Northwestern took second place in both races. Taryn Thor led the Tiger girls with a sixth-place showing in 20:25, while Zach Duranto led the Tiger boys, also taking sixth place in 17:57.
“This is right where we wanted to be right now,” Northwestern boys and girls coach Dave Stevens said. “We’ve been teaching them all year long how to train to go at these meets one after another. Now, we get a week off, which is something they’re not used to, so that’ll be nice for them to get to rest a little bit. We’re right where we wanted to be — all my kids.”
In the girls race, Cass finished in third and Western was fourth, followed by Hamilton Heights, Maconaquah and Peru. Taylor ran incomplete.
Western’s Emma Nixon finished seventh in 21:03, while Cass’ Gabi Carney took eighth 21:07. Western’s Nicole Hampshire (ninth, 21:12) and Cass’ Jenna Yeakley (10th, 21:24) rounded out the All-MIC honorees in the girls’ race.
Western’s Matt Grider finished third in the boys race in 16:55. Jacob Bradshaw (seventh, 18:09) and Caleb Maddox (ninth, 18:19) added all-conference showings for the Panthers, while Riley Worl took 11th in 18:28 and Austin Elliott followed in 13th in 18:32.
“At times, we need to run a little bit more intelligently,” Jewell said. “I think we may went out a little too fast. Jacob told me he went out way too fast, and I told him that as long as he recognizes that we can work with it. Matt, I think he could’ve run a little more intelligently than he did. This is what happens: Your opponents get better. Last year, Matt beat Craig pretty handily but Craig beat him [Tuesday]. And, Lewis Duke finished ahead of both of them. Lewis ran a great race [Tuesday]. This is the kind of course where you have to come in with a plan and not try to run away from people, because if you do, the course comes back and bites you. I’ve seen that happen to a lot [at Oakbrook Valley].”
Adam Schaaf added a fourth-place finish for Eastern, which took fourth behind third-place Hamilton Heights, in 17:12. Peru finished fifth, followed by Maconaquah and Cass. Taylor ran incomplete.
Maconaquah’s Quinn Reinhardt finished fifth in 17:14, followed by Duranto. Northwestern’s Charlie Neher was eighth in 18:13, while teammate Andrew Fackler claimed the final all-conference spot in 10th at 18:24.