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Boys cross country previews: LT targets state title

RB, Morton, Fenwick, Naz feature state hopeful runners

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013 1:30 p.m. CDT

Fall weather is approaching, which means runners can enjoy cross country season. Many area teams made the trip to Peoria’s Detweiller Park for an invite over the weekend and hope the trial run prepared them for the state meet in the same location. Lyons Township will gun for another state trophy while Morton, Riverside Brookfield and Fenwick have state hopeful runners.

Lyons Township Lions

Conference: West Suburban Silver

Head coach: Mike Danner

2012 results: 1st in regional, 1st in sectional, 3rd in state

Top runners:

Dan Lupano, sr.

James Ryan, sr.

Henry Hostettler, sr.

Ed McCarter, sr.

Kevin Kilrea, sr.

Outlook: After competing among the state’s top teams last season and winning a trophy, the Lions have enough of their top runners back to hope for repeat results in 2013.

Returning seniors Dan Lupano, James Ryan, Henry Hostettler and Ed McCarter already are coming in under 15:30 in early races. Depth was the key to last season’s team success, and those four provide LT with a strong starting base. Senior Kevin Kilrea also is a returner from last season’s lineup. Juniors Vince Arata and Keefe Mulligan round out the top seven.

Riverside Brookfield Bulldogs

Conference: Metro Suburban

Head coach: Larry Forberg

2012 results: 1st in regional, 6th in sectional

Top runners:

Kevin Faje, sr.

Dan Curtin, sr.

Spencer Purcell, sr.

Matt Sagan, jr.

Matt Fouts, so.

Outlook: Kevin Faje is back as RB’s top runner. The senior was a state qualifier in Class 2A last year and already set a personal record early this season.

Fellow senior Dan Curtin has cracked 16 minutes this season. Senior Spencer Purcell and junior Matt Sagan give RB more returners to its top seven.

Morton Mustangs

Conference: West Suburban Gold

Head coach: Bill Bloom

2012 results: 2nd in regional, 9th in sectional

Top runners:

Mateo Hernandez, sr.

Ryan Loris, jr.

Robert Loris, jr.

Aaron Ruiz, jr.

Chris Zavala, jr.

Outlook: Just two of Morton’s top seven runners at last year’s regional were seniors. Top runner and state qualifier Omero Montalvo is gone, but Mateo Hernandez, a state qualifier in the spring track season, should fill his void.

The Mustangs finished a respectable 15th out of 45 teams in the Class 3A First to the Finish Invitational on Saturday in what was Morton’s first race of the season. Hernandez led the way with a 34th place finish and junior Ryan Loris also had a strong race by placing 53rd with a time of 15:34.75.

Nazareth Roadrunners

Conference: East Suburban Catholic

Head coach: Kevin Milos

2012 results: 4th in regional, 16th in sectional

Top runners:

Johnny Bareis, jr.

Sean Green, sr.

Bobby Schneider, jr.

Matt Berger, so.

Austin Brown, jr.

Outlook: Naz’s top six regional and sectional runners are back, so the Roadrunners hope for a big step up this season. Johnny Bareis leads the way as Naz’s best shot at a state qualifier. Sean Green, Bobby Schneider, Matt Berger, Ruben Gonzalez and Austin Brown are also back.

Fenwick Friars

Conference: Chicago Catholic League

Head coach: Dave Rill

2012 results: 5th in regional, 14th in sectional

Top runners:

Salvatore Flight, sr.

Anthony Rizzi, jr.

Joseph Cozzi, so.

Braxton Rill, sr.

Outlook: The top three runners from last year’s sectional qualifying team, Salvatore Flight, Anthony Rizzi and Joseph Cozzi, are back. Flight clocked a 15:28.4 at the Joliet Invitational on Saturday while senior Braxton Rill ran a personal best of 15:44.3 at Joliet and could be the extra fast runner the Friars need to move up the standings in big races.

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