By Phil English, Special to the Tribune
8:09 AM EST, November 5, 2013
Two full activity buses will head from Vernon Hills to Peoria this weekend.
The school's boys and girls teams both qualified for Class 2A state meet, which will be held Saturday at Detweiller Park.
The plan is to not return empty-handed.
The girls' program will be making its second consecutive trip to state. The boys team will be going for the first time thanks to its victory at the Belvidere Sectional last weekend.
"That would be amazing," girls coach Suzanne Curry said of bringing home multiple trophies. "The boys are well on their way to that. They're just a super strong team, peaking at the right time. I feel good about their chances.
"As for the girls, anything's possible when you get to November at Detweiller. Last year we qualified but were not really in the hunt. We weren't just happy to be there. We were aiming for a top 12 finish. This year we have higher aspirations."
Sophomore Vivian Overbeck and senior Cassie Lira finished fourth and sixth to help lead the Cougars to a third-place finish at the Belvidere Sectional.
If Vernon Hills is to crack the top three and battle with the likes of Glenbard South, Yorkville and Crystal Lake Central, it will come down to strong efforts from sophomores Lexi Reich and Shannon Skeoch and juniors Samantha Hershman, Melanie Rogers and Lauren Kim.
The boys are coming off a strong sectional performance that saw five runners finish in the top 17. Senior Kyle Whitney led the pack with a third-place finish, followed by freshman Shane Williamson (6th) and juniors Tyler Smith (9th), Rob Williams (10th) and Ben Mohrdieck (17th). Seniors Nick Webber (36th) and Eric Doerhoefer (42nd) rounded out the pack.
"It sure would be nice to have both teams finish well. Absolutely fantastic," said boys coach Mark Whitney, whose team won the Peoria Central Invitational at Detweiller this season. "I would say at this point of the season we're right where we want to be.
"We've had a great season, but I think our best race is ahead of us. Things are really coming together."
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