It was quite a day for our first Eddington Invite held on the KHS campus. Never before have we hosted an athletic event with so many competitors, in any sport (1300+).
Our varsity team had its collective hands full with the #10 ranked 3A team taking the title, and three other Top 10 ranked 2A programs landing in the top 5.
Granted our placement was mid pack, with such a large and talented field, but our times were most notable. It appears that our course runs about 30 seconds slower than Detweiller. So anyone who raced within 30 seconds of their Peoria time actually had an even better race than a week ago.
The front six varsity runners managed career PR’s on the well groomed course. Park made the top 50 in the field at 16:52. Reger was right at :30 as compared to Detweiller. Spaetzel battled through illness again, putting the team before himself with his effort. Will Kuipers and James Walker ran a dead heat at PR times of 17:47, James a full 1:06 better than his previous KHS best. They also completed the pack scoring and split of under :60, ever a goal for KXC. French actually ran 7 seconds FASTER than he did in Peoria, so marked improvement there! Kurz also was faster than Peoria, based on the :30 difference. Only Park and Spaetzel have had more than two reps of Varsity experience beyond this season. We're doing a terrific job filling many vacancies this year. Really proud of you all.
Frosh Soph runners managed a team trophy and best finish since 2010. Richtman blew the lead open late, winning by :23. Kantola ran 1:40 better than his career best on the KHS course, and landed a top 20 finish. A pack of Knights completed scoring with Messina (netting a new career PR at KHS by :72!) rallying late, and Webster + Nosek within :06 of Anthony. Great pack at the end. The FS team beat Belvidere North today, a team that defeated us by 65 points at the Sycamore Invite just a few weeks back. Just as they will fortify their varsity with young talent, so must our team continue to push their pack forward toward varsity. This competition is what drives a team to improve. When we become complacent with just holding "our spot," the team's growth suffers. Younger runners should continue to push and challenge the veterans as often as possible, because it's what makes our program better, and the results will show (be patient).
Girolamo was just :01 from a new career PR for 3 miles. Nosek was :03 away, and Grant Wilk and Peyton Heiser each established new career PRs with sensational runs at home. Cole Rutter had a huge day, running a 4:05 PR for 3 miles. Great work, FS boys. Seeing that Wojak, Wells, Heiser and Wilk were only :08 apart demonstrates the kind of pack mentality that we are looking for. When we race side by side with a teammate or at the front of a pack, we can use a different "energy" that the pack provides. When you train, try to lead a pack. You'll see the difference it makes. We have some aches to take care of at every level, including with our young guns of FS. Do the stretching, the ice therapy, and even the morning runs. It makes a difference!
In the Open, Nick Moses showed he was equal in strength to Peoria, running the :30 differential. Josh Kasap was just :06 short of his Peoria time, and continues to improve. Kyle Osborne set a new course PR also, better by :07. His sportsmanship at the finish demonstrates the kind of leadership that earns the respect we get from other teams. Ben Smith is another runner who continue to battle the rigorous pain and toil that IS cross country. The way he, and Austin Parks have brought their wrestler's mentality and competitive drive are excellent examples for us all to follow. You must continue to fight through that pain, and never give up. Gingrich, Wolfe, Piazza, continue to believe in yourselves. This sport is very demanding, but you have all demonstrated great levels of growth with learning the sport. Keep at it and give it your all. You reap what you put into it, so keep at it. We believe our best races are yet to come for us, Knights. Believe your hard work will pay off. We do.