PORTER TWP. | The burden of being the favorite certainly didn't weigh heavily upon Hebron.
The round-robin champions capped a decisive season in the Porter County Conference by rolling to the meet title Tuesday at the Boone Grove Wetlands Course. The Hawks went 1-2-3 on their way to a team score of 25, securing their first meet title since 1995. Hanover Central a distant second at 67.
"It's been the girls who have been dominant for us," Hebron coach Mike DeFries said. "But we knew we had a pretty good shot. We won the round-robin fairly easily. What's good for us, having a deep team like we've got, our two-three man (Kyle Schmidt) was a little sick, he's sixth for us and we still go 1-2-3."
Trevor Lewin overtook teammate Jasen Egolf in the last half mile to claim the individual title in 17 minutes, 1 second.
"Jasen always beats me. I beat him once, but he was taking it easy," Lewin said. "It's really great. It's my senior year, the post-season. I just keep reminding myself of that and keep pushing. That's a big motivation to go out with a bang. My times have been dropping like crazy. I felt strong. I had a good warm-up and I was good to go. I just kept reminding myself to surge."
DeFries "couldn't have been happier" for Lewin, the sole senior in his top seven.
"This is huge for him," DeFries said. "He was our No. 1 as a freshman and has done really well ever since. He's so excited about this. For the team to win and for him to win as an individual, it's awesome."
Egolf, battling congestion from a lingering sinus infection, finished in 17:08 after leading much of the race.
"Usually, I go out hard and hold it," Egolf said. "My chest was hurting. You just have to try to deal with it and push yourself. I feel like I'm almost over it. I'm happy for the team and for Trevor, being a senior."
Jon Hogg checked in third at 17:13 for Hebron, with Ryan Witt (eighth) and Hunter Barbian (11th) rounding out the scoring.
"I'm proud of all the guys. They all did really good," Lewin said. "Hopefully, we can keep pushing hard, win the sectional and break into semistate."
Kouts' Jake Keough was the mental attitude award winner. Nathaniel Rhodes (12th) gave LaCrosse its first all-conference finisher since 2002.