Marion and Downers Grove North win IHSA 2A and 3A boys cross country meets

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The historic Detweiller Park in Peoria hosts the 1A, 2A and 3A boys state cross country meets as is tradition on a gorgeous November day for running. After Tuscola wins the 1A state title, Benet Academy hopes to be in the mix for a trophy in class 2A after finishing in second place at sectionals. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

Redwings in the mix out of the gate

As the race gets underway, the Redwings feature Finn Richards, Charlie Phelan, Aiden Hulett, Jacob Molloy, Ryan Amidei, Matt Spellman and Danny Shannon.

Dylan Nalley from Marion High School in southern Illinois is the early leader in front of Trey Sato from Grayslake Central and Dale Johnson from Sterling. Matthew Conroy from St. Ignatius is just ahead of Finn Richards as well as Evan Nosek and David Valkanov from Kaneland and Dylan Gehl from Geneseo. Tim and Tom Jochum from Glenbard South are right there as well. Gavin Lee leads the way for Payton who looks to finish strong in the team standings.

At the midway point, Nalley continues to expand on his lead while Dale Johnson moves into second place by a fair amount over Trey Sato. Conroy moves into fourth place with Nosek in fifth and Finn Richards in sixth with under a mile to go.

Marion takes home the 2A title

At the finish line, Dylan Nalley does indeed cross the line as the individual champion. Marion also wins the team championship as Mekye Lomax and twins Raphael and Gabriel Greer all finish in the top 30 for the Wildcats. Trey Sato makes a late push and finishes in second place, Dale Johnson in third, Matthew Conrad in fourth and Finn Richards in 5th to lead the Redwings. Charlie Phelan earns All-State as well for Benet who takes 7th place as a team. Aiden Hulett finishes in 26th overall, one spot away from an All-State selection. Glenbard South takes second as a team ahead of Payton, who brings home the third place trophy.

Local runners looking for a strong finish in class 3A

The last race of the day is the class 3A championship where Neuqua Valley and Naperville Central have their full teams competing while Naperville North and Metea Valley have individual runners competing with the heavy favorites from Downers Grove North.

Neuqua hoping that runners like Zac Close, Robert Glenn, Anthony Pastore, Ryan Hinderliter and Aaron Hamilton can help the Wildcats earn another state trophy. Naperville North has Ammaar Bhanpuri and Jack Robertz while Metea features Austin Brown. Naperville Central is led by Tyler Browning, Patrick Clune, Tyler Henige, Manuel Najera and Jack Graham. Close has the early edge after the first half mile although the pack is still tight at this point in the race.

Aiden Bandukwala from Hinsdale Central is out to the lead in the early going and continues to create distance between himself and the pack.  Ben Crane from New Trier and Dylan Ybarra from O’Fallon are near the front with Camyn Viger and Dylan Maloney from Plainfield South and Plainfield North runners Thomas Czerwinski, Quinn Davis and Owen Stahl.

In the final mile, Bandukwala extends the lead while Crane, Viger, Close and Ybarra run near the top five. Jacob Barraza from DeKalb is near the top ten as well.

Downers Grove North secures the 3A team title

To finish off a great day of competition, Aiden Bandukwala from Hinsdale Central is the individual champion for a second year in a row at 14:13.56 just ahead of Camyn Viger from Plainfield South. Ben Crane, Dylan Ybarra from O’Fallon and Thomas Czerwinski rounds out the top five. Zac Close ends his outstanding Neuqua Valley cross country career in sixth place. Downers Grove North wins the team championship behind Philip Cupial, Grant Schroder, and Ryan Eddington all earned All-State honors. Jacob Barraza takes 11th. Ammaar Bhanpudi finishes in 37th and Robert Glenn cracks the top 50 in 48th. Tyler Browning, Jack Robertz and Austin Brown all finish in the top 100. Plainfield North ends the meet in second place as a team with Plainfield South earning the third place trophy. Neuqua Valley finishes the season in 9th place overall. The 1A, 2A and 3A cross country championships come to a close for another season.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!