Championship Season Underway

Saturday, October 14 2023 - SPC Championship

It is an honor to get to compete in the SPC, one of the strongest conferences in the entire state of Illinois. In order to be one of the best teams in the state, you have to learn to compete against the best. The incoming rain caused some changes to the schedule of the morning, and the varsity girls got our day started.

Hannah Kilday has led the girls’ team all season and Friday was no different, Hannah was a little conservative at the start hitting the half mile mark in about 26th place with Bridget Kemp close behind. Hannah stayed patient and moved up one place at a time the rest of the way and finished in 16th place earning an All-Conference spot. Bridget Kemp kept her momentum going from recent races as she ran her 2nd fastest time ever on a soggy, muddy day. Cyan Bradley did not feel her best before the race, but Cyan has grown so much as a runner this season, despite some doubts before the race she competed hard and ran a very strong race as our 3 runner. Allison Behounek has been remarkably steady this season. She put in a massive summer of training and her race results have reflected that in amazing ways. Our next three in were working together with the power of the pack. Lydia Velazquez has been growing with confidence as of late, she was able to break 22 for the 2nd time in 2 weeks. Racing her 2nd varsity race in 2 weeks, the stage was not too big for the freshman as she continues to learn to race. Alexis Pacholski rounded out the race for the girls, Alexis used the momentum from last week to come in and run another strong race.

The boys were next up, Tyler Schick has learned a lot this season about dealing with adversity having to balance some nagging hip issues the last two months but he has continued to put together big races for the team each time he has toed the line and SPC was no different, Tyler just missed All-Conference by a few seconds but it was a great chance to compete against the best in the state. Harlan Matson was next in with his best race of the year, Harlan is coming into shape at just the right time as we prep for the post-season. Ubaldo Rodriguez is a gamer, when the gun goes off Ubaldo lays it all on the line and has seen continued improvement each race. Arnold Arce hit a bad step about a half mile in and turned an ankle but he battled hard the rest of the way to finish strong for his teammates. Luke Adair got out aggressive but faded and had to fight to finish strong. Micah Ruland was next in, with another strong race, a first year junior, Micah has been a huge addition to the team not only on the course but also off as well. Raymond Churchill rounded out the race for the varsity boys.

The rest of the meet thing got hectic with both sets of races (F/S and Open) starting within 5 minutes of each other as the ran began to fall much harder. Brady Husak led the F/S boys out strong with Troy Henschen sitting right in his wake. Troy was able to continue to press the second half and come away with a lifetime PR on a very slow day with course conditions. Brady was next in for the team. Dominik Barrios ran like a beast the second half of the race leading to a lifetime PR for him as well. Thomas Coleman was with Dom for the first half of the race and hung tough as the team’s 4th finisher. Guilian Salas has dropped nearly 5 minutes in the past month and Friday was no different as he ran a :40 second PR to break 23 minutes for the first time. Ezequiel Ocegueda was next in as he broke 27 for the 2nd time in a week, very impressive for someone who started the season in the 33 minute range!

The girls race played out very similar at the front as freshman Sophie Salkas ran with new found confidence to lead the team at the start, Sylvia Magemeneas was next out for the Wildcats. Sylvia caught Sophie at the half way point as they worked together the rest of the way. Syliva finished as the top finisher for the team with one of her strongest races of the season. Sophie was next in with a 2nd amazing race in a week. Emily Fannin had a huge breakthrough at Lakes and continued that momentum with a great race at SPC. Alyssa Link has been dealing with some knee discomfort but for someone tough as nails that didn’t deter her from running a strong race. Ashlynn Sabatini was next in, battling the rain and wind on a muddy course to run a very strong race.

Adrian Castillo quietly puts in hard work every day. His improvement as a runner is a testament to that work. Adrian ran 22:35 on this same course (in very good conditions) his freshman year, this year in a sloppy, muddy, mess he ran 17:45. Hard work, works! Colin Elder was next up running a strong race, Colin has run his best races of his high school career towards the end of his senior year, something he should be very proud of. Stephen Cameron finished as the third runner in the open race with a strong race, Stephen’s wrestler toughness comes out especially strong on a muddy day. Gabe Ibarra kept his PR train rolling, breaking 19:30 for the first time. Next in were a pair of our “sprint crew” Jake Michel and Bryan Underwood, both guys will be a big part of our sprint relays this spring and have done XC to gain some additional strength. Tyler Weir battled a cramp to finish next. Michael Kazak was the next finisher, running just over 20 minutes, Michael’s steady improvement has been a testament to his hard work. Aden Veljacic was next, slipping and sliding in the mud the whole way. Next up was 3 more of the spring crew, Kalib Smith improved nearly 3 minutes since last he raced. Brogan Terry was next in, running a strong race. Tyler West rounded out the race for the team with a good run as well.

The open girls were 3 strong, and all three ran tough races. Bri Mosinski has been on a tear as of late running multiple lifetime bests in the last few weeks, unfortunately course conditions were not kind for PRs, but she ran a tough race. Isabelle Reyes ran one of her best races of the year, sticking tough with Bri the whole way. Kayla DeFano was the next in for the team battling the tough course conditions and overcoming a busted knee from a tough fall on a slick course.

The team competed hard from the top to the bottom, and each and every athlete should be proud of themselves.

Next up, Frosh/Soph boys meet on Tuesday and then Regionals at home on Saturday.