Lakes Champs!Saturday, October 8 2022 - Lakes Twilight
The last 10 days of the season have hectic, two frosh/soph boys meets, a girls only Will County Championship resulted in some unique days of practice…but the whole team was back together at The Lakes Sunset Invitational. A new race for the boys program last and brand new this season for the girls. A Friday night invite with a few unique twists, all the races were co-ed and the varsity race was scored through 10 with two separate races scored separate and combined for a team score.
The first race was the open race, and that race set the tone for the rest of the meet. Every athlete that ran in that race ran a season best time! The boys set the tone up front as a strong pack of 4 with Asher Bradley, Richie Ruane, Josh Kodura and Colin Elder establishing themselves at the tail end of the lead pack through the mile mark, and four in places 12 through 16. That group would not relent. Asher Bradley made the decision at the halfway point to make a hard move to the front, Josh Kodura followed close behind with Richie hanging back from the time being and Colin Elder battling tough to maintain a position in the top 20. The move paid off as Asher moved all the way to 2nd place, only to get out leaned at the line and finish 3rd overall with a massive season best time of 17:45. Richie’s patients paid off as he slowly moved into the top 10 and held that position with his signature fast close to nab 9th overall in a season best time. Josh Kodura was next in in 11th place with a lifetime PR, Colin Elder was close behind in a lifetime PR as well. Stephen Cameron was the next Wildcat in, Stephen has been improving by leaps and bounds the last few weeks, and he dropped his PR under 19 minutes with a great race. On Wednesday Brogan Terry had a rough race as he dealt with a head cold…but he bounced back in a huge way with a big time lifetime PR as he hung tough on a chilly Friday night. Next in was our only runner making his debut, track specialist Gavin Schnowske made his racing debut and was able to crack the 20 minute barrier, this strength will pay off in the spring in the 400. The freshman duo of Diego Arce and Troy Henschen continue their steady improvement as they both ran PRs as they just missed out on breaking 20 minutes. Gabe Ibarra used an aggressive start to set the tone as he was able to run a lifetime PR as well. Thomas Coleman dropped nearly a minute PR as he just missed out on breaking 23, after missing a race on Wednesday, he bounced back in a big way with an epic race. Next in for the Wildcats was Aden Veljacic who has improved tremendously this season with a PR after his first race of 33 minutes and now he is running 25:44!
The girls open showed the power of the pack. The highlight for this race was when Cyan Bradley nominated Marissa Jacobs for Runner of the Week because of what an encouraging teammate she was during the race. That is the power of TEAM. Alyssa Link took advantage of a great night of racing to go out and run a new PR, despite some injury set backs this season, Alyssa has shown steady improvement all year. Next in was a strong pack of 4, with Kayla DeFano, Marissa Jacobs, Isabelle Reyes and Cyan Bradley, all 4 girls used the energy and encouragement from one another to go out and run 4 season best times. I love watching a TEAM effort in cross country, I was so proud to watch this 4 push each other. Kayla DeFano used an aggressive 3rd mile to lead this group in, followed closing by Marissa and Isabelle, and Cyan showed her signature kick to finish strong with another season best time. Next in was Paige Hart, unlike Monday Paige decided to stay on her feet in this race and not get tripped up, and that strategy worked as Paige ran a great race and a new season best time.
The first race of varsity was runners 6 through 10 in your line up. And just like the previous race it was all about the power of the pack. Alexis Pacholski set the tone for the girls as she was aggressive from the gun coming through the mile faster than she has all season, she fought and battled the entire way and it paid off in a lifetime PR! Syliva Magemeneas and Lydia Velezquez were next, running shoulder to shoulder the whole way, before the race I heard Syliva say she wanted to break 22 and with a big sprint finish she was able to do that, Lydia finished next just over 22, both lifetime bests! Danielle Dybas was aggressive but a lingering injury impacted her race, but she still fought hard and helped to push Allison Behounek as they both finished just over 23 minutes.
The boys 6-10 were shot out of a cannon to start the race as they put guys in the top 3 positions through the half mile mark. Luke Adair set the pace and absolutely went for it, lead the race through the halfway point before starting to struggle, but he fought through and finished in 7th with a new PR. Next in was Michael Kawa who hung tough after a hot first mile. Raymond Churchill executed a great race as he slowly moved through the field to finish just behind Michael and run a new lifetime PR. Tyler Weir was aggressive from the start and faded but was able to break 18 minutes for just the second time in his life. Adrian Castillo rounded out the scoring for the boys with a race just off his PR.
The girls top 5 again raced as a strong back, with Hannah Kilday setting the tone up front and moving up well with pretty even splits to run just outside her lifetime PR (2nd fastest race every). Bridget Kemp and Selah Fornelli ran stride for stride the whole race and the power of running with a teammate carried them to season best times and first time under 21 minutes this season. Injury and illness have hampered the Cassie Salkas and Carrie Kraft this last few weeks, but they showed some serious grit, but Cassie running a season best time, and Carrie running a strong race to earn Runner of the Week accolades from her teammates.
The top 5 varsity boys had a plan going in to stay together as a tight pack and they did just that, they were all within 25 seconds at the 2 mile mark. Tyler Schick established himself in the final mile as he moved to finish in the top 10 and break 15:50 for the first time. Harlan Matson was not at his best, but showed mental toughness to hang tough and be our second finisher. In his first race since a bad sprained ankle Arnold Arce showed toughness to run his second fastest time ever. Ubaldo Rodriguez continues his improvement as being a key cog in the varsity line up as he ran a 19 second PR as our #4. Tanner Torri rounded things out with a huge PR as well, Tanner was told he needed to get out aggressive and he did just that and then was able to pass 2 runners from the team that finished 2nd place overall to help secure the team victory for the Wildcats.
Thanks to the power of team running the boys won this meet for the second year in a row. Confidence is high as the TEAM ran their best races of the season. SPC Championship on the horizon the boys and girls are ready to roll.