Cross country: Huntley girls win 1st sectional title
Huntley will need to find room on its trophy wall for a plague the school has never won before.
Pace by Breanna Burak's third-place finish, the Red Raiders took top team honors with 111 points at the Class 3A Lake Park sectional Saturday, the first girls cross country sectional title in Huntley's history. The Red Raiders advance to next weekend's 3A state meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria.
Huntley place three runners in the top 15. Breanna Burak completed the 3-mile course in 17:20, followed by her twin sister Brittney, who came in ninth (17:54.2) and Molly Allen (13th place, 18:22.3).
"It was a special day," said Huntley coach Matt Kaplan. "It started with our three seniors up front, Breanna, Brittney and Molly. They set the tone for our team. Guillermina (Gimene) and Ava Allison then closed the door on the scoring.
"My strategy was to get out fast and hold it there. Our coach talked a lot about getting out right in front," said Breanna Burak.
Having her sister on the team is a real plus.
"We train together all the time," Brianna said. "We're each other's biggest supporters and we are always motivating each other.".
The Burak sisters were not the only twins competing in the race.
Kaplan edged out his twin, Brad, who coaches St. Charles East.
Sparked by Marley Andelman 12th place finish (18:17.4), the Saints came in second notching 134 points. St. Charles East will also make the trip to Peoria as the top seven teams qualify for a state berth. The Saints finished eighth at state last year.
"It takes everyone doing their job," Brad Kaplan said. "Everyone did and it worked out better than I expected."
Glenbard North's Grace Schager won the race with a time of 16:04.2, seconds off the senior's course breaking time of 16:00.2 set at the Harvey Braus Invitational on Sept. 10.
Schager, a Notre Dame commit, finished fourth at last year's state race.
"I love this course. And knowing that it is the last time I'll ever race here, I wanted to give it what I had," Schager said. "But I also wanted to save some in the tank for the state meet next week."
Maine South came in fourth with 142 points, just two behind third place Whitney Young. Junior Oliva DeLuca took top honors for the Hawks, finishing in 10th place (18:11.3).
Hononegah (fifth), Jones (sixth) and Wheaton North (seventh) also qualified for state. The Falcons' Janna Postma finished 20th (18:36.7).
The top 10 runners from non-qualifying teams also advance to Peoria. Local runners who earned state berths are Heather Durrant (Larkin), Nicole Poglitsch and Frida Martinez (Wheaton Warrenville South), Norah Dorrance (St. Charles North) and Sofia Borter (Geneva).
Boys race: Wheaton Warrenville South boys coach Chris Kuntz' mantra of running as a pack continued to pay dividends for the Tigers.
Wheaton Warrenville South's five top runners finished in the top 26 earning the team the sectional title. Sam Cruz finished sixth with a time of 15:20, followed by Josiah Narayanan in 10th (15:31.9), Lucas Yonker (24th, 15:49.5), Aiden Noel (25th, 15:50.2 and Nathan Virginelli (26th, 15:51.3).
The Tigers finished with 88 points, three ahead of second place St. Ignatius College Prep and six ahead of Maine South. Alex Wille paced the Hawks with a ninth-place finish (15:30.6).
"It was close. It was a tough race. Maine South is a good team," Kuntz said. "We don't talk about runners, we talk about pack. The kids did a great job working together."
DeKalb's Riley Newport won the race with a time of 14:50.1. Teammate Jacob Barraza came in second (15:10.8). Both will make the trip to Peoria. Newport finished third in last year's 3A meet.
Newport led the race from start to finish. During the second mile, the senior made his move to take charge of the race.
"I wanted my first mile to be more comfortable and relaxed," Newport said. "In the second mile I worked to pull away and I was able to do that."
Wheaton North's 98 points earned the Falcons fourth place. Caleb Youngstedt paced the team with a fifth-place finish. His time of 15:18.7 was a personal record.
"I didn't want to go out too hard. I think I went out too hard at the conference and that hurt me in the second mile," Youngstedt said. "I wanted to stay relaxed in the pack and make my move later in the race."
Rounding out the top seven were St. Charles East (fifth), Lane (sixth) and Rockford Guilford (seventh). Mitch Garcia's 21st-place finish (15:46.4) led the Saints.
Also qualifying for the state meet were Huntley's Tommy Nitz, Ty Rasmussen and Zachary Zuzzio, and Alex Harrison from Streamwood.