2016 Conference Meet Weekend Previews - DyeStat Illinois

Thursday, October 13 2016 - UEC Cross Country Championships - Ricardo Del Toro

2016 Conference Meet Weekend Previews - DyeStat Illinois

Published by DyeStatIL.com  Oct 13th, 1:29pm

The state series and the road to Detweiller Park starts this weekend


By Michael Newman

DyeStat Illinois Editor



Conference weekend in cross country only comes once a year but it is one of the most anticipated weeks of the season. There is no qualify for state meets in the races that these athletes will run over the next three days. This comes down to conference bragging rights and titles that teams have been working for most of the season. It will also give us an indication of how good some teams really are. The other big meet of the weekend is the Patriot Invitational at Detweiller Park featuring some of the top 1A teams and runners. It will be the last race on Detweiller grounds before the IHSA State Cross Country Meet on November 5.

Here is a look at SOME of the meets that will take place this weekend.

Thursday 10/13

Corn Belt Conference @ Maxwell Park, Normal

The first big meets this weekend could be one of the best. The top 2A Boys teams in the state Mahomet-Seymour and Normal University face off for the first of four straight meets. Mahomet-Seymour looked great last Saturday as they previewed the sectional course at Metamora running only a fifteen second split on their top five. They finished U-High who was without their top two Jack Franklin and Jared Shuckman. Both will be back in action and should be up front challenging Mahomet’s Andrew Walmer for the individual title. Mahomet’s pack is deep and could be tough for U-High to break through. A 1-2 finish by Franklin and Shuckman would help. 1A #16 Illinois Valley Central should be the next Boys team in this meet.

The same two teams should be battling for the Girls team title. 2A #7 Mahomet-Seymour has been running great over the past three weeks and will look to capture the team title. Freshman Megan Churm has stepped up as the lead runner for the Bulldogs. Their five runner split has been hovering near 90 seconds. That will need to come down in this meet. 2A #10 Normal University could have the edge especially running on their home course. Freshman Katy Clausen will be one of the lead individuals in this race and lead the Pioneers. She finished ten seconds ahead of Churm last week at Metamora. Emma Mussey will help out on the Varsity level. Just like the Boys race, this could come down to a dual meet between the two teams. 1A #8 Stanford Olympia and 1A #16 Illinois Valley will challenge for third. The individual race should be a good one with Churm, Clausen, Shelby Siltman (Olympia HS, Stanford), and Katherine Schroeder (Illinois Valley Central HS, Chilicothe) all battling for the conference crown.

Western Big Six @ Saulke GC, Rock Island

It should come down to Rock Island Alleman and East Moline United for the Boys team title Thursday afternoon. Alleman should have the edge most likely putting five runners in at least the first twelve in this meet. The key will be keeping Spencer Smith and Brendan Hird close to their #1 runner Augie Darrow. East Moline United has Dalton Martin that will challenge Darrow for the individual title. Darrow has run 15:13 at Detweiller Park this season. Martin’s best time at Detweiller Park has been 15:38. I think Martin will be closer to Darrow in this meet. If East Moline wants to be close to the Pioneers, they will need to have Sawyer Swearingen and Trevor Viren ahead of Alleman’s Hird.

The Girls race is too close to call at this point. There are four similar teams that have big five runner splits and quality front runners. Host Rock Island could have the edge led by Jayla Hathorn and Dulce Perez. Galesburg could have the top runner in the conference with Kathryn Pendergast. Quincy could be the surprise team in this meet but will need to get their top four runners in the first eleven spots. Lydia Kurfman should lead that team. Alleman has Addie Pulley who will challenge for the individual title, but will need to get their pack within forty seconds of her.

