Cutsinger, Kuipers emerge from pack for boys XC
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If it’s early October, you’ll know where to find Kaneland boys cross country.
They’ll be in Byron, Ill., ahead of everyone else.
Such was the case on Oct. 3, when the Knight boys cross country outfit made its usual stop for the Byron Handicap Invite.
Kaneland’s mastery of the staggered starts and the other seven schools led to 26 points and a victory.
The host Tigers finished with 43 team points, followed by Bureau Valley and 94 points.
Eliminating a 20-second disadvantage, Kaneland’s Phil Cutsinger finished in 17 minutes, 5 seconds, followed by teammate Joe Kuipers in second at 17:10.
“(Phil’s) worked very hard this season, and we’re happy to see him achieve this,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “Joe is just an amazingly humble and hard-working young man.”
Two Byron runners took the third and fourth spots before Kaneland struck again with Matt Rodway’s fifth-place nod at 17:38.
Nick Albano and Gus Stott helped wrap up the team title, as well, along with Brad Kigyos and Ryan Paulson.
Clarey, even with the top seven runners held out of the lineup, was pleased to see the competition bend toward KHS.
“We held out our top seven runners, and went with the great depth of our lineup versus some talented western fringe schools. Byron was second to us, and put up a great fight. Byron is the seventh-ranked team in Class 1A,” Clarey said.
Ahead for the Kaneland lineup is the LaSalle-Peru-hosted Northern Illinois Big XII Conference meet on Saturday, Oct. 13.
“Our bottom line is that we are coming to give the best of ourselves, and to let the chips fall where they may,” Clarey said. “We’ve had a rough string of less than stellar performances at the conference meet for more years than we care to admit. By no means is it because our kids are not prepared or don’t give the best they’ve got. Our training has been built over the years, to help point us toward our best performances coming when we need them.”