Hinsdale Central girls, Lyons boys capture Lyons regional titles
Western Springs, 10/20/12--The girls' meet began at 2. Lyons Township High School hosted a girls and boys cross country regional meet on Saturday afternoon. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 30, 2012 1:38PM
WESTERN SPRINGS — Jill Hardies found herself running alone for nearly three miles.
In a field of 55 runners, Hardies progressively widened her gap from the pack and took a 17-minute, 39.81-second win at the girls 3A Lyons regional on Saturday.
The Hinsdale Central senior is chasing this year’s state title, and her Red Devils teammates hope to accompany her.
So far, they’re on the right track, as the Red Devils also took the team title, ousting Downers Grove South by just two points.
Hardies was nine seconds off the course record, which she set at regionals last year in 17:30.
“She hasn’t raced since Wheaton (North Classic), which was three weeks ago, so we’ve just been very cautious because she’s had a history (of injuries) with her foot,” Hinsdale Central girls coach Mark McCabe said. “She was very under control and it wasn’t an all-out effort for her.”
Seven of the eight teams advanced to sectionals next week. Lyons (66) and Hinsdale South (142) also punched their tickets by finishing third and fifth, respectively.
It wasn’t until 30 seconds after Hardies entered the chute that the next runner crossed the line.
Lyons senior Haley Prokaski (18:09.48) outkicked two Downers Grove South runners to finish second in her home course. Prokaski said she was surprised to see Hardies at the straightaway.
“Usually she’s not even within eyesight,” said Prokaski, who finished 57th at state last season. “I was really surprised I was up that far. I’m going to use that to my advantage, now that I know I can run near her.”
Hinsdale South was led by sophomore Sarah Leganski, who placed seventh overall and ran a season-best time of 18:30.18.
Boys Cross Country
The Lyons boys cross country team owned its home course Saturday afternoon.
All nine of its runners finished in the top 10, as Lyons scored 25 points to win the boys 3A regional.
Dan Lupano (15:27.25), Mike Accetura (15:27:55) and Cody Riesterer (15:27.98) were the 1-2-3 punch for the Lions.
Hinsdale Central (82) took fifth in the nine-team field, and Hinsdale South (200) squeezed in for seventh to reach the sectional.