Expectations high as always for CLC Lancers cross-country teams
The faces may have changed in the College of Lake County cross-country program, but the expectations remain the same.
For example, the Lancers men's team comes into this season without three runners who placed in the Top 10 at last year's Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) meet, according to the league's website, including first-place finisher Will Llanos. The team also has several freshmen entering the program. Still, coach Jorge Colin said that he was excited for the upcoming season, especially after what he's seen in the first few weeks of practice this summer.
“I think this year, we're bringing a good corps of freshmen,” Colin said. “The returners that we are bringing back have been doing the preparation in the off-season, so we're off to a good start, and I expect to see some strong performances.”
The coach said he sees sophomore Andrew Rodriguez, a Grayslake North alumnus, and Danny Vincent, a graduate of Grayslake Central, fighting for the top spot on the team. Rodriguez was an ISCC Academic Athlete of the Year selection last year, and Colin credited him as someone who put in the hard work in the offseason. Meanwhile, Vincent captained Grayslake Central's state championship team, his school biography said.
Other returning players on this year's team are sophomores Thomas Castino, also an Academic Athlete of the Year pick; and David Duarte. Incoming freshmen on the roster include Oscar Arteaga and Vidal Ortega, both of Round Lake; Arthur Garcia; Tyler Glassman; and Jeffrey Meverden.
“It'll be exciting to watch them all shake it up,” Colin said. “I'm looking forward to seeing them battling a lot. They're all competitors, and they all want to be the top guy.”
That attitude runs through the program, which won conference titles in 2013 and 2014 before last year's strong individual showings.
“One of our team goals is we want the rest of the conference to come through us,” Colin said.
On the women's side, the Lancers will have sophomore Lluvia Chavarria from Round Lake coming in after taking a year off from competitive running, Colin said. At Round Lake High School, Chavarria was the Most Valuable Player of the cross-country team, according to her biography on CLC's athletic website.
Also, the Lancers will have sophomore Allyssa Weitkum of Mauston, Wisconsin, running after a strong high-school track career. According to her bio, Weitkum was on Mauston High's 4-x-400-meter relay team that finished third in the state and the 4-x-100 team that broke the school record in that event when she was a junior.
Colin said he's excited to showcase Weitkum, who is transitioning competitively from sprints to distance running.
“My favorite part about her is that she understands it, and she vocalizes it,” Colin said. “She's a natural leader, so I couldn't ask for any better athlete transitioning from that sprinter to a distance runner.”
Rounding out the women's roster are Dania Kahn of Gurnee, a Warren High School alumna; Clarissa Montiel of Mundelein; Paloma Alcala of Round Lake Beach and a graduate of Grayslake North; and Yasmin Bueno.
For the first time, CLC will host the ISCC Championship on Oct. 22 in Grayslake.