The landscape of Illinois XC has never been deeper in our conference than it is this year. Yorkville had never lost a NIB XII team title in the conference’s existence, and today was beaten by #6 Sycamore and #7 Sterling. Throw in a vastly improved DeKalb team, and #24 L-P, and we’ve got our hands full.
Matt Richtman became our first individual conference champion since 1999, when Henry Norris won the Suburban Prairie Conference crown at Elburn Woods. He was knotted up with two elite All State athletes, and surged to victory in the final 125 meters, just like he practices on Fridays. He became a sprinter.
Occhipinti joined our varsity lineup and immediately made his presence felt by surging into all conference contention. At the finish, he was on PR pace at 16:24 and 22nd overall. Webster tried chasing that white jersey throughout and completed his run 12 seconds later for 29th place. Kantola raced to the chute four places later at 16:51, and Henry Nosek was 36th as our last scoring runner in 17:03 following an adjusted week of practices due to injury. Peyton Heiser kept Nosek in his sights the whole way and ended the day with a career PR in 17:11. Purcell earned another spot start in the varsity race and finished 61st overall in this loaded field of teams. Thanks, Ben for stepping in.
In the frosh soph race, Lodwig made good on a new PR at 17:30 which locked down 4th overall. Drake Nemec was the other award winner on the day in this level, earning 16th with a PR effort of 18:07. The next pack of checkerboarded Knights finished in a flash, with Petrik at 18:24, Seth Nosek right after at 18:26, and then Orczykowski at 18:30. The pack was able to manage a :60 split on the day, a season’s best. Klingensmith ran a :15 PR on the three mile course, and Riedel raced to 33rd overall, despite being under the weather.
When the Open took charge a few minutes following, we had new award winners and PR breakers on the course. Abruzzo and teammates settled into a pack through the first mile and demonstrated exactly what we needed to see from the whole team on the day. Feeding off of the energy of those they raced with then passed, Tony kept charging forward to a 7th place ribbon, and a 1:44 PR from Eddington.
Girolamo made a great push toward the front and net a 9th place ribbon. Finn was just two places behind for a ribbon and a new three mile PR at 18:48. Scotty Dunne also raced ahead from the pack and earned a 1:19 PR. Messina and Konrad pushed into the top half of all open runners, in 22nd and 23rd place. Good to have Kyle in the lineup again! Jablonski was able to break his previous best, running 20:52. Giant improvements from Eddington times came from Holder (2:51 PR), Patrick (2:29 PR) and Woods (1:06 PR).
When you are actively racing those around you, surging and passing, then great things happen and times drop. (more team details will be shared