Southwest Conference @ Gordon Moore Park, Alton

#23 O’Fallon and Edwardsville should be the teams to watch in the Boys race. O’Fallon could have the slight edge if they have Kyle Dismukes back and healthy. He has not run since the Forest Park XC festival in the beginning of September. Without him in the lineup, it makes the team battle close with the two teams within six points of each other. O’Fallon will need to have a 30 to 35 second split on their top five led by Chris Conrad and Joey Black. Edwardsville is young but talented led by Junior Franky Romano. The key for the Tigers is getting their #2 or #3 runners ahead of O’Fallon’s third runner. They will also need a 50 second split on their top five. Romano will be one of the favorites in the race challenged by Granite City’s Andrew and Will O’Keefe. Conrad, Black, and Brian Gichuru (Belleville West HS) should also be runners that could finish in the top five.

#22 Edwardsville has been ranked most of the year in the state mainly because of the emergence of freshman Abby Korak and sophomore Abby Schrobilgen. They should be the big favorite for the team title with the possibility of scoring 21 points or lower. O’Fallon will be their chief competition led by Brooke Witzel and Kaliegh Perrier. It is possible that Edwardsville could put five runners ahead of Perrier. O’Fallon needs to break up that pack in order to get closer. Korak, Schrobilgen, Witzel, and Seleiya Wilson (Belleville East HS) will battle for the individual crown.

Friday 10/14

DuPage Valley @ St. James Farm, Warrenville

One of the highlight meets of this weekend with the top ranked 3A Boys and Girls teams competing. The Girls meet should be a good one with five 3A Top 25 teams in this race. #1 Naperville North ran a good race last week on their home course to win over a field that had the top five teams in the state. Sarah Schmitt and Alex Morris should be in the top five in this race. The Huskies will just need to keep their top five within 45 seconds of each other. #5 Wheaton-Warrenville South had their best race so far at that same meet. Allison McGrath and Sara Atkins should challenge for the individual title. They will need to have a split of 60 seconds or under in order to compete for the team title. They will need freshmenMaria Rucoba and Haley Ansiel closer to #4 runner Amanda Obrist. If that split can be under 60 seconds, the Tigers could be within 10 points of the Huskies. #12 Metea Valley will challenge for the third spot led by Nicki Cast. #13 Neuqua Valley will be led by Caitlin Horn and will also push for the third spot. Both teams have similar packs and could score between 75 to 80 points. #25 Naperville Central will need good races by Meghan Donovan and Alana Austin to challenge the two Valley schools. Sarah Schmitt, Allison McGrath, and Sara Atkins should be the runners to watch up front.

#1 Neuqua Valley showed how tough they were last week at Twilight running a twelve second top five split in winning the meet. Even though #12 Wheaton-Warrenville South has been running good pack races, it might just not match up with the Wildcats. Neuqua scored a perfect 15 in last year’s meet. It would not surprise me if they did that again led by seniorsJake McEneaney, Jackson Jett, and Scott Anderson. Alexsei Sorokin has emerged as South’s top runner. Kyle Thompson will need to be close to his teammate Sorokin along with having their top four within 12 seconds of each other. A 30 second or faster split could put the Tigers closer to the front. #22 Naperville Central, Naperville North, Wheaton North, and Waubonsie Valley all have the talent to battle for the third spot.

Mid Illini @ Detweiller Park

2A #2 Dunlap is the clear favorite in the Girls race even though there are three teams in the top eleven in this race. It’s Dunlap’s pack that the rest of the conference schools should be afraid of. The Eagles could have five runners in the first seven in this race led by Franny Verville, Abby Johnson, and Ayah Aldadah. It would not surprise me either if they put all seven runners in the first thirteen. 2A #5 Metamora has been on fire the last few weeks moving into the top five. Kari Lalumandier has the potential to challenge for the individual title. They are a talented group. Dunlap’s depth may be way too much to overcome. 2A #11 Washington will run a tight pack of 40 seconds or faster on their top five. It will need to haveHailey Tranchitella and Kassidy Dexheimer in the top ten to overtake Metamora. Dunlap could take the top three spots in the individual race. Lalumandier or Morton’s Meagan Moreno could challenge for one of the top spots.

