The size of the field had doubled, but the Knights were up to the challenge of defending their team titles of a year ago. Despite being outnumbered 6 to 1 by Lincoln-Way East alone, the JV crew got the meet kicked off by putting 9 in the Top 25.
Webster bettered Richtman’s F/S course time from ‘14 by :10 en route to his first invitational win. Nosek was on his heels, running a :57 PR for this course. Wielgos raced to 7th, just ahead of a pack of 6 L-W East runners. Our next pack was equally important to the front, as 14 and 15th were covered by Heiser and Konrad. If any other bodies got between us and East, we’d not have held up the 4 point margin of victory.
Girolamo made the Top 20 with a strong run on the hills of HCA. Joining Heiser and Konrad, there was an impressive pack surge from CJ, Purcell (22), Nemec (23) and Lodwig (25) just before the mile mark.
Senior Aaron French jumped back in the lineup, and ran an impressive mile pace for his first run of the year. Wells led the next string of KXC teammates, including Gingrich, Babula, Klingensmith and Orczykowski, each with their best mile pace of the season. Kyle Or. ran a blistering 1:15 per mile faster in this meet! Jablonski and Petrik gained valuable racing experience and raced to new PR paces. Kyle Osborne improved his own mile pace by :11 from Sycamore.
This year’s varsity format changed to a Top 7 only, affair. Our Knights managed four runners in the Top 8 to win by more than double their 36 points scored. Elmwood Park put on a late surge to catch the checkboards, but the finish of our own team proved that their imagery from the night before worked “magically.”
Richtman ran down the final hill alongside the top L-W East harrier, and then put on a surge to earn his first varsity victory by 7 seconds. Kintz raced very tough from an odd spot (alone) throughout the course. It’s extra challenging, but the mental task of not falling off pace was terrific. Spaetzel and Duffey were never without one another through this race and with dramatic kicks and finishes, they managed the Top 10. Kuipers and Kainrath sealed the win with Top 20 finishes, exactly what we were shooting for. Smith rallied hard and ran a :38 PR on the course.
Terrific finish to a hot and draining week, boys.