PREP CROSS COUNTRY | IHSA STATE MEET

Beecher's Nykaza second at Class 1A boys state cross country

2011-11-05T21:00:00Z 2013-03-15T21:46:04Z Beecher's Nykaza second at Class 1A boys state cross countryBy Times Staff nwitimes.com
November 05, 2011 9:00 pm  • 

Beecher boys cross country runner Grant Nykaza finished second overall at the Class 1A state meet Saturday morning at Peoria's Detweiller Park.

The junior finished in 14 minutes, 37 seconds and was nine seconds behind Monticello's Steve Schroeder in 14:28.

The Bobcats, who were defending state champs, finished 17th overall with 398 points. Mount Zion won with 76 points.

Nykaza, who was favored to win, said it was a bittersweet day.

"I wasn't completely satisfied with getting second place," Nykaza said. "I could have run a little better. I have been training all year to win a state title."

He said he was with Schroeder until the 1ΒΌ-mile mark.

"He broke from me and that was the point I was supposed to break from him," Nykaza said. "He ran a strong race. I stayed wtih him but just couldn't catch him."

In the Class 2A meet, the Illiana Christian boys finished 12th and the girls placed 16th.

The Illiana girls had 381 points and Alexa Beezhold was its top runner. The sophomore finished 37th (18:21). The girls team had its best finish at a state meet,coach Deb Top said.

"I was real pleased with how we ran," Top said. "All the girls ran a good race and they really worked hard."

Yorkville took the team title with 74 points and Crystal Lake Central's Sami Staples was the champ in 17:07. All three of Illiana's top three finishers are underclassmen, so the future is bright. Beezhold said she ran a personal best.

"I ran a little better than I tought I would," Beezhold said. "I thought I would get about 18:30, but I knocked a few seconds off and got 18:21. I felt really good out there, and my teammates, they also ran a good race."

The Vikings boys team had 328 points; Belvidere North won with 110. Illiana's Matt Hall was 12th with a personal-best time of 14:59.

"The state meet is a great time to PR (personal record) because you are running with the best and you have to step it up," Hall said. "I wanted to finish in the top 10 and break 15 (minutes). I just broke 15 so I am happy."

Teammate Tony Wondaal was 30th (15:23).

Decatur MacArthur's Michael Clevenger was the Class 2A boys champ (14:26).

The Beecher girls team was 20th (458 points). The Ladycats were led by Larissa Swanson, who finished 63rd (19:05). Decatur St. Teresa was the team champ with 46 points.

In the Class 3A boys meet, Homewood-Flossmoor's Cahron Cross was 138th (15:50) and Thornton Fractional South's Dylan Angell was 181st (16:11).

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