#8 Metamora should be the favorites in the Boys race but could be challenged by #22 Dunlap or East Peoria. Jake Gillum is coming off of a win on his home course last week where he ran 14:40 on the 2.94 mile course. The big surprise for the Redbirds is Adam Glaub who has one of the fastest freshmen times in the state for 3 miles so far this season.  Dunlap is led by Carson Potts and Drew Fick. The Eagles will need to have those two runners in the top six at least and ahead of Metamora’s #3 runner to challenge them for a team championship. East Peoria has the power up front led by Michael Church. The team has the potential to have three runners in the first ten. Their 5 man split of over two minutes could kill their hopes of finishing second. The individual race should come down to Gillum and Church side by side challenging for the individual win.

Saturday 10/15

WSC-Silver @ Lyons Township South Campus, Western Springs

The best meet of the weekend should be at the toughest conference in the nation especially on the Boys side. Four of the top nine teams in 3A will toe the line on Lyons Township’s lightning fast 3 mile course. Host #2 Lyons Township is the slight favorite in the team race led by Vince Zona and Danny Kilrea who should be in the top five individually. A key for the Lions is getting either Dan Palmer or Alex Pall ahead of Downers Grove North’s pack. A 52 second split on their top five could be the difference for Lyons and the conference championship. #3 Downers Grove North finished second last week at Naperville behind Neuqua Valley. Their 15 second split on five could make things tighter towards the front led by Alec Danner, Matt Moravec, and Jacob Ridderhoff among others. There could be a difference of ten to twelve points between the two teams.

#6 Hinsdale Central and #9 York should challenge for the third spot. Central ran a good race last week at Naperville cutting their split to near 40 seconds. Blake Evertsen will be among the leaders in this race. The key is getting their top five in the first twenty to solidify a third place spot. York has a strong front three that could be in the top ten in this race. It is a matter of getting their fourth and fifth runners to within 70 seconds of their #1 Charlie Kern. Sean MacGregor could challenge for the top six spots. Jackson Bode could be in the top ten.

The individual race should be lights out. Charlie Kern outkicked Vince Zona at Peoria two weeks ago to win by a second. Expect this race to be that close on Saturday. Irwin Loud (Oak Park-River Forest HS) should be among the front runners pushing the pace. Danny Kilrea, Blake Evertsen, and Sean MacGregor should also be among the front runners.

#4 Glenbard West should be the favorite in the Girls team race led by Katelynne Hart, Lindsey Payne, and Katie Hohe all being in the top four. The Hilltoppers ran a season best split of 89 seconds last week. #9 Hinsdale Central could be a surprise in the team race coming off of a good run last week at Naperville. Reilly Revord and Grace McCabe could be in the top seven in this race. The Red Devilettes need to keep their split under 58 seconds if this team wants to be closer to West. Sarah Barcelona and Emily Henkel will give #8 Lyons Township low points up front. Five runners in the first seventeen could put them ahead of Hinsdale Central. #21 York should have Sarah May among the top five individually. The Dukes could score under 90 points if their pack off of May’s lead is 63 seconds or faster. No doubt on who should be the race favorites. It should come down to Glenbard West’s Katelynne Hart and Lindsey Payne to battle for the title.

Mid Suburban League @ Busse Woods, Schaumburg

Could we see one individual school sweep both team championships in this meet on Saturday? The possibility is there that Prospect and Hersey could achieve that. #7 Prospect looked strong in their last race at Peoria two weeks ago and could end up winning the Boys meet. The key for Prospect is keeping a tight pack. They could potentially have a twenty second or under split on their top five in this meet. James Riordan, Jack Terry, and Jack O’Donnell could all finish within the top ten. #5 Hersey lost to Prospect by one point in a dual earlier this year and could be neck and neck with the Knights in this meet. Jacob Krupa will challenge for the individual title and lead the Huskies. Hersey will have a tight pack behind Prospect. It could be as little as ten seconds from their #2 through #5. The key will be putting their pack ahead of at least Prospect’s #3 runner. It could come down to eight points or less between the two teams.  #16 Palatine could have the individual favorite in Brian Leonard. Their pack seems to be a little behind the two above schools. If they run under 56 seconds on five, they could be closer to second. #24 Fremd will be led by Danny Peterson. The Vikings will need to have their group close to Palatine’s with a split under 50 seconds.

