The 36th Annual Hinsdale Hornet-Devil Invitational was anything but soft on a glorious Saturday morning for racing. The word prior and after races was how gooey the Katherine Legge Woods course was. The overnight cool temperatures appeared to have created some dew which stayed and then dampened the usually fast layout.
The boys varsity race led off first and it was the pre-meet favorites getting right to work. Minooka's Soren Knudsen and the hometown fave Blake Evertsen of Hinsdale Central out front. The senior standouts hit the first mile in 4:49 and 4:50 respectively. The trailing pack was about five seconds off pace. #1 Neuqua Valley despite missing three of its top seven runners looked dominant. The Wildcats stayed sharp and in control behind top finisher senior Jake McEneaney.
Knudsen ran through the second mile in 9:59. It seemed as though he would take the easy title with 600 meters to go. However, the defending champion Evertsen took advantage of Knudsen who faltered and won in 14:48. Knudsen placed second in 15:02. McEneaney took third in 15:05. Brian Leonard (Sr., Palatine) held off Josh Mollway (Sr., Neuqua Valley) for fourth and close out the top five.
Neuqua Valley proved too strong with 36 points. Hinsdale Central took second once again with 80 points.
Blake Evertsen post race interview
Pre Season #1 Minooka may have a problem... the Indians ran well but couldn't get the 5th runner to finish accordingly. The Minooka "triplets" Ashley Tutt (Sr.,), MacKenzie Callahan (Sr.), and Emily Shelton (Jr.) finished 2nd, 4th, and 5th respectively. That is a given every time out. The 5th runner Emily Ellis was nearly two minutes off the trio. There is time though to rite the ship. In the meantime Glenbard West was victorious scoring 43 points. The Indians were finished a distant second tallying 59 points.
Lindsey Payne repeated in fine fashion against the deep field. The junior took charge along with her teammate Katelynne Hart. Hart, the new freshman sensation, stuck to her mentor's hip like glue for the first two miles which was negotiated in 5:45 and 11:43. Tutt, Callahan, and Shelton were near by much of the way distancing themselves from the rest of the field. It wasn't until late in the last mile that Payne separated from Hart and Tutt. Tutt moved into second but it was too late to capture Payne who repeated in 17:11. The time was much slower than last year's 16:40 monster time. Still it is believed to be the fastest time in the state on the young season. Tutt finished ahead of Hart 17:20-28. Callahan and Shelton topped off the top five.
The Minooka trio post race interview
**Check out the full recap story on Sunday!!!