The Fenwick High School boys cross country team won its first sectional championship in program history. (Courtesy Fenwick Athletics/Twitter)

When junior Jack Darrow and his Fenwick boys cross country teammates discovered they were in Class 2A this season, good things seemed possible.

“The past however long we’ve been in 3A, we’ve been competing against schools bigger than us so we were excited to compete against schools our size,” Darrow said.

The Friars are determined to do great things at the 2A state meet Nov. 7 in Peoria after capturing the program’s first sectional title at the University Sectional Saturday. Needing a top-five team finish for their first state berth since 2008, the Friars (46 points) won by 36 points over Deerfield.

Darrow (15:36.05), sophomore Emmett McEnery (15:37.58) and junior Alex Marks (15:41.41) were third, fourth and fifth and nearly captured the individual title over Fenton junior Jose Vazquez-Perez (15:35.35). They were followed by senior Riley Mullen (15th, 16:11.37), junior Patrick Barnett (19th, 16:23.60), freshman Joe Wermes (27th, 16:36.80) and senior Joseph Cozzi (40th, 16:52.07).

Fenwick coach Dave Rill was a member of the Friars’ first state-qualifying team in 1986. He was an assistant under coach John Polka’s four straight AA or 3A qualifiers from 2005-08.

“I’m kind of waiting to see where we fit as far as the 2A level, but we went 1-2-3 (at regionals) and 3-4-5 this week,” Rill said. “With them and our 4-5 up there, I think we have a shot at doing something special (at state).”

LTHS boys cross country

Danny Kilrea (15:01.9) was the runner-up at the Hinsdale Central Sectional as the Lions placed third (74) behind sectional champion Sandburg (45) and the host Red Devils (65). The Lions’ other top-10 finishers included Matt Begeman (7th, 15:27.3) and Vince Zona (10th, 15:33.4). Connor Madell (17th, 15:53.8), Tim McCarthy (38th, 16:19.2), Alex Pall (40th, 16:22.8) and Dan Palmer (60th, 16:45.2) also ran for LTHS.

RBHS boys cross country

Mateo Nunez recorded a time of 16:30.4 to finish 19th at the Wheaton Academy Sectional. In addition to their lone state qualifier, the Bulldogs were represented by Connor O’Brien (40th, 17:09.0), Matt Zamudio (48th, 17:18.5), Jacob Wardzala (51st, 17:19.8), Jack Sagan (52nd, 17:20.2), Jack Lemesurier (53rd, 17:20.6) and Jason Noel (65th, 17:37.2).

RBHS girls cross country

The Bulldogs finished eighth with a score of 235 at the Class 3A Wheaton Academy Sectional. Hailey Jurgens (26th, 19:40.3) and Nadia Kaczmarz (32nd, 19:52.3) posted the best times, while Tara Janney (61st, 20.55.0), Rachel McGee (65th, 21:04.4), Natalie Cote (75th, 21:44.5), Lulu Keen (80th, 21:59.3) and Mia Hruska (86th, 22:15.5) also contributed for RBHS.

LTHS girls cross country

Freshman Sarah Barcelona ran a team-best 18:21 to earn third at the Hinsdale Central Sectional. The Lions also finished third (84) with contributions from Vanessa Flaherty (7th, 18:25), Emily Henkel (16th, 18:45), Hannah Dutler (23rd, 18:54), Natalie Jaramillo (35th, 19:23), Megan Ng (52nd, 20:06) and Diana Kafkes (65th, 20:31).

Fenwick girls cross country

The Friars placed 11th at the Hinsdale Central Sectional (248). Sophomore Margaret O’Brien was 39th (19:36.6 for 3.0 miles).

Nazareth girls cross country

Junior Claire Ramsey finished 18th with a time of 19:22.5 at the Wheaton Academy Sectional to qualify for the state meet. The Roadrunners (268 points) placed ninth in the team standings at the sectional.

-Bill Stone contributed to this roundup