The Libertyville Invite was a challenge but it was also alot of fun for the athletes
The Libertyville Invitational at Adler Park this weekend was pretty hilly. Get it? From people falling into creeks, to coaches running in bear costumes, this meet was packed with nothing but excitement. But, while it was all fun and games for the most part, after talking with a few of the winners, this weekend was definitely a challenge for everyone.
Every week I tend to ask if the athlete I'm interviewing had a personal record of sorts. Whether it was by 10 seconds or 10 minutes, someone usually says yes or says that they were very close. Understanding that not every race will produce a new personal best, it's crazy to hear that none of these top athletes came close. I spoke with the winners of the girls JV race, Sydney Kitzmiller (Sr., Prospect) and Cori Drew (Jr., Prospect), and they both clocked in around 21 minutes. When I asked about their records both of them said they could easily run between 18 and 19 minutes. That's a three-minute gap! I guess we can just blame Bertha. Bertha is the big hill on the course that the Libertyville team has named. Watch the Alex Tam interview to find out the story behind the name.
But personal records aren't everything.The majority of these athletes told me they knew that even though their times were slower than usual, they felt the race itself and how they managed the inclines were excellent. A common theme by these athletes was they wish their teams and teammates were there with them at the end so they could finish the race together. Even though they didn't finish together, some teams *cough* New Trier and Prospect *cough* were packed up through the first two miles or so. It was exciting to see as they fed off each others energy to keep pushing through the end. If this meet could be described by any one word it would be teamwork.
Overall, the Libertyville Invite was a great exercise of team camaraderie and comedy. I guess you can say the runners got up the hills tirelessly. Get it because people don't have tires? I guess my comedic career won't be taking off anytime soon but I'll see you guys next time. Keep an eye on the winners of the meet to see how their talents take off through the rest of the season.