The first time we visited Afton this year, we made a little bit of noise against ranked teams. That performance was repeated when facing #3 Yorkville, #19 LaSalle Peru, #24 Sycamore and previously ranked Sterling.
Richtman (2nd) and Kintz (7th) climbed right into the lead pack and surged to All Conference placement among a handful of All State runners. Our next wave of finishers proved lethal to the NIB XII field (non Foxes, of course).
Spaetzel and Kuipers hung with the tail end of the All Conference pack and pushed past important scoring runners to gain a final advantage in the standings. Each ran a 3 mile PR in the process.
Kainrath and birthday boy Kantola also closed strong, with matching times to outlast Sycamore’s #4. Kurz equaled their PR efforts with his own, and was 4 places ahead of Sycamore’s #5 to complete a pack split 1-7 of 70 seconds.
Our FS team followed suit with another impressive performance highlighted by four career PR races for three miles. Sam Webster sprinted ahead of YHS #2 to net a PR, running 16:39. Nosek (7th)outleaned Wielgos and finished with identical times, Jacob with the PR. Girolamo raced 15th to 17:53, good for a PR, and Heiser ran 16th to complete our scoring.
Lodwig and Konrad pushed scores up by defeating 8 scoring runners from other teams, Aidan with a career 3 mile PR and Konrad having a tough first day back by falling at the bridge on the way out. He fought through the discomfort, and stepped up instead of stepping out.
Our open runners also were up to the NIB XII challenge in a very deep race this year. Messina ran to a course PR and earned the final ribbon of the day. Duffey came back from injury, using a modified race plan, he ran in the top 15. Smith equaled his PR time from Peoria, giving his very best effort at the finish.
French made it a good ending to his conference career with a course PR, while Klingensmith and Orczykowski each rocked new career bests under 19:30. Gingrich ran a new career PR, going under 20 for the first time. Nemec put up a 3 mile PR in his first race back in the lineup. Babula and Petrik also joined that PR group, with Jacob breaking his own mark by 3:57! Jablonski raced to a new best time of 20:59 and Purcell gave a courageous effort with a calf strain; ending his season at 21:00, but just a few seconds off of his time from September, on this course.
Crimmins is working his way back into shape and fought hard for a new PR at 22:28, while Osborne raced to a 1:58 mile pace improvement on the course. Big day for us! The pack split continue to drop, and the times were excellent on a challenging course of rolling hills and sweeping turns. Keep your intensity up, and your expectations high.