Just ask our Varsity. After the DVC Title had been decided by relatively comfortable margins the past couple of years, the 2017 race came down to a lean at the end of a final sprint, a surge past a determined, focused competitor. Two talented teams scrapping like alley cats for position. As he has all season, Zach Kinne (14:50) led the charge, with the Wheaton-Warrenville South team keying off 4th place Ryan Kennedy (15:04), effectively earning a tie through the first four places. The race was then to be determined by each team’s 3-4-5, with Wheaton South’s #3 sneaking in two places before Chris Keeley (15:12). Danny Winek (15:23) struck next, and Alex Johnson (15:30) stepped in just ahead of Wheaton South’s #4. By the time Tyler Bombacino (15:32) and Dakota Getty (16:02) finished, the score favored the Wildcats by three points. Two teams’ seasons, built of millions of inches, and it all came down to the last clutch.
That is the thing about 190,080 inches, of course. Stretched out before you at age 14, they seem infinite. There’s no way you’ll ever run them all. But the gun is raised, the shot calls out, and off you go. Across the field, around the flag. Into the woods, and out again. Hill and dale, shale and lea. On, on, on—faster, harder, as your coaches, your friends, your parents cheer you on. Until all of a sudden, there’s the chute, the strip, the end of the race. Eighteen years old already. All those inches gone. And not a one was wasted.