On the fast track

Lock­port’s Ki­ley, Lin­coln-Way Cen­tral’s Parker pick up pace to win SWSC ti­tles

Daily Southtown (Sunday) - - SPORTS - By Jeff Vorva

So, whathas been learned in the South­West Sub­ur­ban Con­fer­ence from­a­hot day in­Au­gust through a cool late af­ter­noon in Oc­to­ber?

Well, Lock­port’s Wil Ki­ley is still the best cross coun­try run­ner in the BlueDivi­sion. And Lin­col­nWay Cen­tral’s Jay Parker is still the best in the RedDivi­sion.

But they both got quite a bit faster.

Ki­ley scorched the 3-mile course Fri­day at Lock­port’s East cam­puswith a time of 14 min­utes, 33 sec­onds to take the Blue ti­tle. Parker fin­ished in 14:51 to win the Red.

In the con­fer­ence’s Aug. 26 pre­sea­son meet on the same course, Ki­ley won with a 15:05.5 while Park­er­won­with a 15:49.4.

“Ohmy God, thiswas un­be­liev­able,” Ki­ley said. “I just ran and wanted to win. We were at our house and it was a beau­ti­ful night to race. The sun came out and I knewit­was go­ing to be some­thing spe­cial.”

Ki­ley, a se­nior, has proven throughout the 2020 sea­son he is the area’s most dan­ger­ous run­ner. He has no post­sea­son ex­pe­ri­ence the past two years be­cause of in­juries.

“I’m ex­cited,” he said. “I’ve only raced against kids in this con­fer­ence. It’s go­ing to be fun to face some kids who I don’t know.”

This was a flight event, and the Red and Blue teams ran to­gether in three races.

Parker was crowned the Red champion but fin­ished be­hind Ki­ley and Sand­burg’s Is­mail Tineh, who clocked a 14:41.0.

“It­wasweird win­ning­with two peo­ple in front of you,” Parker said. “I re­ally wanted to get them, but I just didn’t have enough real

es­tate at the end.

“It was a 30-sec­ond per­sonal record so there is no rea­son to be un­happy with that.”

Sand­burg took the Blue ti­tle with 25 points, fol­lowed by Lock­port with 55, Lin­coln-Way East with 68 and Bol­ing­brook with 76. Home­wood- Floss­moor only had four fin­ish­ers and did not factor into the scor­ing.

Lin­coln-Way Cen­tral won the Red with 30 points, fol­lowed by Lin­coln-Way West with 51, An­drew with 75, Stagg with 84 andBradley Bour­bon­nais with 108.

When it comes to team ti­tles, Sand­burg and Lin­coln-Way Cen­tral­have not been let­ting other teams have much fun.

In 16 sea­sons of the con­fer­ence races, Sand­burg has won 14 Blue cham­pi­onships, in­clud­ing the past four in a row. Lin­coln-Way Cen­tral has won eight Red ti­tles, in­clud­ing the last five straight.

Grif­fin Lehn­hardt took third for Sand­burg with a 14:53.7. De­clan Tun­ney was fifth, Brock Rice was sev­enth and Ah­mad Al­hayek ended up eighth.

For Lin­coln-Way Cen

tral, Caden Si­mone was sec­ond, Connor Le­beau fin­ished fourth, Nolan Sams was sixth and Kurt Kreis took 17th.

Sand­burg, ranked No. 4 in the state by MileS­plit for Class 3A, is at next Satur­day’s loaded Marist Re­gional.

Fifth-ranked Down­ers Grove South and No. 10 Hins­dale Cen­tral will join the Ea­gles.

Lin­coln-Way Cen­tral will run at the An­drew Re­gional, where district ri­vals Lin­coln-Way East and Lin­coln-Way West could pro­vide a chal­lenge.

Lock­port, which beat the Knights in a dual meet ear­lier in the sea­son, is at Mi­nooka, where No. 8 Yorkville fig­ures to be the fa­vorite.

In re­cent years, Sand­burg could re­wardits deep ros­ter by al­low­ing some of the sec­ond string to run in the re­gional and still en­joy suc­cess.

That will likely change this year.

“It’s fun — it’s go­ing to be an­other good race since we don’t have a state tour­na­ment,” Tineh said about the ab­bre­vi­ated post­sea­son due to the coro­n­avirus pan­demic. “It’s go­ing to help us be so much bet­ter.”

STEVE JOHN­STON / DAILY SOUTHTOWN

Sand­burg’s Grif­fin Lehn­hardt (136) and Lock­port’s Wil Ki­ley (115) take the early lead dur­ing the South­West Sub­ur­ban Con­fer­ence Meet on Fri­day.

STEVE JOHN­STON/DAILY SOUTHTOWN

Lin­coln-Way Cen­tral’s Jay Parker is the first to the fin­ish line for the Red Di­vi­sion.

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