It could come down to three teams battling it out for the Girls championship. #16 Prospect could be the surprise team in this race. Brooke Wilson will be one of the individual runners to watch in this race. Marissa Valentini has been running strong the past few weeks and could be among the top five. The Knights will need a split of 30 seconds between their four runners behind Wilson in order to win the team title. #10 Hersey has been a surprise this year especially at Palatine and the Richard Spring Invitational. Sarah Harden, Hailey Bowes, and Teagan Beckley have the possibility of finishing in the top ten. Their top five split needs to be under 85 seconds in order for the team win. #12 Palatine could come away with the team win led by Danya Lloyd and Liz Lechowicz. Five runners in the top twenty-two with Lloyd in the top six could put the Pirates on top. #18 Barrington ran strong in winning at Wheeling last week. Jocelyn Long should get the Fillies low points up front. She will be one of the favorites in the race along with Prospect’s Brooke Wilson and Schaumburg’sMadison Marasco.

Big Northern @ Genoa-Kingston

2A #20 Dixon should be the favorites in the Boys race with the possibility of placing all seven of their runners in the first fifteen and scoring under 28 points. 1A #2 Rockford Christian should be the nest team in led by Riley Wells. The Royal Lions that could have a split of 60 seconds or under on their top five in this meet but will need to get two more runners besides Wells in the top ten to get close to Dixon.  1A #14 Rock Falls should be the next team behind Rockford Christian led by individual race favorite Brayden Hamblen and freshman Dawson Smith. Byron’s Cole Sarver could be among the top four in this race along with Dixon’s Jonah Fulton and Sean Masterson.

2A #19 Dixon should control the Girls race putting their top five in the first eight places. 1A #10 Rockford Christian should be the next team in led by Madison Franseen. #20 Winnebago and Byron could battle for the second spot with Rockford Christian.  Byron’s Emma Hildreth, Dixon’s Nickquelette Fazekas and Kira Goral, and Madison Franseen should challenge for the individual title.

Big 12 Conference @ Detweiller Park

2A #11 Danville should be the favorite in the Boys race. The Vikings did not have their best race of the season two weeks ago at Peoria. Watch for them to bounce back at Detweiller. They are the most effective when they stay close to one another in the race. Phillip Hall and Michael Moreman will lead the team that should put five runners in the first twelve. Normal Community West has been running good as of late. They could be Danville’s chief competition. Tyler Dunn should be among the top five in this race. A split under 45 seconds off of Dun could get the Wildcats between 50 to 55 points. Danville should score under 35 points. Notre Dame’s Patrick Bruch should be the favorite in this race challenged by Dunn and Bloomington’s Nick Doud.

Urbana has been a surprise team so far this season with the addition of six freshmen in their top seven. It could be close for the Girls team title with only fifteen points separating four teams. 2A #20 Urbana could have four runners in the first eleven led by Libby Cultra and Olivia Rosenstein. Their split from four to five is big and could hurt Urbana’s chance for a conference crown. 2A #23 Notre Dame will have individual race favorite Grace Brietbach leading them. They could have three runners in the first eight. The gap between three and four is too big. A split under 150 seconds from Brietbach could put the Irish on top. Normal Community has a tight pack with a split of under 40 seconds. They will need to get a runner in the first eight in order for a chance to win. Normal West could be a surprise in this race led by Mara Smith and MacKenzie Piazza. A split under 120 seconds with two runners in the top ten could make this squad tough to beat.

