Inaugural Dan Horyn Invite Puts On Impressive Show Friday Night

Jake Hoffert wins the "Dan Horyn 1600m" in impressive fashion Friday night (Tony Jones photo)



More than a week ago head meet managers Paul Swanson and David Shafron were furiously trying to put the finishing touches on the newly named Dan Horyn Invitational (formely Niles North Viking Relays). Specifically, Swanson was hoping for a respectable field and good weather. He got exactly what he wanted.

Dan Horyn shined upon his namesake race-

On meet day the temperature was a sweet 73 degrees along with gusting winds near 20mph and sunny. However, by the time the "Dan Horyn Mile" rolled around the winds miraculously died down (Dan must have had something to do with that from above). The conditions were perfect at 8:30 pm.

The deep field of 14 runners were pumped up and full of octane as a big chunk of them got out fast in 28 seconds for the opening 200m. Vernon Hills senior Ben Mohrdieck was the first one to lay it down with a quick but honest 400m in 62.3. Mohrdieck continued to have his way out front while pre-meet favorites twin brothers Jake and Luke Hoffert of Yorkville and Lane Tech junior Pavlo Hutsalyuk laid back off the pace.

Mohrdieck cross the halfway point in 2:09.5 but his time in the prime spot was about to expire. Jake Hoffert was the first to chase after Mohrdieck followed by Hutsalyuk and Luke Hoffert. The trio swallowed up Mohrdieck with the next 200 circuit and proceeded to move on. The chase pack was looking good as well as they begin to move out in pursuit of personal bests.

On the penultimate lap, Jake began to hit the accelerator with Hutsalyuk sandwiched in between the brothers (3:14.9, 3:15.2 at 1200). On the backstretch, Jake and Hutsalyuk dropped Luke and proceeded on with their personal duel. Hutsalyuk tried to surge past Jake but the trepedation seemed to infuriate the Yorkville Fox standout. Jake put his motor into another gear with 150m that all but ended Hutsalyuk's dream of winning the Dan Horyn race. Jake steamed home in a big personal best 4:16.12. Hutsalyuk was relegated to second place but earned a fine personal best of his own in 4:17.85. Luke earned some sibling stripes in third (4:20.33). 10 of the 14 invitees broke 4:30 proving that the field was indeed quality and boastfully matching the deepest in all of Illinois. Even the last place finisher Jack Carroll of Loyola Academy ran a solid 4:39.79. "I was looking forward to running against these guys today... it didn't feel like [a regular] meet," said Jake Hoffert of competing in the Dan Horyn Invitational.

Horyn meet highlights-

  • 100: Lane Tech speedsters Eric McMiller (Sr.) and Malik Hamilton (Jr.) blazed to 11.03 and 11.08 marks to romp the field
  • Loyola Academy used a 2:02.4 third leg tote from Christian Swenson (Jr.) to easily win the 4x8 relay in 8:22.86 amid very windy conditions
  • David Schmieg (Sr., Lane Tech) was ignited when Payton Prep junior Sam LaSota passed him near the opening lap of the 800m. Schmieg proceeded to turn on the gas and win by over 2.5 seconds in 1:57.70
  • Nick Newell (Sr., Loyola Academy) takes 400m title in 52.35
  • The 300H favorite Luke Pilliod (Sr., Glenbrook South) did not disappoint with his 40.06 clocking
  • Lane's 4x1 relay quartet ran a season best 42.98 and turned back the pesky Proviso West bunch who clocked 43.74
  • Lane closed out the track show with a come from behind 51.5 anchor by Pavlo Hutsalyuk in the 4x4 (3:29.35). Glenbrook South rolls 3:29.56. Yes, it was the same Hutsalyuk who ran the Dan Horyn Mile 30 minutes prior.
  • Proviso West junior Louis Brown Jr. won the long jump with a leap of 20-8
  • Jamante Steward (Jr., Proviso West) wins high jump with solid 6-4