Cross Country: Elwood, Suarez soar at Wildcat Invite
BY TIM TIERNEY For Sun-Times Media September 7, 2013 8:14PM
Updated: October 10, 2013 6:26AM
As a junior last year, Aubrey Elwood was part of Lockport’s pack that earned first place at Plainfield Central’s Wildcat Invitational.
Twelve months later, not only did Elwood lead Lockport to another team championship at the meet, she won the individual title Saturday in 18 minutes, 58.39 seconds, almost a minute faster than her 2012 time.
“I know I needed to kick it in at the end and I usually do have a good push,’’ said Elwood, who was 10th after two miles. “I saw the two girls in front of me the whole race and I just kept my eyes on them.’’
The top five individuals for Lockport were Elwood, Taylor Latta (3rd, 19:04), Haley Beaumont (8th, 19:14), Bianca Wiemeyer (9th, 19:16) and Emmie Hahn (10th, 19:23).
“Compared to last year, it’s unreal how much I’ve been able to move up and stick with people who’ve been running so long,’’ said Latta, a senior who started cross country as a sophomore.
The top three teams in the 12-school girls race were Lockport (31), Lemont (50) and DeKalb (119). Plainfield East (132) was fourth.
“This is a good meet because we get to see how everybody races,’’ Elwood said. “This is a good starting point and it will just move forward from here.’’
Lockport had the depth to win the varsity title without top freshman Morgan Bollinger, who won the frosh-soph race (19:09).
Runner-up Lemont had three individuals in the varsity top five—Claire Gagen (2nd, 19:00), Jorie Dybcio (4th, 19:05) and Taylor Campos (5th, 19:11).
In the boys race, Plainfield East All-Stater Joseph Suarez breezed to first place in 15:29. Oak Lawn’s Nick Minnella finished second (15:43) and Shepard’s Josh Maier was third (15:47).
“I really didn’t have a time goal coming in,’’ Suarez said. “I won it last year, so when you’re coming back you’ve got to defend. That was my goal, just take it out hard and see who catches.
“I took it out very hard, 4:41, just trying to see who would stick. The last mile I kind of cruised in, trying to see where my fitness level is.’’
Led by Will Giroux’s seventh-place finish (16:02), Lockport won the boys team title to complete a sweep of the varsity meets.
“I was looking for a time, but I’m sick,’’ Giroux said. “I was sick last week. I woke up this morning and felt worse. It’s a head cold, in the nose and the throat, hard to breathe.’’
Lockport’s top five were Giroux, Kristian Hernandez (11th), Mark Diamond (20th), Chris Fojtik (22nd) and Jared Bitters (27th).
“That’s great for our team,’’ Lockport coach Tom Razo said. “The kids have worked extremely hard this summer. They have some lofty goals. It’s a good day for us. I’m excited.’’
The top five in the 16-team boys meet were Lockport (87), Lincoln-Way East (118), Oak Lawn (118), Plainfield East (120) and Joliet Central (162). The Steelmen’s Salvador Lazaro finished fourth (15:52).