BOYS CROSS COUNTRY: Minooka won the team championship and had the top individual for the third consecutive year at the Southwest Prairie Conference meet in Oswego.
Updated: October 15, 2011 9:51PM
The more things change, the more they stay the same for the Minooka boys cross country team.
The Indians had the individual and team champion, just as they did the previous two years, at the Southwest Prairie Conference meet Saturday morning in Oswego.
Junior Joe Santillo covered the 3-mile course in 15:25 to win the individual title.
As a team, Minooka placed five runners in the top 16 to score 42 points and win its sixth straight league championship. It’s the 14th league or conference title since the program’s inception in 1967.
“This conference is fantastic and it was a back-and-forth battle the whole way,” Minooka coach Kevin Gummerson said. “Conference championships don’t come easy. This was a very, very tough one. They didn’t back down, helped each other and wanted to do what’s best as a team.”
“It’s huge to win it for a sixth straight time,” Santillo said. “I’m really proud of the guys and what they did.”
Santillo became the school’s fourth individual league champion.
“I’m happy because this is something I’ve been looking for all year,” said Santillo, who placed in the top 10 the last two years. “This conference has a ton of talent and that motivated me as much as anything. I was expecting a fight today and I got that.”
Senior Dan Popek (fourth, 15:43), senior Kyle Smith (10th, 15:58) and junior Alex Pierce (11th, 15:59) rounded out the Indians’ top four placers.
Sophomore Dan Lathrop’s fifth-place finish (15:47) lifted Plainfield South to a second-place showing with 53 points.
Plainfield Central’s trio of Grace Lawrence (third, 18:58), Emily Vihnanek (sixth, 19:15) and Nicole Pease (seventh, 19:19) propelled the Wildcats, who scored 68 points, just three back of champion Oswego.
Jackie Aremka’s eighth-place finish in 21:06 led Plainfield North, which took fifth (109).