Central State Eight @ Lincoln Park, Springfield

2A #5 Chatham-Glenwood and 2A #16 Springfield will battle for the Boys title. It could be a matter of a two or three point difference between the teams. Chatham-Glenwood could have five runners in the first twelve led by Chris Durr. Springfield could have five in thirteen led by Jackson Esela. The two runners were challenge for the individual title along with Esela’s teammate Kyle Boughter and Rochester’s Josh Cable.

#14 Chatham-Glenwood should be the slight favorite in the Girls race. Ali Wynn and Kate Curry could be among the top five runners in this race. They will need to keep their split under 60 seconds to win. Springfield has been strong in their past few meets and could be the big challenger to the Titans. Ella Kurmann or Shay Doty will have to have to be ahead of Glenwood’s #2 runner as well as keeping their five runner split under 50 seconds. Rochester’s Madeline Campbell and Katherine Petty should challenge Wynn and Curry for the individual title.

Central Suburban League @ Glenbrook North

The addition of Vernon Hills to the conference makes the Girls race just a little more interesting on Saturday. It could be a batlle between the 2A #4 Cougars, 3A #15 New Trier, and 3A #20 Maine South. New Trier traditionally has a tight pack but it has not happened this season. Their average split on five, led by Caroline Fix and Grace Fagan, has averaged around 65 seconds this year. With those two runners between 6 and 8 and the split under 55 seconds, the Trevians could have a chance in winning. Maddie Dingle and Olivia Nizolek could take the top two individual spots for Maine South. They will need to have their five in the first twenty in order for the win. It could be Vernon Hills that comes out on top led by Lauren Katz and Payton Makowskyj. Those two runners should be among the first eight in the race. In order for the win, they will need to have their third and fourth runners between 10 and 12 and their fifth runner 18th. Evanston Township and Glenbrook South could be surprise teams towards the front. Glenbrook South’s Lauren Hayes could challenge Dingle and Nizolek for the individual title.

It will be very close in the Boys meet with #10 Maine South and #18 New Trier battling for the team title. It is possible that Maine South could have four runners in the first five led by individual favorite Reese Jordan. The key is getting their fifth runner (either Brian Shanahan or Austin Tauber) within 35 seconds of their pack. New Trier could be the winner if they can place five runners in the first fourteen. The Trevians will need three runners in the first ten led by Warren Blood. #17 Highland Park is coming off of a good race last week at Wheeling where they finished second. The Giants could have a tight pack of 10 to 15 seconds on their top five. To be in front, they will need one of their runners in the first eight. Keep an eye on Glenbrook South. They could be the team surprise in this race led by Jack Whetstone and Alec Sanchez.

Chicago Catholic League / Girls Catholic Athletic Conference @ Lewis University, Romeoville

Charlie Zimmer (Marmion Academy, Aurora), Paolo Tiongson (Loyola Academy, Wilmette), and Michael Obroin (St. Ignatius Prep, Chicago) should be the three runners that will fight for the individual titles in the Boys race. It will be three teams that could be separated by fifteen points for the league team championship. #11 Marmion Academy should have Zimmer and Michael Ronzone in the top five. They just need to have five runners in the first twenty in order to win. St. Ignatius seems to be peaking at the right time. The Wolfpack should have a split under 50 seconds in order took take the league title. Loyola could have three runners in the first ten with Tiongson, Connor Hoag, and Andrew Niewiarowski.The Ramblers need a split of 52 to 56 seconds with five in the first twenty-two to have a chance to win.

Loyola Academy should be the favorites for the GCAC title. It would not surprise me if they score 25 points or less to win the conference championship. Mother McAuley, Trinity, and St. Ignatius will challenge for the second place position being within 12 points of each other. Mother McAuley’s Ashley Bryja should be the individual favorite.

