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Kaneland wins title on strength of team depth

BURLINGTON – Public-address announcer Skip Stolley routinely updated fans at Friday’s Kane County Boys Track and Field Meet on the developing team duel between Kaneland and St. Charles North.

Entering the final track event, the 4x400-meter relay, the Knights held just a two-point edge on the North Stars.

The crowd began reacting as it should with such a proclamation before there came an important qualifier. Beyond the back stadium fence in the throws area, Kaneland had two discus finalists to North’s zero. The Knights’ depth was all but certain to pull them through to the county title even if the relay didn’t eclipse North by four seconds.

Having the answers. That’s been the Knights’ M.O. since indoor workouts started.

“When we did some lifting over the winter, when 55 to 60 kids show up, then you know you’re going to have a lot of kids and you’re going to be a good team,” junior Dylan Nauert said. “You know when everyone’s willing to put in the work in the off-days.”

Kaneland scored 117 points to defeat runner-up North (101) and the rest of the 13-team field.

The county title was the program’s third overall and second outright. The Knights tied Geneva for the crown last spring, when the program again beamed with confidence in its athleticism across the board.

“We just have good coaches here, years on end,” said Kaneland’s Nathaniel Kucera, who with Kyle Carter was part of the winning 4x400 and 4x800 relays. “It just helps push us and become better to our full potential.”

Burlington Central hosted the county meet for the first time and earned rave reviews with the help of an efficient timing company.

“I told my wife I’d be home at 1 o’clock [a.m.] with the weather and stuff,” Knights coach Eric Baron said. “Now you’ve got to find something to do for a while.”

East Aurora (25), West Aurora (22) and Elgin (18) boast the most team titles in Kane County Meet history.

Nauert repeated as 300 hurdles champion, while Nate Dyer defended his shot put crown.

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