McHenry's Jesse Reiser learns, wins cross country regional

PALATINE – McHenry junior Jesse Reiser made it look easy … as usual.

Reiser hung behind Palatine junior Graham Brown for the first part of the IHSA Class 3A Palatine Regional on Saturday, then made his move in the second mile.

“I just wanted to sit on Graham and have him block the wind for me a little bit,” Reiser said. “When we hit the second mile, I took off and he didn’t respond at all. He’s a great runner. After the second mile, I worked on my kick a little bit.”

Reiser won in 14:55 at Deer Grove East Forest Preserve, 15 seconds ahead of Brown. It was Reiser’s second individual regional title after winning the Grant Regional last year.

Reiser’s only loss this season came on the same course at the Palatine Invitational to York’s Alex Bashqawi by two seconds. He said after that race he learned sometimes he would have to hold back and not lead.

“I didn’t want to go out too relaxed,” Reiser said. “I wanted to go in the last mile like at state when it really gets moving. I learned a lot and used a lot of new strategies.”

Palatine won with 45 points, followed by Lake Zurich (60), Barrington (64), McHenry (108), Grant (118) and Crystal Lake South (132). The top six teams and top five individuals not on those teams advance to the Schaumburg Sectional.

South qualified for the sectional for the 10th consecutive year.

Cary-Grove will send four individual runners on to the sectional – Alex Ratkovich, San Seo, John Cody and Michael Saxon. Dundee-Crown's Todd Noreen is the other individual qualifier.

Hononegah Regional: At Rockton, Jacobs claimed the regional championship by a wide margin. The Golden Eagles finished with 35 points, 29 better than second-place Huntley. Matthew Johnson led Jacobs with a time of 15:35. Zachary Johnson was second on the team in 15:53. Matthew Goldby (16:05) rounded out the team’s top three.

Huntley took second with 64 points. Keagan Smith was the top overall finisher with a time of 15:19. Seth Conroy also broke the 16-minute mark for Huntley with a time of 15:57.

Class 2A

Burlington Central Regional:
Crystal Lake Central finished second with 62 points, 28 points off the pace of Vernon Hills. Ryan Pitner was the top overall finisher with a time of 15:26 for the Tigers, and Zach Gemmel (16:11) was 11th.

Prairie Ridge also qualified for sectionals with its fourth-place finish and 110 points. Filip Pajak led the way for the Wolves with a 13th-place finish in 16:16. Mitch Kazin was second on the team with a 16th-place finish.

Hampshire did not qualify as a team to sectionals, but Jacob Oury was 20th and qualified as an individual in 16:38.

Sterling Regional: Marengo finished seventh with 196 points and didn't advance as a team. Victor Arevalo took 16th with a time of 16:44, John Bowen was 30th in 17:31, and Jonathan Mier was 33rd to qualify for Marengo.

Woodstock North Regional: Woodstock, Johnsburg and Richmond-Burton advanced to sectionals. The Blue Streaks finished second with 75 points, 32 behind Grayslake Central. Woodstock was led by two top-three finishers. Sophomore Luke Beattie was second in 16:12, and Liam DeWane was third in 16:29.

Johnsburg was fourth with 105 points. Matte Stelmasek was eighth in 16:53. Noah Miller took 11th in 17:20.

Richmond-Burton took fifth with 110 points. James Kaht led the way for the Rockets with a 10th-place finish in 17:18. Ryan Garrett was second on the team with a 16th-place finish.

Woodstock North had three individuals qualify for sectionals: Cullen Anderson, Jesse Long and Sergio Rodriguez. Anderson was first on the team with a 21st-place finish in 17:37.

Class 1A

Winnebago Regional:
Harvard finished in fourth place with 115 points to qualify for sectionals. The Hornets were led by Jorge Pichardo, who finished third overall with a time of 14:39. Marcelino Perales was second on the team with a 25th-place finish.

Marian Central (138 points) also advanced to sectionals with a sixth-place finish. Alex Cetera was Marian’s top finisher, taking 13th in 15:33. Justin Santopadre was second on the team with a 20th-place finish in 15:48.