Survive and Advance

Tuesday, October 24 2023 - IHSA Regional

Toeing the line at Regionals the goal is to execute a race that advances on to Sectionals. That was what the Wildcats were tasked with on Saturday at our home course. Both the girls and boys teams knew going in what it would take to advance on to Sectionals. It was going to take a strong race from top to bottom.

The girls were up first. Hannah Kilday took the race out aggressive knowing she had to mix it up with the top runners in the Regional to get a low number to start our scoring. Hannah battled hard the second half of the race to finish 15th place. Bridget Kemp has set her goal of keeping the gap between herself and Hannah as close as possible, and every week she has closed that gap. Regionals was no different, as BK finished just under 30 seconds behind Hannah, to give the girls a strong score upfront. Allison Behounek has been incredibly consistent this season, every time Allison raced we knew she was going to bring a great race, and Regionals was no different. Allison battled hard from the start to the finish as our 3rd finisher. Next in was Cyan Bradley and Ella Ruland who finished stride for stride as our 4th and 5th runners. Ella did a great job of closing the gap on Cyan the last mile and encouraging her teammate to stick with her. Ella has shown leadership beyond her freshman level experience this season, and has been a great addition to the varsity line up. Cyan dealt with some injury set backs but has shown great improvement in her mental approach to racing this season. Lydia Velazquez was next in battling some injuries herself this week. Alexis Pacholski has had an up and down season, but battled tough until the end of each race. When the final scores were tallied unfortunately the girls missed advancing on to Sectionals by 4 points. A good reminder that every place matters. Despite the team not advancing, Hannah Kilday and Bridget Kemp both qualified as individuals to Sectionals. Both girls will get a chance to try to qualify for the State Championship.

The boys race was next, they knew they would be in a strong battle to advance to Sectionals. Tyler Schick took the lead for the pack, but did not feel his best. At the mile mark Luke Adair took the initiative to lead the team, he passed Tyler and encouraged him to stick with. Tyler was able to hang tough until the last 50 meters where he passed Luke as they both finished within 1 second of each other. Luke being aggressive and Tyler’s toughness to stick with even when he felt it was an off-day allowed for a strong start to the scoring for the Wildcats. Ubaldo Rodriguez was next up, Ubaldo slowing moved his way through the field the second half of the race to finish as the teams 3rd runner. Harlan Matson and Arnold Arce were 4th and 5th on the day, both guys hung tough and finished within a second of each other as well. Overall the team had a split between the 1st finisher and the 5th finisher of 24 seconds. That small gap was the key to the team advancing on to Sectionals. Micah Ruland continues his strong improvement in his first cross country season, finishing as the team’s 6th runner. Adrian Castillo rounded out the day for the Wildcats as the 7th finisher. The guys ran well enough to finish 5th place and advancing on to Sectionals next week where they will have a chance to become just the 2nd team in school history to advance on to the State Finals.