Momentum is Contagious

Saturday, October 7 2023 - Lakes Twilight

Momentum is contagious. Friday night at the Lakes Twilight Invitational was no different. The first race of the day got things rolling with some great races and that momentum carried through the rest of the night. A night that was historic for the Wildcats.

Hannah Kilday toed the line on Friday as the 6th fastest girl in PHS history, 18:21 later she was THE fastest. Hannah ran a brilliant race, getting out aggressive and coming through the 2 mile mark in 12:04, this was unknown territory for Hannah, but she continued to fight and closed the race for a 13th place finish. Some other fun facts about Hannah’s run, she is the first girl since 2011 to break 19 minutes and the 5th to ever do it. Congratulations to Hannah!

Bridget Kemp was the next across the line running a massive personal best, 19:16. BK has been growing with confidence the last few weeks and has been goals in the coming weeks. Cyan Bradley finished 3rd on the team, breaking 21 for the first time, Cyan came into the season with a PR of 23:19. Cyan has done a great job of continuing to work on the mental side of racing and it is paying off in big ways. Allison Behounek was close on the heels of Cyan. Allison has been tremendously steady all season and she continues to take big chunks off her PR, and Lakes was no different with a 21:09. Ella Ruland made her varsity debut as a freshman, and the stage was not one that was too big for Ella, she stuck her nose in right away and hung tough with Cyan and Allison for the first 2 plus miles. She had to battle to the finish, but she battled her way to a near :50 PR. The girls finished 8th overall improving 6 places from last year’s performance at Lakes.

The 6-10 runner race had some amazing strong performances on the girl’s side as well. Alexis Pacholski has been slowly regaining confidence the last few races. Alexis broke out in a big way on Friday, running a time nearly 2 minutes faster than she has run all year and securing a lifetime PR. Lydia Velazquez was next in, breaking through the 22 minute barrier for the first time. Sophie Salkas was in hot pursuit of Lydia as she was able to break 22 minutes as well. Alyssa Link and Sylvia Magemeneas both battled tough to round out this race for the team.

The story on the boy’s side was the power of the pack. The top 5 boys race saw a great 33 second split from the team’s first finisher to their 5th. Tyler Schick was back strong for his first race in nearly a month. He was not race sharp but put himself in a good position to build confidence in the coming weeks. Arnold Arce and Luke Adair were shoulder to shoulder the entire way clicking off pretty even splits that resulted in two new PRs for both guys. Ubaldo Rodriguez stayed within striking distance the whole way as he crossed the line with a new PR as well. Harlan Matson was just a stride behind Ubaldo to finish out the scoring. The power of the pack will pay big dividends in the coming weeks.

The 6-10 race on the boys side saw an epic finish from Raymond Churchill and Micah Ruland. Raymond has had some monster workouts recently and was brimming with confidence on the line, Micah was primed with a chance to compete against other team’s 6th runners. Both guys took advantage of the opportunity. Raymond hung back from Micah, joining him with 1200 meters to go and they were inseparable the final 300 with Micah pulling away the final 3 strides as both guys broke 17 for the first time. Adrian Castillo was next in, just off his lifetime PR from a few weeks ago. Colin Elder has been on a tear lately and was finally able to crack 18 for the first time, running 17:55. Brady Husak was able to take advantage of a chance to race with varsity as a freshman and came away with a new PR as well to close out the race.

The open race got the momentum started as every athlete who raced ran a personal best! 13 for 13! Stephen Cameron was aggressive from the start and stayed consistent in the middle and was rewarded with a new PR by about 14 seconds. Gabe Ibarra has made the decision to really focus on staying consistent and committed to training this season and it paid off again with a PR. Michael Kazak was able to crack 20 for the first time and run nearly a 40 second PR, Michael’s improvement since the beginning of track last spring has been remarkable, going from being an 8 minute miler to now running in the 19:30s. Troy Henschen has been working on building confidence throughout the race and he was able to do that very successfully and broke 20 for the first time as well. Dominik Barrios and Thomas Coleman were side by side the whole way until Dom pulled away the final 100 meters, but having your teammate push you, help both guys come away with PRs. Emily Fannin ran with a confidence we haven’t seen all season, she pushed hard from the start and stayed on the pace the whole way, she ran nearly a 2 minute PR! Aden Veljacic had another step in his incredible improvement as a runner going from someone who started last year running most races in the 33 to 35 minute range to now running 22:45! Guilain Salas is a new XC runner this season and every race learns a little more about pushing himself, and that paid off with a hug new PR of nearly a minute. Brianna Mosinski crushed her race and broke 24 for the first time, she dropped her PR nearly a minute this week at Will Co and then Lakes. Isabelle Reyes was next through the chute with a solid :10 PR on the season. Kayla DeFano ran with confidence and it also resulted in a strong PR. Ezequiel Ocegueda broke 30 for the first time in Peoria a few weeks ago, at Lakes not only did he break 29 for the first time, he also broke 28, and 27! A huge run from Zeke who has been incredibly consistent every day at practice.

The opportunity to compete is a gift and the Wildcats put their best effort forward on Friday night.

The team is back in action next Friday at the SPC Championship at Channahon Community Park.