ROSELLE – Huntley’s girls cross country team added a plaque for the wall the Red Raiders never had before.
Paced by Breanna Burak’s third-place finish, the Red Raiders took top team honors with 111 points at the Class 3A Lake Park Cross Country Sectional Meet on Saturday.
It was the first sectional title in school history and the third win in a row for the Red Raiders, who won the Fox Valley Conference title two weeks ago and the Harlem Regional last week.
The top seven teams and top 10 individuals not on those teams advance to next week’s state meet at Peoria’s Detweiller Park.
Breanna Burak completed the 3-mile course in 17:20, followed by her twin Brittney (17:54.2) who was ninth and Molly Allen (18:22.3) in 13th.
“It was a special day,” Huntley coach Matt Kaplan said. “It started with our three seniors up front, Breanna, Brittney and Molly. They set the tone for our team. Guillermina (Gimene) and Ava Allison then closed the door on the scoring.”
Breanna Burak was third in the FVC Meet and won the Harlem Regional.
“My strategy was to get out fast and hold it there. Our coach talked a lot about getting out right in front,” said Breanna Burak, who committed to NCAA Division I Illinois State this week.
Having her sister on the team is a real plus.
“We train together all the time,” said Brittney Burak, who committed to Indiana State “We’re each other’s biggest supporters and we are always motivating each other.”
The Burak sisters were not the only twins competing in the race.
Matt Kaplan edged out his twin, Brad, who coaches St. Charles East for the girls team title.
Sparked by Marley Andelman’s 12th place finish (18:17.4) the Saints came in second notching 134 points. St. Charles East will also make the trip to Peoria as the top seven teams qualify for a state berth. The Saints finished eighth at state last year.
“It takes everyone doing their job,” Brad Kaplan said. “Everyone did and it worked out better than I expected.”
Glenbard North’s Grace Schager won the race with a time of 16:04.2, seconds off the senior’s course breaking time of 16:00.2 set at the Harvey Braus Invitational on Sept. 10.
Schager, a Notre Dame commit, finished fourth at last year’s state race.
In the boys race, DeKalb’s Riley Newport, who was third in last year’s 3A state meet, took the title in 14:50.1.
Huntley sophomore Tommy Nitz was fourth, but the Red Raiders came up one spot shy of qualifying as a team. Chicago Lane and Guilford tied for the last two spots at 177, Huntley and DeKalb tied at 194.
The Raiders’ Ty Rasmussen (22nd) and Zach Zuzzio (37th) also qualified as individuals.