Cross Country: Plainfield East prevails
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media September 1, 2012 8:28PM
Plainfield East’s Joseph Suarez and DeKalb’s Marc Dubrick were running almost side-by-side Saturday toward the end of the Wildcat Invitational at Plainfield Central when Suarez discovered he had something extra.
“Usually I’m not a kid who can pass kids at the end but I’ve been trying to work on that over the offseason,’’ Suarez said. “Today I tested it out since it’s not the biggest race and it worked out well for me.’’
Suarez was first over the Plainfield Central course in 15 minutes, 28.23 seconds, while teammate Cody Hughes wasn’t far behind in third (15:59.17) and Jake Runnion took sixth (16:03.54) to lead Plainfield East to the team title of the 16-school meet.
“I just kind of played it smart, drafting people and kicking in when I needed to, slowing down when I needed to,’’ Hughes said. “It went according to plan. Coach is trying to focus on making our times.’’
Harris Jordan finished 26th (16:44.09) and Collin Warke 32nd (16:52.05) to complete Plainfield East’s total of 68 points, which was ahead of second-place Lockport (93) and third-place DeKalb (97). Lincoln-Way East (110) was fourth.
“I was very happy with it,’’ Plainfield East coach Rich Gatz said of repeating as team champion. “My top three guys I knew were going to be solid. I knew Joe had a chance to win — there were three or four guys who could beat Joe. He ran a very smart race. He hung with the DeKalb kid the whole time.’’
“Last year I came in fifth here so I wanted to place in the top three,’’ said Suarez, a sophomore. “I just followed the leader for the first two miles and then tried to push the pace.’’
Lockport had two runners in the top 10. Will Giroux took fourth (16:02.05) and Kristian Hernandez was 10th (16:20.12) for the Porters.
“We had some good races,’’ Lockport coach Tom Razo said. “We’re just kind of figuring out as a team how we can get people to move up.’’
In the 12-team girls race, Lockport had five runners among the top 11 and won the team title with 31 points ahead of runner-up DeKalb (47) and third-place Lemont (76).
“They went out better as a team than they did last week,’’ Lockport girls coach Evon Marie Schlotter said. “They stayed together, a little bit tighter. Five kids were supposed to stick together to the last mile, and they did. They’re talking. They’re communicating.’’
The Lockport pack was Courtney Correa (4th, 19:12.69), Bianca Wiemeyer (5th, 19:16.32), Kim Johnson (9th, 19:41.32), Aubry Elwood (10th, 19:52.54) and Madeline Rodriguez (11th, 19:59.20).
Lemont was led by Claire Gagen (7th, 19:32.64) and Victoria Salazar (13th, 20:02.53).