Moving on to Sectionals

Saturday, October 20 2018 - IHSA Regional Sandburg

Regional weekend got off to a great start with our alternates time trial on Friday afternoon. We had 16 guys toe the line to take a crack to run another PR. The wind was gusting and rain was falling, but guys took some chances and we saw some big time PRs. Cam Mulyk led the way in 17:13. Alex Rojo and Jacob Obman ran stride for stride the entire way both running PRs 18:22, and 18:23. Diego Herrera and Justin Irizarry also busted out some PRs. Justin broke 24 minutes for the first time and Diego just missed, running 24:04. The time trial on Friday was big because it gave the guys racing Saturday some confidence that PRs were ripe for the taking with the type of shape we are in as a team.

Coming into regionals we knew as a team we would have a good chance to qualify on to Sectionals, something we haven’t done as a program since 2009. Last week at the SPC Meet our varsity crew ran tentative and got buried early and had a hard time getting back into the race. The plan this week was to be aggressive at the start and position ourselves near the front early. We had a strong week of practice, and the team was coming in with confidence ready to bounce back and have a strong performance.

The guys did execute well getting out strong led by Javy Garcia who charged out with the led pack. He was followed by Austin and then a small gap to Dean, Bonomo, Tommy and Aaron. At the first turn Jon was actually in dead last place. Coming back off of his hip strain it took him a minute or so to get moving today. But from that turn on he kept it moving.

Javy battled hard the entire way mixing it up with the lead group most of the way, he led the team with a great 13th place finish, running a season best time and just off his PR from Peoria last year. Jon was next in, coming like a freight train after the first turn. Jon had a look in his eyes I haven’t seen since track season, he was battling out there. He ran very nearly perfectly even splits to move from last at the first turn to finishing 15th just 1 second behind Javy. Austin was next man in, Austin found himself in no mans land after the first mile and had to really battle mentally to stay tough. Dean ran his best race of the year to finish as our 4 man. He got out more aggressive than last week, but continued his trend of closing hard passing about 5 guys in the last 800 to help the team in a big way.  Tommy, Aaron, and Bonomo all finished within 5 seconds of each other to round out the scoring. Tommy battled hard with Dean and pushed him through 2 miles, Tommy faded a bit the 3rd mile, but still had a big impact rounding out our scoring 5. Aaron represented our very strong freshman class today, and did not let them down. He ran in typical fashion having the confidence to not get out too hard and know he can move up, and that he did. Aaron was in the 50s at the mile mark, and he finished in 37th with a nice new PR. Bonomo struggled a bit late in the race, but was able to pick up both Tommy and Aaron and push the pace with them late in the race. All 7 guys finished within 1:03 of each other. 4th place finish as a team, and a chance to move on next week and compete at Sectionals.

I am so proud of this group and all that they have accomplished. They have been committed to being a part of something special at Plainfield Central. We have taken some big steps as a program this year and today was yet another step in the right direction. I love knowing that the guys standing on the line are not just running for themselves, not just for the 6 guys lined up next to them but for everyone who is a part of The Wildcat Distance Project.

Can’t wait for next week and another chance for the Wildcats to compete.