West Aurora defends its titles

Sunday, August 29 2010 - -

West Aurora defends its titles

Loran, Cavender finish ahead of the pack
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AURORA -- West Aurora senior Steve Loran jumped out to an early lead and never relinquished it en route to the title Saturday at the 30th annual Aurora City Invitational at Marmion Academy.

He won even after he veering off course for a few yards and having to retrace his steps and right his run.

"I got caught up in the race too much," Loran admitted. "I thought I was going to get DQed or something, but luckily I was able to hold on."

Loran crossed the finish line in a time of 15:58.11, more than 10 seconds ahead of teammate and defending champion Matt Muth.

"It was awesome as I came through the finish line," Loran said. "Last year my teammate Matt Muth beat me in the last 200 some yards. It's nice to get the title my senior year."

Waubonsie Valley senior David Groeber finished in a time of 16:24.5 to place third.

"I was pleased with the first two miles of my race," Groeber said. "The last mile faded off a little bit."

West Aurora placed five runners in the top 10 to coast to a second consecutive city title with 25 points. Also finishing in the top 10 for West Aurora were Ryan Bartell (fifth), Graham Isaacson (eighth), Omar Gomez (ninth) and Josh Robinson (10th).

"We have a great team this year," Loran said. "It's been a blessing to have them pushing me at my side."

Marmion finished second with 57 points, followed by Aurora Central Catholic in third with 97. The Cadets were paced by senior Bennett Marsh, who finished fifth. ACC was led by sophomore Matt Meyers, who placed seventh.

East Aurora senior Gerardo Paleo also cracked the top 10 with his sixth-place run.

Girls race
Not to be outdone by the boys' earlier victory, Blackhawks sophomore Rachel Cavender won the girls invitational title in 19:30.7 and helped pace the West Aurora girls to their second straight city title.

Unlike Loran, Cavender gained momentum throughout the race.

The Warriors pack got out to a strong lead, with five runners running side by side across Marmion's manicured lawn at one point.

"We try to pack run," sophomore Ashley Bruner said, "because it pushes each other without having to verbalize."

As the race wore on, Cavender methodically worked her way up through the pack before finally overtaking Bruner and Kristina Chapman just before the last hill.

"She had a strong kick," Bruner said.

"I'm so very happy," Cavender said, "I knew I had a chance (to win the race) because I finished third last year, but I didn't know. We have a lot of good girls on our team."

She was joined in the top 10 by teammates Nicole Bartell (fifth) and Elisia Meyle (10th). The Blackhawks won the title with 39 points to Waubonsie Valley's 48.

"They looked pretty good," West Aurora coach Angela Cassetto said.

Bruner finished second in a time of 19:48, followed by Chapman with a 19:52.1. Teammate Lauren Newmyer placed eighth.

"I'm ecstatic," Warriors coach Liz Kolkay said of her squad's race, "It was so nice seeing them all come out at the front of the pack."

Also finishing in the top 10 were ACC's Jenna Koerner (fourth) and Bailey Shemenski (ninth), Aurora Christian's Sarina Oleson (sixth) and Rosary's Kelly Keiffer (seventh).

"She is really starting to race at another level," Chargers coach Troy Kerber said of Koerner's performance. "We're pretty excited."