Chicago Public League Championships @ Washington Park

With the possible school strike averted by a last minute agreement on Monday night, the runners in this league can just concentrate on running and the City championship on Saturday. #8 Whitney Young will be the big favorite in the Boys race. They have the runners up front that could make a difference led by defending city champion Clayton Mendez.  Keduse Worku and Sam Rivera also have the potential to be in the top 5. The key for the Dolphins is to keep their five runner split under 45 seconds. Jones College Prep could be closer to Whitney Young than people think. Jeremy Adams Is the front runner for this team and will challenge Mendez for the individual title. Jones will have a good pack behind Adams with four runners within fifteen seconds of each other. They just need to make sure they get six runners total ahead of Whitney Young’s fourth. That would make it extremely interesting. Lindblom Academy, Von Steuben, and Lane Tech are the schools that will be challenging for the third spot. Von Steuben’s Jaimie Marcos should challenge Adams and Mendez for the individual title.

The Girls race will come down to a battle between two schools ranked in the 2A top 25. #6 Northside has been impressive all season and has to be considered the favorite. Sara McCoy and Fiona Casey give the team a good 1-2 punch up front. Northside can solidify their top position if they can put five runners in the first fifteen. #13 Payton has come on strong over the past three weeks and could be close to the Mustangs. Alana Chandler and Molly Croteau could be in the top ten near sixth place. Either Chandler or Crotteau in the top five would be a big help. Their five runner split is projected to be near 82 seconds. That has to come down considerably in order to challenge Northside. Lane Tech will have a good 1-2 up front with Maggie Scholle and Maddie King. Their pack maybe too far back in order to challenge Northside and Payton. Jones Prep and Whitney Young are teams that could challenge Lane Tech for the third position. Lane Tech’s Maggie Scholle is the overwhelming favorite in this race. She is the two time defending city champion. It is possible that she could be one minute faster than the rest of the field.

Fox Valley Conference @ Veteran Acres Park, Crystal Lake

The loss of the Grayslake and Woodstock schools to different conferences open up both the Boys and Girls team championships. The top four teams in the Boys race could be separated by only fifteen points. 2A #4 Crystal Lake Central could be the slight favorite in this meet. Cole Barkocy and Weston Sterchi have the talent to be among the top five runners. Their split on five needs to be under 65 seconds in order to win the team title. City rival Crystal Lake South has a good 1-2 punch led by Jack Becker and Jon Prus. Their split on five needs to be under 100 seconds for the team to win. Cary-Grove could be a surprise for the title led by Alex Ratkovich. Huntley could be a surprise as well. Keep an eye on Jack Becker and Jon Prus to challenge Prairie Ridge’s Filip Pajak for the individual crown.

2A #3 Crystal Lake Central should be the team favorite but could be pushed by Hampshire and Huntley for the conference title. Crystal Lake South’s Caitlin Bruzzini should be challenged by Cary Grove’s Allison Drage for the individual title.

Kishwaukee River Conference @ Emricson Park, Woodstock

A new conference in the far Northwest suburbs should provide some excitement at Woodstock’s Emricson Park. 1A #7 Richmond-Burton and 2A #18 Burlington Central should be the favorites. The Girls race should be just as competitive as 2A #22 Burlington Central, led by Megan Sarfanski, should be the favorite ahead of Richmond Burton, and 2A #18 Woodstock.

North Suburban Conference @ Adler Park, Libertyville

Even with the new eight team configuration of this conference, it should still be #4 Lake Zurich that should be heads above the rest. The Bears should sweep the top three spots with Brian & Kyle Griffith along with Matt Pereira in front. Patrick Burns should be thirty seconds behind the group. Eric Metzger needs to be within 75 seconds of the front pack. Last week at Wheeling, the gap was 84 seconds. #20 Mundelein is a young team but does have the talent to push Lake Zurich. They do not have the power up front like Lake Zurich, but do have a solid pack led by Ben Krauss and Robert St. Clair that could make things interesting. The team could have five runners in the first fifteen similar to what Lake Zurich will have. What will make it closer is having Krauss and St. Clair ahead of Lake Zurich’s #4 runner Patrick Burns. Stevenson, with Nikita Smyrnov leading, and Libertyville, who has Alex Tam that could be in the top five, will be the two teams challenging for the third team spot.

