BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Belvidere North’s boys cross country team is difficult to beat no matter who its head coach is. One year after legendary head coach Troy Yunk retired, the Blue Thunder have won the NIC-10 again under new head coach Ken Husser.
The Blue Thunder topped the field Saturday at Belvidere High School in the NIC-10 Meet. They placed five runners in the top 14. Junior Nick Lenzen led the way with a fifth place finish. He was followed by Junior Caden McNutly in 9th place, jnior Brandon Massman in 10th place, junior Caden Lendman in 11 and sophomore Orlando Hernandez in 14th.
The Blue Thunder totaled 49 points winning comfortably over second place Hononegah which had 77 points.
“I think they did a great job,” said Husser of his guys. “We did a really good job especially in the first race of packing it together and any time no matter what it’s awesome. I coached the girls for many years. I had to take a year off for some health issues, so coming back and now being the boys and fulfilling and taking up coach Yunk’s legacy this is just awesome.”
The individual conference champion is Auburn senior Peter Maculan. He took command with a mile to go. He crossed the finish line in 16:05. That was six seconds ahead of Hononegah’s Nathan Halbrader.
“I knew this race was going to be a windy day. Usually Belvidere is, so I just focused the first two miles sitting behind the guy in front and the last mile just giving it all I’ve got,” said Maculan to Eyewitness News.
“I definitely had that (winning conference) in the back of my mind for the entire year. I’ve been looking at being a conference champ since I was younger just hoping a far off goal, but today to be able to achieve it I’m so happy.”
FINAL NIC-10 BOYS TEAM RESULTS:
- Belvidere North 49
- Hononegah 77
- Guilford 98
- Auburn 100
- Boylan 111
- Harlem 116
- Freeport 147
- East 237
- Belvidere 241
- Jefferson (only 2 finishers)
Top 5 individuals:
1. Peter Maculan (Auburn Sr.) 16:05.38
2. Nathan Halbrader (Auburn Sr.) 16:11.60
3. Aiden Gruner (Harlem Sr. ( 16:12.28
4. Bailen Estrada (Hononegah Jr.) 16:19.35
5. Nick Lenzen (Belvidere North Jr.) 16:23.02
Highlights coming later on www.mystateline.com and on Fox 39 and WTVO 17.