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Sports

Cross Country: Oswego girls win Joliet Steelmen Invitational

Oswego East's Matt Blanco seventh at First to the Finish meet

Oswego teammates Isabelle Christiansen (left) and Grace Pagone (right) compete at the Joliet Steelmen Invitational on Sept. 9.
Oswego teammates Isabelle Christiansen (left) and Grace Pagone (right) compete at the Joliet Steelmen Invitational on Sept. 9.

Not the bridesmaids anymore.

Oswego, runner-up to Neuqua Valley the last five years at the Joliet Steelmen Invitational, took home the team championship on Sept. 9 in Channahon behind individual winner Grace Pagone.

Oswego, which last won the meet in 2011, scored 30 points to 50 for Lincoln-Way Central and 73 for Neuqua Valley.

"We knew we were a lot better this year, and we had a great race," Oswego coach Eric Simon said. "It was nice to get over the hump in that particular meet."

Pagone, second at Joliet last year, took first in 18:23.0. Teammate Isabelle Christiansen was third in 18:32, freshman Ella Hale was seventh in 19:04, Caitlin Guist was eighth in 19:05 and Jaycie Simon was 11th in 19:07.

Oswego is back in action this week at the Peoria Notre Dame Invitational.

"Our first meet up in Wisconsin we ran well, and we backed it up with a strong performance at Joliet," Simon said. "It shows we're headed in the right direction."

Oswego East boys

In the 3A boys race at the First to the Finish Invitational on Sept. 9 in Peoria, Oswego East junior Matt Blanco was seventh and the highest finishing non-senior in a personal-record 14:55.4.

“I was more happy with breaking 15:00 because place is always a goal, but a time goal is better,” Blanco said. “I like the course because I think it’s fast. I’m usually not the first up front so (top 10) was a new experience but I liked it. I liked racing up there.”

Oswego East (407) and Yorkville (492) were 12th and 17th. Yorkville senior Zach Price was 58th (15:45.1). Oswego East's Luke Wentz was 78th in 15:55.1, Heriberto Alvarez was 83rd in 15:56.4, Brad Wiggins was 118th in 16:11.2 and Chris Luz was 131th in 16:18.1 among scoring runners.

Yorkville finished a strong second to defending 3A champion Naperville North 83-109 in the girls portion of the race.

Junior Emily Eberhardt was 12th (17:45.4 for 3.0 miles) with Alyssa Edwards (18:00.5), junior Olivia Borowiak (18:01.1) and freshman Helena Kleronomos (18:04.6) 17th, 18th and 19th and junior Nicole Greyer (18:42.2) 43rd.

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