectionals will be Prospect, which was third at the regional, led by TJ Garland (15:11.4, second overall).
St. Viator boasted two race winners at the Class 2A Lakes regional, with senior Michael Schumacher (15:12.62) finishing first on the boys' side, and classmate Mary Grace Hegberg (16:50.57) winning the girls' race. Next up for the Lions will be the Woodstock North sectional at Emricson Park.
Freshman Scout Storms of Barrington excelled as well at the Schaumburg regional. She won the girls' race in the time of 17:23.6.
Prospect was girls team champion, with Lily Ginsberg (17:39.4, second place) and Hailey Erickson (17:46.8) leading the way.
At the Class 3A Glenbrook South regional, Anna Harden of the Hersey girls team finished third at 17:52.05. Mackenzie Ginder was the next best Huskies runner in the time of 19:36.80.
"Anna ran a smart race," said Hersey coach Danielle Freeman. "I asked her to hold back a little, and she was in 12th place at the mile mark which was a very unfamiliar position for her, but the race went off fast.
"Anna and Mackenzie have been running together since the fourth grade at St. Peter's. They both have a ton of experience, they're both very focused and driven, competitive kids, and it's awesome to coach them both."
Next up for the Huskies will be the Hoffman sectional where they will compete against the likes of Prospect, Barrington, Palatine, Fremd and Glenbrook South winner New Trier.
"I held out three of my top five girls Saturday," said Freeman, " tried to get them some rest, because next weekend could be a little rough."
Hersey boys coach Kevin Young said that he "tried to give the young guys a little experience" at Glenbrook South. Leading the way for the Hersey boys was stalwart Connor Oiler (15:41.56, 5th).
For the girls at Schaumburg, the Fillies took second place, Palatine was fourth, Fremd fifth and the Saxons sixth.
Individually, Abigail Jordan of Palatine (17:47.3) finished fourth, Audrey Ginsberg of Prospect (18:05.4) was sixth, and the Knights' Bridget Derengowski (18:10.9) placed seventh.
Other top team performances Saturday in the boys' races included Barrington (51, second at the Schaumburg regional), Palatine (4th) and Fremd (5th). Hersey took second at Glenbrook South.
Top boys individual racers at Schaumburg included Luka Kuzmanovic of Prospect (15:19.3, 4th), Jack Casaccio from Palatine (15:21.1, 5th), Max Lewis of Barrington (15:23.1, 6th), and Zach Daniel of the Broncos (15:26.0, 7th).
"The guys raced extraordinarily well," said Barrington coach Root of his team. "Going into it we had some team strategy goals, and we wanted to do well as a group. I could not be more thrilled with the outcome."