Wheaton South Girls, Neuqua Valley Boys Win Close Battles At Richard Spring Invite

Katelynne Hart explains her victory in a flash

Detweiller Park; Peoria, IL

Coming into the Richard Spring Invitational hosted by Peoria Notre Dame High School, the theme was "hot" as in it's hot! Above average temperatures greeted the midwestern city of Peoria with climes well above the 80F mark all weekend. It did not help that virtually everyone kept reminding the athletes of how hot it was.

At PND, the girls cycle of races go first with freshman-sophomore followed by varsity. Talented freshman Lyndsay Wolters of Normal University set the tone running a swift 18:28 and winning by over 20 seconds.

Katelynne Hart (So, Glenbard West) was ready to make her 2017 Detweiller debut. After dazzling the faithful at Lake Park last weekend, the talk was whether she would go after the all-time meet record of 15:53 set two years ago by the former Naperville North great Judy Pendergast during the state championship. Right away Hart chased after a rogue runner who led for almost the opening straight. Soon the comfy 2:35 initial half-mile gave an indication that all bets for a record were off. Hart hit the first mile checkpoint in 5:20- 15 seconds ahead of teammate Lindsey Payne (Sr.). As the race moved to the back loop better known as the "Bermuda Triangle," it appeared as though Hart was on cruise control. She donned a pair a racing/training flats instead of spikes. So, in essence it was a hard "training run" for Hart. As Hart moved through 2m in 10:57, Payne was trying to fight off Madison "Maddie" Marasco (Sr., Schaumburg). Both talented girls had worked together up to this point along with a trailing Isabelle Sparreo (Sr., Stevenson). 

Hart would cruise home ahead of her peers in a smooth like 16:35 with hardly a sweat being broken. Payne steamed past the finish line in a very encouraging 2nd and season best 17:12. Marasco was pleased with her invitational opening 17:22. She had previously been training and was testing and college visiting in recent weekends. Sparreo has been working her way back from some injuries over the past season. She ran a spirited race from beginning to end. Overall, only five girls broke 18:00 compared to 13 last year. This field was more talented coming in, but the weather obviously had something to do with that.

1Katelynne Hart10 Glenbard West High School16:35.501
2Lindsey Payne12 Glenbard West High School17:12.702
3Madison Marasco12 Schaumburg High School17:22.003
4Isabelle Sparreo12 Stevenson High School17:30.704
5Katie Hohe11 Glenbard West High School17:38.505

The team race on paper predicted that #4 Glenbard West would be the winner with minimal resistance. One of those challengers #12 Wheaton-Warrenville South had other thoughts in their sights. But when the favored Hilltoppers put three runners inside the top five, an easy victory seemed like a slam dunk. Usually the big 1-5 split has been a non factor with Hart and Payne racing, but such is the case is new team ace Mia Rucoba (So.) who was able to finish 8th overall and start the tight scoring split sooner. As it were the 36-second second split. The Tigers banded strong over the final mile and hit a deadlock 128-128 and won the first place trophy on the sixth girl finisher. If things came to the seventh runner (hypothetically) Wheaton South would have still won easily. Glenbard West has now got a very serious concern at the #5 spot and there doesn't appear to be any reinforcments coming anytime soon.

#17 Palatine continues its reloading phase that took place two seasons ago. Coach Joe Parks team may be a threat for top 5 status come November. Freshman Ann Marie Jordan stepped up big time and placed 12th overall. Her teammates were able to get the job done with a 51 second split.

Unranked Oswego East not only outstaged their rivals across town #14 Oswego, they were able to land a big 4th place finish in a great meet. Senior Abby Flammersfeld placed 13th overall. Oswego was led by senior Grace Pagone in 15th place.

1Glenbard West High School1281+2+5+34+86 (104+212)2:41 1-5 Split | 17:52 Avg
2Wheaton Warrenville South High School1288+20+31+33+36 (46+55)0:35 1-5 Split | 18:30 Avg
3Palatine High School13112+14+17+28+60 (114+165)0:51 1-5 Split | 18:26 Avg
4Oswego East High School23513+39+49+59+75 (115+154)1:00 1-5 Split | 18:46 Avg
5Oswego High School26215+44+65+66+72 (149+190)0:57 1-5 Split | 18:51 Avg