For the first time since 1999, the Geneseo boys' cross country team can call themselves regional champions.

For the first time since 1999, the Geneseo boys’ cross country team can call themselves regional champions.

The Maple Leafs held off runner-up Peoria Notre Dame by six points for the Class 2A Galesburg Regional title at Lake Storey Park on Oct. 20.

The Maple Leafs have finished runner-up four times in the past 18 years, but first-year coach Todd Ehlert saw the Maple Leafs were ready to end the drought.

“They had the confidence going in that they could win, they went after it, and they got it,” Ehlert said.

William Plumley paced the Geneseo pack with a fourth-place finish in 17:35, and Justin Johnson came in fifth in 17:37.

“Everything came together and the guys raced really well,” Ehlert said. “It wasn’t favorable for anybody with a 35-mile per hour wind. Our guys fought through it and really ran well to earn a regional championship.”

Geneseo’s Lucas Nicke claimed 14th in 17:51, and Neo Colter finished 17th in 18:00.

The Leafs’ Colby Rapps ran down 18th in 18:01, and Rafe Morrison finished in 25th place in 18:18.

Geneseo’s Andrew Rizzo captured 31st in 18:38.

The Maple Leafs advance to the Class 2A East Peoria Sectional held at Illinois Central College on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 11 a.m.