It could be Stevenson and their pack that could give them the edge in the Girls race. Their split will be big especially with Isabelle Sparreo up front. The key will be keeping their #2 to #5 pack within 37 seconds of each other. Libertyville will be on their home course and the top team to challenge Stevenson for the conference championship. They have a five runner split similar to Stevenson with Melissa Manetsch leading the way. Their pack, led by Maggie Shutts, could have a split near 45 seconds. They could win if they win the individual battle with Stevenson winning the #1, #2, and #3 battles. They will also need to have five runners in the first thirteen to achieve the win. Lake Forest has been slowed down by injuries this year but could be in the top three in this meet led by Brett Chody and Emma Milburn. The individual race should be exciting with Sparreo, Manetsch, and Chody facing off against each other. There is no favorite in this individual race. It could be that close.

NIC-10 Conference @ Rock Cut State Park, Loves Park

2A #1 Belvidere North is the big favorite in the Girls race led by Jenna Lutzow. The Blue Thunder could place six runners in the first ten. Boylan Catholic and Hononegah will challenge each other for the second spot. Jenna Lutzow and Boylan’s Delaney Appino are the class of the Girls field and will challenge each other for the individual title. Rockford East will be the slight favorite in the Boys race. They could place four runners in the first eight. The key will be keeping their five runner split under 70 seconds. Machesney Park Harlem will be close especially in the first four with Rockford East. They cannot let Rockford East put all seven runners ahead of their fifth. Rockford East’s Jordan Van Barriger should be the favorite in the individual race.

NIB 12 Conference @ Hoover Park, Sterling

The Boys race should be a good one. 2A #6 Sterling has run great over the past two weeks and should be the race favorite especially on their home course. Jacob Gebhardt and Jonathan Landis will lead the Warriors as they should be in the top five. Sterling will need to keep their pack from #3 to #5 within 30 seconds of each other. 2A #7 Sycamore will haveStephen Poorten that will be towards the front. The key is their pack who could be twenty seconds of each other. They could defeat Sterling but will need to have Connor Farrell and Jake Carani ahead of Sterling’s #3 runner. 2A #9 Kaneland has Matthew Richtman who will challenge for the win. They have the pack to match with Sterling and Sycamore. Yorkville could be the surprise in this race led by Zack Price, Alexx Nauman, and Ben Summers. The split on their top five is from 30 to 35 seconds. That could be the difference of picking up a narrow conference win.

3A #3 Yorkville will be the big favorite in the Girls race. You could see them put seven runners in the first ten in this race led by Nicole Greyer and Alexis Grandys. 2A #14 Kaneland will be the closest team to Yorkville led by freshman Rachel Richtman.

Northern Lake County Conference @ Lakes HS, Lake Villa

2A #3 Grayslake Central should be the big favorite in the Boys race. They could possibly take the first three spots with Jack Aho, Matt Aho, and Eli Minsky leading the way. 2A #14 Lakes will be the closest team to Grayslake Central. Jeremy Wallace could break into Central’s first three. If they can keep their five man split under 75 seconds, it could make the team battle close.

3A #19 Grant looks to be the favorite on paper in the Girls race but it should be tight with 2A#9 Lakes and 2A #10 Grayslake Central close. Grant will have Danielle Osmon and Eva Cardy among the top five runners. Lakes has been a surprise this year but that is partly due to the emergence of freshman Olivia Schmidt. They could finish ahead of Grant if they keep their four runner pack behind Schmitt within twenty seconds of each other. Megan Girmscheid and Elizabeth Aho should be in the top five and lead Grayslake Central. Their split on five will need to come down in order to finish in the top two.

