Cross Country: Marmion rules SCC meet again

Updated: October 13, 2012 8:48PM

Marmion continued its stronghold on the rest of the Suburban Christian Conference cross country meet Saturday, placing all five of its scoring runners in the top 10 to win the league title for the eighth straight year.

The Cadets scored 29 points to easily outdistance Aurora Central (60 points) and St. Francis (73) in the final regular-season race before the state series begins next week.

“I just wanted to escape (Saturday) without anyone getting sick or hurt,” said Marmion coach Dan Billish. “I’m happy with the race, we maintained a lot better control and overall I’m satisfied with all levels. The frosh-soph were phenomenal and the open guys ran well.”

John Graft finished second to lead the way for Marmion, covering the 3.1-mile course in a time of 16:38, with teammates Liam O’Dea (16:42) and Ethan Young (16:45) taking the next two spots.

“We were going out to win it,” O’Dea said. “We figured we would pack up to try to get ready for regionals, and we all ran a great race. To get four in a row while I’m here is awesome.”

With rain beginning to fall as the race began, a group of five runners stayed together, then Graft and Aurora Central senior Matt Meyers began to pull away. Meyers then took control of the race with a little over a mile to go and won the race in 16:05, improving on his second-place finish here a year ago.

“This is a huge deal for me,” Meyers said. “We were together for a long time and I just threw a surge on them and kept on going.”

Aurora Christian finished fifth with 164 points.

All seven runners for Marmion finished in the top 17 to earn all-conference honors. The top three were followed by Eric Lifka (7th, 16:51), Nick Delaney (9th, 16:53), Eric Anderson (10th, 16:55) and Tim Riordan (16th, 17:08). Aurora Central rounded out the local all-conference finishers with Matt Knapp (11th, 17:03), Adrian Alviar (13th, 17:04) and Javier Montelongo (14th, 17:04)

Montini put four runners in the top eight of the girls race to score 31 points and also repeat as conference champions while St. Francis was second with 60 points.

The race had a similar tone to the boys’ race early on, as several runners worked together at the front of the pack. Montini senior Theresa Connelly pulled away to win the race in 19:00, which was 22 seconds faster than St. Francis senior Kate Roback.

Senior Kara Kalisz was fifth in 19:44 to lead to Rosary to a third-place finish in the team standings with 100 points.

“That was exciting for us,” Rosary coach Vic Mead said. “We had Kara up high and then we had three others run well.”

Aurora Central placed fifth with 128 points and Aurora Christian was seventh with 174 points.

Aurora Central freshman Karina Liz (6th, 19:54) and teammate Jenna Koerner (11th, 20:11) were other local all-conference finishers.

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