Lincoln-Way Central cruises at David Brady/Argo Invitational

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The Bedford Park District course was a showcase Saturday for the Lincoln-Way Central cross country programs.

First the Knights claimed the top four individual spots in the 23-school girls race at the David Brady/Argo Invitational and won the meet with 21 points to 44 for runner-up Lyons.

The boys team followed with another dominating race, taking the top two places and placing its first five runners among the top nine to score 24 points to 117 for second-place Bolingbrook. Oak Lawn was third with 128.

Individual champion Madison Smith, a Central sophomore, caught senior teammate Heidi Killinger at the chute to win in 19 minutes, 12.9 seconds. Killinger’s time was 19:13.1.

“Me and Heidi were right there,’’ Smith said. “We were going as hard as we could. We were running as a pack most of the way. It was good competition, so I just tried to get out and hang with the leaders.’’

Lyons’ Caitlyn Mangini and Natalie Jaramillo led for the first two miles before the Knights made their move. Killinger recovered after she tripped near the beginning of the race.

“Some girl caught my foot, she tried to help me up,’’ Killinger said. “I got back up and got back in it. I knew it’d be good to get a pack.’’

Central’s top five were Smith, Killinger, freshmen Dana Boucher (3rd, 19:19.2) and Gretchen Zirgaitis (4th, 19:33.1) and sophomore Emily Furtek (20:19.5).

“I think I started out a little too fast because toward the end I was getting a little tired,’’ Furtek said. “We have a really good team.’’

In the boys race, Central’s Tommy Kolacki won the individual title in 15:24.9, just ahead of teammate Ian Peterson, runner-up in 15:29.7.

“There were a lot of guys who went out fast,’’ Kolacki said. “I stayed behind and let them take the lead a little, but they all kind of slowed down. Me and Ian stuck together.’’

“Right at the end, toward the last quarter, I started to pick it up a little bit and start my kick.’’

Peterson, a junior, said he has developed more endurance and learned how to run a smarter race.

“I’ve run in a lot of races so I know not to go out too fast anymore,’’ Peterson said.

Central’s top five finishers also included Jackson Waters (5th, 16:01.9), Ben Alvarado (7th, 16:14.6) and Zak Hutchinson (9th, 16:18.4).

“Our Knight pack, third through seventh, really a fantastic job working together,’’ Central coach John Taylor said.

Oak Lawn’s Luis Garcia was fourth (15:50.4) in the field of 141 runners to lead the Spartans to third place among the 23 teams.

“I tried to stick with them for about the first mile,’’ Garcia said. “I had a 4:55 first mile.’’ Oak Lawn’s Diego Arana was eighth (16:14.9) and Nick Minnella finished 12th (16:21.9).

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