Glenbard West’s Madeline Perez runs to stunning upset at Hinsdale Hornet-Red Devil
HInsdale- Hinsdale Central-Hinsdale South Red Devil-Hornet Invitational cross country meet. Varsity boys take off at the start. | Joe Cyganowski~ For Sun Times Media
Updated: September 7, 2012 11:30AM
HINSDALE — Glenbard West junior Madeline Perez emerged from a star-studded field to win the season’s first major cross country meet Saturday at the Hornet-Red Devil Invitational.
In a girls field that featured six of the top 17 finishers in last year’s Class 3A state meet, Perez (16:59.40) led from start to finish while leading the Hilltoppers to a stunning upset of defending state champion New Trier. Glenbard West beat the Trevians 51-55, showing off team depth to top New Trier’s elite trio of Courtney and Jessica Ackerman and Mimi Smith, who all finished in the top 11 in last year’s state meet.
Courtney Ackerman (17:13.48) finished second and Glenbard West sophomore Lisa Luczak (17:20.00) was third.
“That was my plan all along, take it out harder and see how much I can push it,” Perez said.
Smith placed fourth (17:36.27) and Jessica Ackerman took eighth (18:25.64) for New Trier, which won last year’s Hornet-Red Devil meet at Legge Memorial Park in Hinsdale. In Saturday’s first mile, the Ackerman twins and Smith ran together before each set her own pace in the final two miles.
“In the first mile, we work with each other. We help push each other,” Smith said. “We always want to think about not keeping to far as a group. We know we are a strong team.”
On the boys side, Niles North senior Micah Beller, who didn’t even qualify for last year’s state meet, won in 15:13.50 by passing Neuqua Valley senior Alekh Meka (15:16.18) in the final mile. Beller collapsed after the finish and needed help getting up, but recovered to congratulate teammates and other competitors afterward.
“I sat in (behind the lead) group and wanted to see how I can hold out,” Beller said.
HORNET-RED DEVIL INVITATIONAL
Team: Neuqua Valley 61, New Trier 96, Palatine 113, Hinsdale Central 131, Deerfield 145, Highland Park 150, Niles North 165, Minooka 165, Naperville Central 223, Wheaton-Warrenville South 239, Metea Valley 299, Evanston 372, Homewood-Flossmoor 406, Bolingbrook 428, Marian Catholic 429, Hinsdale South 430.
Individuals: Micah Beller, Niles North, 15:13.50; Alekh Meka, Neuqua Valley, 15:16.18; Christian Zambrano, Palatine, 15:19.58; Joey Santillo, Minooka, 15:22.86; Jonah Hanig, Highland Park, 15:24.48; Nick Bushelle, Neuqua Valley, 15:27.15; Nolan McKenna, WW South, 15:28.99; Robbie Hohlman, Neuqua Valley, 15:29.93; Alex Pierce, Minooka, `15:29.93; Billy Magnesen, Hinsdale Central, 15:31.13.
Team: Glenbard West 51, New Trier, 55, Palatine 60, WW South 139, Naperville Central 147, Hinsdale Central 165, Minooka 201, Metea Valley 244, Neuqua Valley 264, Evanston 268, Young 290, Glenbard East 340, Niles West 359, Bolingbrook 399, Hinsdale South 404, Highland Park 484, Marian Catholic 523, Homewood-Flossmoor 550, Stagg 562, Niles North 585.
Individuals: Madeline Perez, Glenbard West, 16:59.40; Courtney Ackerman, New Trier, 17:13.48; Lisa Luczak, Glenbard West, 17:20.00; Mimi Smith, New Trier, 17:59.28; Jill Hardies, Hinsdale Central, 17:59.28; Tess Wasowicz, Palatine, 18:16.94; Kendall Cast, Metea Valley, 18:20.21; Jessica Ackerman, New Trier, 18:25.44; Hope Schmelze, WW South, 18:25.92; Lindsay Graham, Glenbard East, 18:30.11.