Boys XC punches Sectional ticket with 2nd-place finish
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If it weren’t for Crystal Lake Central, Kaneland High School boys cross country would have even more to celebrate.
As it stands, celebrating a berth at the Belvidere Sectional is cause enough.
With a pack separated by 46 seconds, the Knight lineup took second at the Class 2A Kaneland Regional on Saturday, thanks to a 69 point total.
Crystal Lake finished with 31 points, while Sycamore had 96 points to be the third and last unit to travel to the Sectional. The Spartans edged Prairie Ridge by one point.
Burlington Central, Woodstock, Hampshire and Rochelle rounded out the eight-team field.
“The team had a better overall performance than the conference meet,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “We have some mental hurdles to clear, but this group can respond quickly with great senior leadership.”
Crystal Lake senior Alex Baker was the first of three straight teammates to top the race, and finished with a leading time of 15 minutes, 37.1 seconds.
Kaneland’s top runner was senior leader Conor Johnson, who finished sixth with a time of 16:36.9.
Following closely was junior teammate Kyle Carter, who finished with a time of 16:37.2.
In 13th place was Knight junior Nathaniel Kucera, who finished with an effort of 16:56.5.
Junior Luis Acosta was fourth-best for the Kaneland lineup in 20th place overall at 17:14.4, and Brandon Huber was 23rd with a time of 17:24.0.
“We know the rigors of our home course, and we needed to get a solid race in and finish the day healthy,” Clarey said.
The boys race begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, with successful teams from the Antioch and Belvidere North Regionals.