October 1: Conant/Fremd Dual and Antioch Invite
It was another strong week for our program as we finished up the dual meet season at 4-1 with wins over Conant and Fremd. The scores were almost identical as we bested Conant 23-37 and beat Fremd 23-32. In a way, the two opponents are similar as well. They are both rebuilding a bit after strong seasons the last couple of years and they both have strong juniors and underclassmen suggesting that these two teams will be a force in the MSL in the years to come. Ryan Burgoon won the varsity race in commanding fashion as Fremd's star Harry Winter wore trainers and used the race as a tempo run. This is not to take away from Burgoon's performance; Conant's coach John Powers told me after the race that Ryan's 15:29 is one of the fastest races ever on their course. This is a good sign just two weeks from the MSL championship that will be run on the same course. Behind Ryan, the team really came through. I challenged them early in the week to step up and fill the giant gap left by Kerry Frank who is out with injury. The team responded well with Konrad Eiring and Jake Herb both auditioning for Kerry's spot by running as our second and third runners respectively. The finished right with Rappleye and that, combined with a strong race from Ryan Perkins gave us a nice 41 second 1-5 split even without Kerry. We need to continue this strong pack running and when we get Kerry back we are going to be hard to beat.
On Saturday the team headed up to Wisconsin for the 38th Annual Pat Harland Invite hosted by Antioch High School. This course is a favorite for many of our runners because of the rolling hills and wooded layout. As we usually do, we decided to sit most of our top 7 for this race and give the next group a chance to run varsity. They did not disappoint as the team finished 4th in a competitive field. 2A #4 Crystal Lake Central won the meet with 45 points and 3A #15 Jacobs was second with 68. Warren slipped by us for third with 114 and we scored 148 to capture 4th. Top performances were turned in by Mike Rappleye (5th), Jack Rogers (24th), Adam Phillips (34th), Ryan Skelly (35th), and Jack Foley (40th). The Frosh/soph captured third behind a gallant performance by Kyle Monahan. Kyle captured 2nd and got some valuable front running experience that will serve him well in the future. Behind Kyle, Andrew Gensburg (17), Tate Fisher (18), and Chris Geleske (19) continued to improve. Daniel Stermer (28) had one of his best races this year to finish as our 5th and final scorer. The open raced also was an exciting one that went down to the wire. Zach Watson ran a beautiful tactical race and took the lead with 800 meters to go. He challenged the field and paid for the aggressive move and faded a bit to finish 5th. Still, this was a gutsy performance and showed that Zach will always be a guy who runs to win. The rest of the team raced well with strong performances turned in by Kevin Gordon (4th), Phil Towne (8), Stefan Sampaleanu (12), and Chase Small (28). The JV group won the open race 52-58 over New Trier. Again this group showed our depth and reminds us that everyone on the team has an important role to play.
With the dual meet season over, there is only one race on the calendar this week as we start to rest up and sharpen for the championship phase of the season. This Saturday we will travel to the Wheeling Invite. This meet will be full of great competition with 2A giants Belvedere North (#2) and Deerfield (#7) along with 3A ranked Highland Park (#18), St. Ignatius (#12) and the always tough Lake Zurich team. Normally this meet is held at Wheeling's home course at Herritage Park but due to renovations they have changed locations this year. The meet will be held on the campus of Allstate Insurance Company at 2775 Sanders Road, Northbrook, Il 60062.
Races will start at 9:00 A.M. There is no set time schedule; the next race will start at the conclusion of the previous race.
Open race girls
Open race boys
Directions to the Allstate Campus:
Exit I-294 at Willow Rd (Palatine Rd) head west to Sanders Road and turn South (left) traveling down about 2 miles to the last campus entrance (Look for the "Wheeling Cross Country" - sign). Please enter at this entrance ONLY. Please encourage parents NOT to enter at Palatine/Willow Road. They will be asked to turn around. Click here for a map to the Allstate Campus