Boys cross country: Warren's Wiley finishes a strong 4th at state meet
After a one-year hiatus from competition due to the pandemic, the historic 75th IHSA state boys cross country meet returned to legendary Detweiller Park Saturday afternoon on a beautiful fall day in Peoria.
There were some extremely fast times turned in on the 3-mile course as St. Charles East senior Micah Wilson posted a winning time of 14:11.18 in Class 3A to edge New Trier's Nick Falk by less than three seconds down the stretch run.
Sandburg locked up the Class 3A championship with 130 points while Hinsdale Central nipped rival Downers Grove North 175-179 for the second-place trophy. The Trevians edged Oswego 196-197 for fourth place in the massive 28-team field.
Warren senior Luke Wiley placed fourth in 14:19 after winning the Hoffman Estates sectional last weekend at Busse Woods. Warren senior David Lara also earned all-state honors (Top 25) for the Blue Devils with a 24th-place finish. Wiley will be heading to North Carolina next year where he will be running with the Tar Heels.
"He ran an incredibly gutsy race. The whole time he was in the front pack, and anything less than first was going to be a disappointment for him today," said Warren coach Brett Heimstead, whose team placed 21st. "David Lara making all-state is just an incredible story, after being our sixth or seventh runner he really dedicated himself to the sport to get to this point."
It was a tough and reflective day for the Warren squad as it was competing at state for the first time without longtime coach Bill Dawson, who passed away in September of 2020 from esophageal cancer.
Behind all-state performances from junior Dylan Myers (11th), and senior Danny Burns (12th) Lake Zurich placed sixth with 243 points.
"The times were fast and it was a good day for Lake Zurich," said Bears coach J.B. Hanson, whose team took third at the Hoffman Estates sectional last weekend. "(Myers and Burns) really just ran great. They got out well and 11th and 12th was just an outstanding finish for them and a great all-around team effort."
Libertyville's top runner Saturday was Ali Faiz in 56th place followed closely by Lake Zurich's Braden Eckman in 57th. Libertyville's Jack Hamilton placed 89th.
Fenwick won the Class 2A state crown by a 120-141 margin over runner-up Deerfield while Grayslake Central's young squad captured sixth place with 240 points.
Carbondale's Alex Partlow ran away from the rest of the huge field with an impressive winning time of 14:11.96 while Grayslake Central's pack was led by sophomore standout Trey Sato in 11th place.
Sophomore John Vagnoni placed 39th for the Rams. His lone senior teammate, Bryan Vale, placed 55th. Grayslake Central should be ready to make up big jump up the state standings next fall.
"(Sato) ran great today. He PRd, he was patient and he moved up a lot throughout the race passing a lot of guys in the last mile," said Grayslake Central coach Jimmy Centella, whose team placed first in 2015 and second in 2016.
"We only have one senior so they're excited about their potential and hopefully we can improve on our sixth-place finish next year."
Lakes placed 21st in the meet as sophomore Payton Whitehead was the Eagles' No. 1 runner in 78th place.