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Cross Country

High school cross country: Crystal Lake South's Mackenzie Aldridge, Dundee-Crown's Adam Swanson win FVC titles

HAMPSHIRE – Crystal Lake South's Mackenzie Aldridge added another impressive performance to her junior season résumé as she won the Fox Valley Conference Girls Cross Country Meet by 18 seconds.

Aldridge finished the course at Hampshire High School in 18:12.2 on Saturday, with Cary-Grove’s Maggie Mason (18:30.3) and Prairie Ridge’s Chelsea Gale (18:33.2) next in line.

Mason led the Trojans to the team title with 35 points, with Prairie Ridge (54) second and South (73) third.

Dundee-Crown’s Adam Swanson won the boys title in 15:41.9, with Huntley’s Ian Geisler (15:44.8) and Cary-Grove’s Maxum Caesar (15:51.5) in second and third. Geisler, Jeremy Roe (fourth) and Jadon Conroy (sixth) led the Red Raiders to back-to-back team titles.

Jacobs (74) was second and C-G (96), led by Maxum Caesar’s third-place finish, was third.

“It was a very tactical race, it was pretty good,” said Aldridge, who started the season by winning the McHenry County Meet. “It’s a big accomplishment. I feel like we’re doing well as a team, our team overall has had a great season.”

C-G had a sophomore and three freshmen play integral roles on last year’s FVC champion, but none of those were Mason, who joined the team after the season had started. Mason, a sophomore, plays club soccer with Eclipse, but trained with the Trojans in the summer before her freshman year.

“I didn’t think I would do it that well,” Mason said. “I was just going to [run with the team] for fun. I love the girls, and they’re really inspiring to me. I’m really lucky to have them. It’s awesome.”

C-G’s Allison Drage (fourth), Morgan Dieschbourg (fifth), Delaney Blohm (11th) and Abby Williams (13th) finished out the scoring. The Trojans’ sixth runner, Ellie Miller, was 17th and also earned All-FVC honors.

Gale, who won the FVC title last year as a freshman, has battled a sore hip and was running her third race of the season. She placed 10th in the Class 2A State Meet last year.

“Little by little, it’s getting better,” Gale said. “It’s still sore sometimes, but I’m pushing through, and I’m really glad to be back. It’s a whole lot better than it was, so I’m really thankful.”

Swanson was able to gain a little distance on Geisler and his teammates in the final 800 meters. He had seen what the Huntley runners had done at Peoria’s Detweiller Park, the site of the state meet, in a recent race.

“I know I can run with them. It came down to my kick, and I outkicked them,” Swanson said. “I’m really proud of winning the title. A little before the (finish) line, I was already cheering I was so happy, ‘Conference champion.’ ”

Geisler said he thought Swanson’s 800-meter speed from track was the difference at the end, although Swanson almost made an error near the finish line.

“He went straight instead of right to the finish,” Geisler said. “I almost caught up to him, but he has a stronger kick. This will boost my confidence for going into regionals.”

Jacobs’ Zach Albrecht, last year’s runner-up who has battled a hip injury, took eighth. Albrecht, a senior, recently committed to Bradley.

“It’s getting better,” Albrecht said. “I just have to keep fighting through and getting in shape, keep doing workouts. Each week, I’m getting better.”

Fox Valley Conference Cross Country Meet

At Hampshire High School

Boys Varsity Race

Team scores: 1. Huntley 42, 2. Jacobs 74, 3. Cary-Grove 96, 4. McHenry 105, 5. Dundee-Crown-* 124, 6. Hampshire 124, 7. Crystal Lake Central 133, 8. Crystal Lake South 164.

*-Tie broken by sixth runners.

Top 19 individuals (All-FVC honors): 1. Swanson (DC) 15:41.9, 2. Geisler (Hunt) 15:44.8, 3. Casear (CG) 15:51.5, 4. Roe (Hunt) 15:52.5, 5. Lemke (Jac) 15:52.8, 6. Conroy (Hunt) 15:53.8, 7. Warren (CG) 15:59.8, 8. Albrecht (Jac) 16:04.9, 9. Doestch (Jac) 16:08.9, 10. Smalley (CLC) 16:19.9, 11. Simek (Hunt) 16:22.4, 12. Garcia (McH) 16:23.0, 13. Morales (Hamp) 16:25.4, 14. Baker (PR) 16:27.0, 15. Barnes (CG) 16:28.7, 16. Jensen (DC) 16:31.5, 17. Brown (CLS) 16:37.9, 18. Knebl (McH) 16:39.3, 19. Surprise (Hamp) 16:40.2.

Girls Varsity Race

Team scores: 1. Cary-Grove 35, 2. Prairie Ridge 54, 3. Crystal Lake South 73, 4. Jacobs 103, 5. Huntley 118, 6. Crystal Lake Central 155, 7. McHenry 208, 8. Hampshire 222, 9. Dundee-Crown 243.

Top 19 individuals (All-FVC honors): 1. Aldridge (CLS) 18:12.2, 2. Mason (CG) 18:30.3, 3. Che. Gale (PR) 18:33.2, 4. Drage (CG) 18:42.9, 5. Dieschbourg (CG) 18:42.9, 6. Smith (CLC) 18:55.2, 7. Pieroni (PR) 19:03.4, 8. Forte (PR) 19:15.0, 9. Doherty (Jac) 19:18.0, 10. Demma (Jac) 19:19.1, 11. Blohm (CG) 19:21.5, 12. Morrison (Hunt) 19:22.9, 13. Williams (CG) 19:23.3, 14. Chloe Gale (PR) 19:25.6, 15. Greene (CLS) 19:25.8, 16. Murphy (CLS) 19:26.6, 17. Miller (CG) 19:27.1, 18. Orvis (CLC) 19:30.7, 19. Zancho (McH) 19:32.4.

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