CRETE | Bloom Township's Jacob Hernandez hasn't been able to run lately but it sure didn't show in Saturday's Class 3A Bloom Twp. cross country regional.
Hernandez captured the boys title with a time of 17 minutes, 6 seconds, edging out Homewood-Flossmoor's Alex Clemetson who ran neck and neck with Hernandez the entire race.
"Last week I couldn't run conference," Hernandez said. "I was suspended for 10 days and that included conference. I only practiced once this week and then today."
Hernandez was hardly affected by the layoff and will advance to the Normal sectional. Bloom Twp.'s Stephan Riley finished in fourth place with a time of 17:22 and will also advance to the Normal sectional.
Homewood-Flossmoor won the boys team title with 35 points, edging out Bloom Twp. which had 59. The Thornton, Marian Catholic, and Thornridge teams will also advance to the Normal sectional.
Clemetson took second with a time of 17:10 and Vikings teammate David McDermott finished in third (17:19).
"Me and him were going at it the whole time," Clemetson said of his battle with Hernandez. "So it was a good race. I enjoyed it. It hurts right now but it was good."
The girls race was won by Homewood-Flossmoor's MicKayla Jones (21:26) as Marian Catholic captured the girls team title with 42 points, edging out the Vikings who finished with 58 points.
"It was really muddy but I had to do it for my team," Jones said. "I was coming in on the last eight hundred and I was thinking that I've gotta go, I've gotta go. I was in first the whole race and just had to keep it up."
H-F teammate Eileen Whited took second (21:33) and Thornton's Martiza Najera finished third (21:39).
"I was trying to get in first but it was kind of difficult," Najera said. "But I did my best. Hopefully I can go downstate and do good in sectionals."