BREMEN TOWNSHIP | Illiana Christian's Matt Hall loves the course at Midlothian Meadows, and that explained his time Saturday morning.
Hall's season-best 15:34 was more than enough to win the Olympic Division of the varsity boys race at the Tinley Park Invitational.
"It's my favorite course," Hall said. "It's a fast course, and the entire course is different. I could have definitely been in the 15:20s today if I had to. Overall, I had fun and couldn't of asked for more."
Teammates Tony Wondaal, Mylo Dixon, and Jordan Dekker also finished in the Top 10 to help the Vikings win the team title (28 points)
"I didn't run as fast as I would have liked to," said Dekker, who finished seventh. "I was holding my kick for the last half mile and I had explosion for that last mile.
"We're looking really good as a team right now. We're running together and helping each other out."
Crete-Monee's Bryce Stluka finished 18th (17:23).
"It was a fast-paced course," Stluka said. "I had a little pain in my leg, but the whole race went great. My times feel like they are getting lower and lower. I'm liking this season; it's going great."
In the boys Championship Division, T.F. South's Dylan Angell finished ninth (16:25).
"This is one of the harder meets," he said. "There's a lot of good teams here from all over. Even though we're split up into two divisions, all the teams are pretty good. I'm dropping times. I felt faster."
In the girls Olympic Division, Illiana Christian placed third, while Crete-Monee was fourth. Lincoln-way North defeated Lemont for the crown.
Alexa Beezhold (19:46) and Emma Pawlowski (19:55) were fourth and fifth, respectively, for the Vikings.
"We tried a different strategy where we got out early and tried for a 10-second lead," Pawlowski said. "Me personally, I don't like to sprint out but leave some for the last mile. On my third mile, I wasn't as strong as I usually am. I was still OK."
Beezhold felt that the Vikings' strategy to start fast was a good method.
"It helped me get a PR today, so I think it worked," she said.