2022 Daily Chronicle All-Area Boys Cross Country Team

Sycamore’s Naif Al Harby finishes in fifth place Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022 class 2A cross country regional in Sterling.

Runner of the year

Riley Newport, DeKalb, sr.

First team

Jacob Barraza, DeKalb, so. – He was a strong second runner for DeKalb, logging a best time of 15:14 this year. He also made state for the second straight year and, after finishing 170th last year, was 27th this year.

Evan Nosek, Kaneland, so. – He was strong throughout the year, including a personal record of 15:11 in Peoria in September, then a 15:36 home PR to qualify for state. He ended up seventh in the state in Class 2A, posting a 15:38 on a muddy course.

Angel Fernandez, DeKalb, sr. – He had a top time of 15:49 this year. He was 43rd at the sectional and missed qualifying for state by two seconds.

Naif Al Harby, Sycamore, jr. – He peaked at a 15:33 this year and was second in the Interstate 8 Conference Meet. He finished fifth at regionals, 15th at sectionals and 27th at state to cap his season.

Ethan Solifsburg, Sycamore, sr. – The Spartans’ captain was fifth in the I8 Meet and followed that with a 12th-place showing at regionals. He was 20th at sectionals to make state, where he finished 45th. His best time this year was a 15:37.

David Valkanov, Kaneland, jr. – He had a best time of 15:36 this year, achieving that mark in the regional round. The next week he set a course PR in Kaneland at the sectional, finishing in 15:58 despite having the flu during the week.

Evan Whidlin, Kaneland, fr. – His best time of the year came in the sectional, taking 48th in 16:21. He was an Illinois Elementary School Association state qualifier last year and made an impact right away on varsity for the Knights.

Honorable mention

Gage Gibson, Indian Creek, sr.; Jack Harrison, DeKalb, sr.; Riley Collins, DeKalb, jr.; Zachary Murdock, Kaneland, so.; Andrew Harper, Hinckley-Big Rock, fr.; Corey Goff, Sycamore, so.; John Cerny, Sycamore, jr.; Caden Emmery, Sycamore, sr.

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