Dominant Marmion claims sixth straight Suburban Christian title
Updated: October 15, 2011 10:14PM
While many in the sports world are following NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson’s attempt to win an unprecdented sixth straight title, the Marmion cross country team has already been there and done that.
The Cadets, hosting the Suburban Christian conference meet Saturday, saw all five scoring runners finish in the top eight to post a score of 23 points and roll to their sixth straight conference crown.
“It’s great,” said Marmion coach Dan Billish. “We come out here to compete, it’s an accomplishment and they enjoy it. It’s a culmination for a lot of the kids on this team, and we have fun with it.”
Matt Choice didn’t seem too bothered by the cold, windy conditions, winning the 3.1-mile race in 16 minutes, 11 seconds over Aurora Central junior Matt Meyers, who was second in 16:28.
The two ran step-for-step over the race’s first 1 1/2 miles before Choice made a surge that Meyers didn’t cover.
“On the backstretch there is a right turn and I told myself before the race I was going to do a quick 100-meter burst there,” Choice said. “I think that was where I dropped him and I tried to keep that pace all the way through the end.”
Will Graft of Marmion was third in 16:36, while Matt Denny of St. Francis was fourth in 16:42 and John Graft of Marmion fifth in 16:43.
Meyers’ finish helped Central to a second place finish with 61 points, St. Francis (80 points) was third and Aurora Christian (96 points) placed fourth.
“I thought the boys ran pretty well,” said Central coach Troy Kerber. “Marmion simply has an outstanding team, St. Francis is strong and Aurora Christian has had a good season so far, but we knew if we came in and ran well we would have a shot at the top two.”
In the girls’ race, Montini showed the same kind of domination, taking the top three individual spots and capturing the team crown with 27 points. St. Francis was second with 38 points, Rosary finished third with 113 points, Aurora Central fourth at 145 and Aurora Christian fifth at 161.
Erica Laviste pulled away midway through the race to win in 18:47, while teammates Theresa Connelly (19:00) and Brittany Fisher (19:24) took the next two spots.
Jenna Koerner of Aurora Central wrapped up the top five with a finish in 19:39.
The conference meet was the final regular-season event for all teams, which open the state series next Saturday. Aurora Christian will host a Class 1A regional, while Marmion and Rosary will travel to the Wheaton Academy Class 2A regional, and Aurora Central will travel to the Kaneland Class 2A regional.