The start of the varsity boys race at Washington Park
If it's not the course, it's something else. In this case, it was the weather. With temperatures reaching 90 and above today, the meet was forced to be moved up by and hour and cut short. But the teams found their own interesting ways to be the heat. Deerfield decided to sing along to the hit One Direction song "What You Beautiful" to distract themselves from the sun's rays. A runner from Rockford Christian, sophomore Riley Wells who won varsity boys, was handed a bottle of water while racing which he used to throw over himself to stay cool. One team even used their flag to circulate some cool air while waiting for their race. Needless to say, the meet was interesting in more ways than one but that didn't stop these top athletes from taking what's theirs. First place.
The first race of the day was the girls freshman/sophomore three mile. Beginning at 8 am, none of the girls seemed to look tired. Maybe they saw me fall off the gator before the meet started and that woke them up a bit because it definitely woke me up. The race was between freshman Marley Kravitz of Whitney Young, sophomore Kaylani Esteban of Solorio, and new runner sophomore Alana Berry of Whitney Young. They stayed packed together until the two-mile mark. Berry began to break away from the pack in big strides in order to show the runners she was not to be messed with. But she didn't seem tired at all as she came through that final half mile. She was alone at the finish as Esteban, who took second, followed behind her 28 seconds later.
Speaking of being all alone, that's exactly how Matthew Sullivan, a sophomore of Payton College Prep, took his win. At the beginning, it was freshman Nathan Kochera of St. Viator who decided to break from the runners first. He wasted no time sealing his first place spot for the first mile or so. Sullivan was in the chase pack comfortably until the mile mark, where he started to break away and get on Kocera's heels. It only took about a half mile after for Sullivan to secure his first place spot. He came through the finish racing with nothing but the clock at a 17:37.
Newcomer Marianne Mihas was on the go from the competition as soon as the gun spoke
Then came the varsity races. The heat was rising, and runners were falling. From start to finish, these runners could not stay on their feet. One by one they fell, but Chicago Latin freshman Marianne Mihas and Wells managed to fight their way through the heat and to the top of their respective races. Both of them were all alone at the finish.
But besides heat being a problem, looks like people's attire didn't want to cooperate as well. I heard several runners talking about how their shoes was untied and halfway off their foot majority of the race. They still ran well, but could've done better they told themselves. Like I said, if it's not one thing it's another. If I'm not falling off the golf cart, I'm probably making bad jokes. If a runner isn't running well, It's probably because of the massive amounts of water they drank beforehand or the course. Either way, there's always a problems with cross country. But what makes these runners so special is that they can fight through it.
Although the day came to a close early (which I'm sure no one was complaining about), everyone ran the best they could. The theme for this meet was being alone. Every first place finisher had no one within a hundred meters of them as they pushed towards their victory. I guess the order for today was a win with a side of 90 degree weather am I right? Catch me at the Niles West Pat Savage Invitational next weekend on September 30th and keep on eye on these up and coming runners. Today was only a preview of the next meets to come.