With temperatures already inching into the mid-80's by 11:00 am, the Varsity competitors created a veritable dust bowl as they blazed down the rock solid ground of Detweiller Park. Zach Kinne, alongside Logan Hall, chased Dylan Jacobs for the entirety of the race. Ryan Kennedy settled very comfortably and aggressively into the chase pack, and Danny Winek began to show the impressive inklings of his superstar running talent as he continues his return from injury. Chris Keeley, Michael Madiol, and Alex Johnson fought as a pack against the conditions, and Tyler Bombacino was unfortunately hampered by blister-ridden feet. Though Kinne passed Logan Hall in the final 1200, Hall came back to take the runner-up position, and Kinne placed 3rd at 14:39.4. This time ranks him as one of only 9 runners in Neuqua Valley history to ever run 14:39 or faster. Some of those names include the Derrick brothers, Chris and Mark, along with Connor Horn, Danny Pawola, and Jack Jett. Clearly, he is among some rare air with those talented runners! Kennedy pushed hard through the final mile and came through the finish in 19th place at 15:08. Winek was through the timing mats in 30th place for 15:26, and Keeley was just behind him in 32nd place for 15:27. Madiol impressively held close to his teammates for 37th place and 15:30. Johnson was feeling the heat and humidity in the final half mile and closed his race in 57th place for 15:47. Bombacino finished in 118th place at 16:12. When his numerous blisters heel, he will be right back in the pack.
The team race proved once again how tough Wheaton Warrenville South and Hersey really are. Only 13 points separated the top 3 teams. Our hats go off to those impressive teams, and we look forward to racing them again down the road.
Given the conditions and the enormity of the race, placing 10th among 48 Frosh / Soph teams is absolutely an achievement. These young men still need to commit to racing together through the pain and struggle of miles 2 and 3. They will have that opportunity this coming Monday as the Frosh / Soph team travels to Elmhurst for the York Frosh / Soph Invitational. We will see some of the same teams just two days later.
The starter's gun sounded at high noon to signal the start of the Open race with temperatures now nearing 90 degrees. It is races such as these that demonstrate the depth of Neuqua Valley Cross Country. According to the official results, 817 runners accounting for 37 different teams competed in this race. A perfect score in a Cross County race is 15 points, meaning that a single team takes the top 5 individual places. On this day, in these conditions, among so many talented athletes, Neuqua Valley runners accounted for 6 of the top 10 runners, and they scored a mere 17 points. The 2nd place team, Naperville Central, accrued 108 points. Yes, we defeated them by 91 points in a race that included nearly 1000 runners. Wow...just wow!
Congratulations to individual champion Dakota Getty for his impressive victory in 15:58. Keenan Ginell was the runner-up in 16:11. Michael O'Connor (3rd, 16:14) and Quinton Quagliano (4th, 16:15) raced together and helped to push everyone to great performances. Continuing their sophomore year pattern, Spener Teske (7th, 16:29) and Nick Drechsler (8th, 16:31) were together from the gun to the final stride toward the finish. Each of these young men are vying for top Varsity positions, and all the miles these past summer months are beginning to pay off for them. There were many, MANY more personal bests and amazing races on Saturday. With 75 total runners in this race, it's difficult to highlight everyone, but we will certainly try as the season progresses. We're very happy that everyone came through these conditions successfully and healthy!
Meet Recap by Mike Newman
Photos Via our Facebook Page
Daily Herald Article
Zach Kinne Interview