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Boys Cross Country: Led by three four-year varsity runners, Kaneland has the foundation in place for a big finish this fall

The foundation is set for the Kaneland boys cross country team.

It’s now about doing what the Knights have to go higher and higher.

Nolan Allen, Logan Cunz and Christian Phillips are four-year varsity members of the Knights, as all three were part of their 2019 state title team. They’re the building blocks for Kaneland coach Chad Clarey this season, who reported solid progress on all three dating back to the summer and previous track season.

Phillips finished his track season with a 10:12 two-mile race at sectionals, while Allen is approaching two minutes flat in the 800 meters.

Cunz, meanwhile, is improving in both the mile and two-mile races.

“I think what’s most important for those three to do would be to continue to work at sticking together throughout their races, at least through the first two miles as best they can, which really gives us a good fighting chance at good points to start off our scoring,” Clarey said.

“I think, all three of them, their career personal records are within 19 to 25 seconds of one another,” Clarey continued. “By the end of a race, I could see a spread that could be anywhere from 15 to 25 seconds apart and that’s a good kickoff for us. What we need from there is we need two more runners who are willing to be within 25 seconds or so of where that third finisher is.”

Cunz, like every season, aspires to run a new best and help his team succeed. Cunz is hoping to compete collegiately and has earned interest thus far from Loras College.

“Obviously, we want to go down to the state meet again,” Cunz said. “It’s always a fun experience just with you and your teammates going down there. That’s definitely a goal, especially in COVID and everything. Honestly, nowadays, it’s just [about] getting to compete and getting the opportunity to go out there and work hard with your teammates, your coaches and everything.”

Phillips’ goal this season is “to try to be the best runner I can be.”

“Whether that is doing extra stuff to physically make me a better runner or doing more stretches,” Phillips said. “Basically, try to do more activities to put me at the level that I want to be at.

The Knights might also get some notable contributions from sophomores Collin Reuitmann, David Valkanov – an Oswego transfer – and freshmen Evan Nosek and Zach Murdock.

“[Reuitmann] was good as a freshman. I think he really found his gear during the track season,” Cunz said. “He ran really well at the end of the season. During the season, he’s been doing really well.”

To Clarey, if the Knights can put together a pack split of around 50 seconds with whoever their first finishing runner can be – that could be interchangeable between the three – it’s ultimately a positive thing.

“…If we can [be] interchangeable, what that means to me, is, we have kids that are training and are working together,” Clarey said. “And, are racing together. Some days, somebody might have a really good race and pop off one. They might be a little bit further than the rest. If we can have more of that, I think it bodes well for our chances throughout the season.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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