SYCAMORE - The rivalry continued Saturday between the Sycamore Spartan and Kaneland Knight boys and girls cross country teams.
For the boys’ teams, Kaneland came out on top in the three-team meet with Sycamore coming in second and Sterling running third. The Knight girls also won.
“We’re pleased at seeing their pack split being as low as it is,” Kaneland boys’ coach Chad Clarey said. “That bodes well for them. If they can stick to a small pack split and get back to what we have been as a program, I think good things are on the horizon for them.”
Kaneland and Sycamore had eight of the top ten runners in the meet.
“I’m very excited by what I saw today,” Sycamore boys’ coach Mike Lambdin said. “We’ve been struggling a little bit to this point. I felt today we took a huge leap forward.”
Isaiah Dallal finished second overall for the Knights with a time of 16 minutes and 57 seconds.
“I think that overall we did pretty good,” Dallal said. “Of course, we could have done better, but that’s just how it goes. Overall, I’m happy about what we did.”
Jack Cambier was the top Spartan runner, finishing third overall on the heels of Dallal with a time of 17:05.
“I feel like I did good,” Cambier said. “We had Kaneland and Sterling, which are good competition. I think the team did well, too.”
Sterling’s Dale Johnson finished first in the race with a time of 16:49.
For the girls’ teams, it was a dual meet between the neighboring rivals. Sycamore finished first and second individually, but lost the overall meet to Kaneland.
“This was a really nice race for us,” Sycamore coach Adam Bezinovich said. “Kaneland is a very good team and we knew this was going to be a tough race. Our one and two (runners) did a really nice job running up front.”
Spartan freshman Hayley King finished first with a time of 20:33, with teammate Lily Baker only one second behind.
“It’s mind blowing,” King said. “I was so used to being second that I was just surprised that I came in first.”
Olivia Franklin led the Knights’ convoy with a time of 20:42 to finish third.
“I think we did pretty good,” Franklin said. “I’m really happy with how everybody was packed up more this time. Before we were a little farther away, but this time we were more packed.”
The Knights had the next three runners after Franklin cross the finish line within a three-second time frame. The Knights finished with five runners in the top eight.
“We packed a little bit better,” Kaneland coach Doug Ecker said. “We were a little closer together. Sycamore had those two out in front, but we had the (girls) in between and that’s what cross country is all about.”
By the numbers: The Sycamore and Kaneland boys’ teams have not finished lower than sixth at the state meet in each of the last three years.
Beyond the stats: Kaneland’s Aaron Lodwig finished fifth in the boys’ race despite losing his shoe in the first third of the race.
They said it: “Aaron Lodwig ran without a shoe for at least half the race today,” Clarey said. “We still have to figure out how to tie our shoes or keep them on our feet because Dallal lost his shoe about two weeks ago.”