Midwest Distance Classic Recap: Quality Over Quantity

Chris Conrad (left photo) and Cole Johnson battled all the way to the end




The total number of entries were not as large as many of the post-season school distance only affairs for a variety of reasons. But whatever the reason is those in attendance got the most of a solid production. It was a bit windy Saturday evening at Illinois Benedictine University in Lisle. The core temperature was warm but times matched up well overall.


2k steeplechase: The seldom run event during regular high school meets is a favorite among distance runners who like challenges. Ben Ewert (Sr., Beavercreek, OH) is a veteran in this event, competing in over 20 competitions, including the last three USATF Junior Olympic National Championships. Ewert made quick work of Brayden Hamblen (Sr., Rock Falls) and won in US#2 5:58.89. Ewert will now head off to steeplechase rich the University of Louisville in the fall.

800m: The race of evening occurred here as pre-meet favorite Chris Conrad (Sr., O'Fallon) got everything he wanted including a suprise loss to Cole Johnson (Jr., Rockford, MI). Conrad got out well and controlled the race for about 550m until Johnson pulled even briefly and then ahead just past the 600m mark. Johnson's previous best was 1:52.99 but dropped it down to a state best and now US#15 1:50.72. Conrad's consolation prize was a solid 1:50.95 clocking.

3200m: Clayton Adams (Sr., Kearney MO) avenged his only loss in this event with a personal best 8:58.47. He did by acting as his own rabbit leading a fast pace out of the gate. He proceeded to stretch out the pace with a first mile in 4:29. Ryan Murphy (Sr., Linn-Marr, IA) presented a brief challenge and actually led for a split second before quickly falling back to finish second in 9:00.79. Logan Hall (Jr., Arthur) ran well finishing 4th in a personal best 9:05.75, matching his idol former Oakwood great Jon Davis. Hall said his seasonal goal was to match Day's junior year time.

1600m: Illinois' best named "Clayton" is Clayton Mendez (Jr., Chicago Whitney Young) and he likes to front run. He witnessed the pacesetter take things out in a slow 2:07 and change for the first half. He motored the final two laps in break neck pace to run a six second personal best 4:11.26. 

Savannah Noethlich (#8 tag) needed a strong finishing kick to snatch victory from defeat


2k steeplechase: It runs in the family as little sister Taylor Ewert (Fr., Beavercreek) ran ahead of her brother Ben Ewert in defeating Abigail Juedemann (So., St. Louis Lindbergh) 7:24.40-7:27.84. 

800: Role player, relay runner has been Savannah Noethlich's role the past three years at part of the New Trier team. But the truth of the matter is she is a talented young lady. She finally busted out Saturday evening in come from behind fashion. Noethlich bust off the final turn and surpassed 1A state champion Urbana U High junior Arielle Summitt (2:13.95) and South Dakota state champion junior Tori Glazier (2:13.99). Noethlich's 2:13.74 ends her season IL#7. Check out Noethlich's kick of the week.

1600: Enyaeva Michelin (Jr., Evanston) continues to impress race after race. She followed the pacesetter as scripted for the first two laps before taking over the controls. it appeared as though Michelin toyed with Arielle Summitt who doubled back from the 800. Michelin used some speed of her own down the stretch to run a lifetime best 5:03.47.