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Saturday, September 2 2023 - Wildcat Invite

Running a good race on your home course is a big deal, every year the team brings their best when we toe the line at The Wildcat Invitational. The team had a busy week with The City Championship on Tuesday and then a quick turnaround with another race Saturday morning.

The frosh/soph boys got the day going with some strong performances. Two athletes made their cross country debut and three who raced on Tuesday took advantage of the chance to run a PR. Congratulations to Ezequiel Ocegueda and Lucas Reyes who completed their first race. Freshman Brady Husak has been a quick learner and took a risk and came away with a time 1:24 seconds faster than Tuesday! Thomas Coleman ran a lifetime PR dropping his previous PR from 23:05 down to 22:26, and sophomore Guilian Salas dropped his PR from Tuesday’s 27:21 to 26:16.

It was the girl’s turn next to make their way through the course. The team saw great pack running and some very strong PRs. Both Sylvia Magemeneas (:56) and Alyssa Link (2:36) saw big improvements from their race on Tuesday as they ran shoulder to shoulder the whole way. Next up was a pack of three freshman all running their second race with Emily Fannin improving 1:19 from Tuesday, Sophie Salkas improving 1:27, the power of the pack was strong with Ella Ruland driving the pace the whole way. Ashlynn Sabatini was next in as she improved her time from Tuesday by 2:14!

The varsity boys ran a great team race to finish 2nd overall. The beauty of team racing is when someone struggles someone else can step up. Luke Adair stepped up in a big way running a :33 PR to finish 19th overall. Tyler Schick led the way with a low stick for the team with a 3rd place finish, running a time equivalent to Tuesday’s PR. Harlan Matson was next in with a slight improvement from Tuesday. Ubaldo Rodriguez ran a season best time to round out the scoring. Adrian Castillo inched ever closer to sub 18 with an 18:02 finish time. And a big shout out to Micah Ruland who stepped in last minute to run varsity in his second ever XC race as he dropped his time from 18:42 down to 18:09.

The varsity girls had some great individual performances as Hannah Kilday ran 19:22, the fastest 3 mile time a PHS athlete has run since 2011. Bridget Kemp was next in, running a PR of 20:28. Both Hannah and Bridget decided to run track last spring and they have both seen the huge impact of both an extra 5 months of training, but also 5 months of learning more about racing. Allison Behounek continues with her very strong start to the season, running a lifetime PR of 22:24. Next in was Lydia Velazquez who ran a strong race for a season best in her 2nd varsity race, improving a 1:12 from Tuesday.

The open boys brough home some hardware and some PRs. Tyler Weir led the way in 4th place! Next in was Jake Michel who lowered his time from Tuesday in his 2nd ever XC race. Colin Elder improved nearly 90 seconds from Tuesday to earn a medal, and Stephen Cameron rounded out the medals with a 10 second improvement from Tuesday. Next on the PR train was Gabe Ibarra who broke 22 minutes for the first time. The continued amazing improvement of Aden Veljacic may have been the story of the day, after a 1:00 lifetime PR on Tuesday, Aden dropped almost another 2 minutes off his PR today!

The open girls race saw Isabelle Reyes and Brianna Mosinski both run shoulder to shoulder and come away with season best times. Isabelle dropped 25 seconds from Tuesday and Bri improved :25 as well!

Overall the team had 30 athletes run at both The City Championships and The Wildcat Invitational and 25 of them ran faster today (in much hotter conditions). Every race is a chance to push yourself and learn how to deal in discomfort.

The team is back in action on Wednesday at Joliet West.