Photo: Conor Johnson tries to create distance between himself and the field at Detweiler Park in Peoria, Ill., on Saturday during the Class 2A State race. The 15th best boys’ cross country program is slated to return five of seven top runners in 2012. Photo by Marshall Farthing
by Mike Slodki
PEORIA—Kaneland’s boys cross country lineup went after the finish line all season long, with the burden of sizable turnover from last year.
Even with factors like that, as well as nagging injuries to key personnel, the Knight harriers made the most of their 15th trip to the State race in 25 years.
With a team total of 371 points, KHS took 15th in all of Class 2A after Saturday’s Detweiler Park gathering in Peoria, Ill.
The seven-deep Knight lineup ran the course with an average time of 16 minutes, 8.1 seconds, and had a pack discrepancy of 57 seconds.
Tops in Class 2A was the always dangerous Belvidere North, with 110 points and four athletes in the top 15. Former Western Sun Conference rival Glenbard South was second at 128, followed by Normal U-High at 173.
NIB-12 mate Yorkville was sixth overall with 209 points. Local outfit Marmion Academy took ninth at 258 points.
Decatur MacArthur’s Michael Clevenger’s 14:26 effort was good for first place, followed by Belvidere North’s Tyler Yunk at 14:32 and Charleston entry Riley McInerney at 14:40.
For Kaneland, the conclusion to 2011 gets it on par with the outstanding fifth-place finish two years ago. In 2010, KHS sent Trevor Holm to State, where he finished 37th.
As he’s done quite often during his sophomore season, Kyle Carter had the top total for the Knights, finishing with the 38th best time of 15:45.
Junior Conor Johnson took 59th with a time of 16 minutes flat, followed by teammate John Meisinger in 60th, one second behind.
Meisinger was impressed at the team’s fortunes.
“This was a big year, we had good team unity and wanted to see what we could do after Trevor left. With all the races, even if you don’t know, you are always improving,” Meisinger said.
Brandon Huber finished 85th at 16:16, while Miroljub Marin took 129th at 16:41. Luis Acosta was 139th overall at 16:48, and Clayton Brundige was 155th at at 17:04.
Luis Acosta Nick Albano
Ryan Bower Clayton Brundige
Kyle Carter Brandon Huber
Conor Johnson Brad Kigyos
Miroljub Marin John Meisinger
Ryan Paulson Nate Rehkopf
Head Coach Chad Clarey