Best Race When it Matters MostMonday, November 7 2022 - IHSA State Finals
Cross Country is about competing in the conditions you are presented with, as an athlete you have no control over those conditions, you just have control over how you respond. The 2022 IHSA State Championship brought rain, wind, and LOTS of mud, not ideal to run fast, but ideal to race with strength, and grit.
Tyler Schick was the lone Wildcat on the lane at Detweiler Park, that alone can be a challenge. For the first time Tyler did not have teammates along side him as he prepared to run. Thankful he had a great support crew all weekend (Harlan, Arnold, Adrian, Luke and Ubaldo).
Going into the race Tyler was coming along very well with training, we knew he was ready to have a break out race. Before we knew the weather was not going to cooperate a 20-30 second lifetime best was definitely in the cards. Instead, his race became about getting his best on the day and compete. On paper Tyler should have finished somewhere in the 140-160 range for place.
The gun went off and as usual at State a mad dash to the candy cane pole at 500, Tyler found a good spot where he had space to move and not getting out too aggressive. Coming through the mile in 5:08 and in 138th place. As Tyler made the turn in the back triangle, you could see how relaxed he looked ready to press in the back. By the 2 mile Tyler had moved up 34 places to 104th and still looking strong. As Tyler turned down hwy 29 with 1200 to go he continued to put the pedal down as he moved steadily through everyone in front of him. The final stretch was a slick mud path and Tyler found his best possible footing and passed at least 6 people in the final 100 meters and ended his day in 85th place overall. Passing 53 people the final two miles and improving his place by 138 places from last year’s state performance.
A terrific end to a wonderful season for Tyler, and he still has 1 more crack at Detweiler next fall.