Cross Country: Lockport’s Bollinger earns regional title
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media October 26, 2013 9:00PM
Lockport's Morgan Bollinger heads to a first-place finish Saturday in the Class 3A Plainfield South Regional at Hammel Woods. | Tim Tierney/For Sun-Times Media
With individual conference titles already to their credit, Plainfield South’s Dan Lathrop and Lockport’s Morgan Bollinger turned it up another notch at the Class 3A Plainfield South Regional.
Southwest Prairie Conference champion Lathrop won the boys race Saturday and SouthWest Suburban Blue winner Bollinger pulled away to claim the girls title and lead Lockport to the team championship at Hammel Woods.
“I was really happy with my race today. I was really in control the whole time,’’ Lathrop said of his first-place effort of 15 minutes, 29 seconds.
“It was really good to get the experience to lead in the front and get a few surges going. It will only make me stronger for the next two weeks.’’
Neuqua Valley won the boys team title in the nine-school race, led by a second-place finish from Nick Bushelle (15:34), who was battling a sinus infection.
“Going into the state series with a win in conference (Upstate Eight) and regionals is a good confidence builder,’’ Bushelle said. “I knew the team needed me.’’
Neuqua’s top five runners were Bushelle, Daniel Weiss (6th, 15:50), Michael Widmann (11th, 16:08), Alec Monovich (12th, 16:10) and Colin Weidman (15th, 16:14).
Plainfield East All-Stater Joseph Suarez (15:37) was right behind Bushelle in third place.
“I felt way, way better from last week,’’ Suarez said. “I’m very happy with this performance. Dan really took it out. He kept on throwing surges the entire race.’’
Neuqua Valley (46), Plainfield South (83), Oswego East (92), Oswego (116), Plainfield East (122) and Lockport (124) advanced to the Hinsdale Central Sectional.
Girls teams moving on to the sectional are Lockport (32), Neuqua Valley (60), Oswego East (95), Plainfield South (106), Bolingbrook (131) and Oswego (136).
Lockport’s top five finishers were Bollinger, Karlee Stortz (4th, 18:44), Taylor Latta (7th, 18:48), Emmie Hahn (8th, 18:49) and Aubrey Elwood (12th, 19:12).
“In the beginning there was a girl who went out really hard,’’ Bollinger said. “When we got to the mile, I just tried to catch her. … The wind was tough. I just tried to push past it.’’
Lockport coach Evon Schlotter said any of the team’s 12 varsity runners are good enough to be in the top seven that race in a meet.
“These kids are amazing. They surprise me every day,’’ Schlotter said. “They’ve made a goal to try to be in the top 10 in the state.’’
Neuqua Valley’s Claire Costelloe was runner-up (18:35) and Plainfield North’s Rachael Lau was third (18:42). Lau moves on to the sectional as the top individual not from a qualifying team.
In the boys race, Plainfield Central’s John Lyons was the top individual to advance not on a qualifying team. Lyons finished 16th (16:23).