The Fab Five

Sunday, October 30 2022 - IHSA Sectional

Sectionals brings a unique magic. So much hope of creating a special moment. The teams battling for the win, the individuals for the win, but really the magic is with those teams and individuals trying to receive those coveted parking passes for next weekend and with them a birth to the state finals.

We had two girls on the line in Normal, Bridget Kemp and Hannah Kilday. They have been leading the way for us all year, and we couldn’t ask for two better representatives of our program than those two on Saturday. The plan was for them to found a good spot and then utilize strategic openings on the narrow course to move up a group at a time. Both girls did a great job of executing this plan. They got out controlled and together and then proceeded to move right up a group at a time. Both girls finished just off their lifetime best times, but finished with two strong efforts that they can be proud of to end the season. Both girls will be back next year, and the future looks very bright for the Wildcats.

Three Wildcats were on the line for the boys race: Harlan Matson, Arnold Arce, and Tyler Schick. The guys knew going in what it would take to advance to next week. All three saw it as an obtainable goal. Tyler and Arnold were planning to get out aggressive with Harlan using a strategy that has worked well for him, waiting back and making his move the second half of the race. All three got out well. At the mile and a half Tyler was in just under 40th with Harland and Arnold in the low 50s place wise. All three about 10 spots outside of qualifying as individuals. Unfortunately for Arnold and Harlan their legs didn’t have what it took but they both can be very proud of the race they ran and the season that they had. Both will be back and will be a strong part of a 1, 2, 3 punch. Tyler Schick started to move through the field just after the halfway point, with about 1200 meters to go he had moved into the top 30 and just outside of qualifying spot as an individual. The final 4 minutes of racing despite a post on the course gashing his shoulder, Tyler stormed past two big groups of runners and fought all the way to the finish line for a 25th place finish and securing his spot as the 6th individual not on a qualifying team and a birth to the state meet next weekend. Tyler becomes the first individual to qualify for the state finals since 2003, and the first athlete in PHS history to race at the state meet twice (team qualifiers last year).