Kaneland—For the second week in a row, Kaneland’s pack-running mentality proved successful as the Knights cross country team defeated both East Aurora and Yorkville at Elburn Woods on Tuesday.
“Training through another Tuesday meet, our team finished the day healthy, and to win was a bonus,” KHS head coach Chad Clarey said. “Making the transition from summer training to the real thing has taken its toll on energy levels, and we have plenty of aches—just like every other team in the state.”
Kaneland’s 15 points were earned based on the Knights’ pack taking the top six spots. Led by Kyle Carter, who took first with a time of 16:51, the Knights’ lead group took first through sixth place, as well as ninth through 11th.
East Aurora finished second with 55 points, followed by Yorkville with 150.
Conor Johnson (17:15) came in second place, good for a 23-second personal best for the short season. Clarey said he has begun to emerge as a key leader on the team.
“It’s good to see him taking a lead role for the pack, being aggressive through mile one and maintaining speed the rest of the way,” Clarey said.
Ryan Bower (17:52), Luis Acosta (18:04), John Meisenger (18:12) and Brandon Hueber (18:13) completed the top six sweep.
A pair of East Aurora runners were sandwiched between the Knight runners, followed by the Kaneland trio of Ryan Paulson (18:50), Sean Spaetzel (19:03) and Matthew Rodway (19:05). Clarey pointed to Spaetzel, a freshman, as an example of the younger runners who are already making an impact on the team.
“Another standout performance came from freshman Sean Spaetzel, who ran his first three-mile race and wound up finishing in the top 10,” Clarey said.
The Knights run next at the First to the Finish Invitational at Peoria on Saturday, Sept. 8.