Southwest Prairie Conference @ Channahon Park, Channahon

Soren Knudsen (Minooka HS) should be the big favorite in the Boys individual race especially after his win at Naperville last week. Dylan Zangri (Oswego East HS) and Bennett Peterson (Oswego HS) should be battling for the next spot.  #14 Minooka looks to be the favorite in the team race especially with Knudsen leading and Jordan Freese possibly being in the top five. They will need to keep their pack split behind Knudsen at 35 seconds between the four runners. Plainfield North could have the edge for the second position. A pack of 40 seconds or better led by Omar Paramo could lock them into that spot. #25 Oswego will have Peterson and Mitch Bradford in the top ten. They can finish ahead of Plainfield North but will need a split under 60 seconds on their top five. Plainfield South will be competitive especially if they can get Stephen Merriweather and Andrew Nunez in the top seven with a five runner split at 35 seconds.

#2 Minooka is the big favorite in the Girls race with Ashley Tutt, Emily Shelton, and Mackenzie Callahan leading the way. The Indians could score under 30 points if they place their five scorers in the top twelve. It should be extremely close for the second spot with the possibility of #23 Oswego and #24 Plainfield North separated by a handful of points. Both teams have similar splits on their top five averaging 108 seconds. Oswego could have two runners in the first eight led by Isabelle Christiansen and Grace Pagone. Plainfield North should have Juliana Stogsdill in the top five. Getting Megan Patton ahead of Oswego’s Pagone could be a diference maker. The individual race should be fun to watch with the Minooka trio of Ashley Tutt, Mackenzie Callahan, and Emily Shelton battling Plainfield North’s Juliana Stogsdill and Oswego’s Isabelle Christiansen for the individual title.

Upstate Eight Conference @ Stuart Sports Complex, Montgomery

It could be close in the Girls Meet between #7 Geneva, #14 Batavia, and St. Charles East with Geneva having the edge. The Vikings have a good pack up front with Sophia McDonnell, Emma Ehrhardt, and Andrine Larsen. Expect these runners to be in the top five individually. Geneva could score under 60 points if they can keep the split on their top five under 60 seconds. Batavia will need to rely on a pack under 45 seconds to offset the strength of Geneva’s front runners. Marygrace Golden and Audrey Pellico will need to be in the top ten with that kind of split. Anna Arrick will lead a strong foursome for St. Charles East that could have four runners in the first fifteen. What could help the Lady Saints move up is that their fifth runner in the race is in the top 25. Audrey Ernst (St. Charles North HS) has not raced since September 10 when she finished third at Lake Park and then competing in the World Triathlon Championships in Cozumel, Mexico. If she is in the race, she will definitely be the favorite.

#15 Geneva and #19 St. Charles East will be close together in the Boys race. Geneva could have four runners in the top ten in this race led by Josh Rodgers and Tyler Dau. Their split has been averaging near 75 seconds on five all year. That needs to come down. St. Charles East’s success on the course starts with a strong pack led by Jake Beno. The Saints will need five runners in the first seventeen, a 40 second split on their top five, and all seven runners ahead of Geneva’s fifth runner. Batavia looked good in winning on this course last weekend. Batavia ran a tight pack in that race and will need to accomplish that again in order to win. Sean Adams will need to be in the top ten. They could have all five runners in the first twenty with a 25 second split. Two runners in the top ten would move them up in the rankings. Keep an eye also on East Aurora who could be a surprise in this race. The individual race is wide open with Geneva’s Tyler Dau or Josh Rodgers and East Aurora’s Ricardo Del Toro capable of winning.

WSC-Gold @ Katherine Legge Memorial, Hinsdale

Downers Grove South could sweep both of the team titles in this meet. The Girls squad, ranked #6 in the state, looks like they could score a perfect fifteen points led by Katie Stapleton and Becky Versaskas. Morton and Leyden will challenge for second place. Downers South is the favorite in the Boys race. The Mustangs could put five runners in the first eleven. Morton, Leyden, and 2A #20 Hinsdale South should be within twelve points of each other challenging for second. Downers Grove South’s Eddie Suida and Stephen Pipilas along with Hinsdale South’s Brett Haffner and Chris Joseph should be the runners to watch in the individual race.

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