Distance Night In Palatine Boys Preview

Get ready for a stellar display of distance running on Saturday night in Illinois. 

The Distance Night in Palatine, in its third year running, will feature some of the top talent in Illinois and Wisconsin on the track at Palatine High. You can watch it LIVE on MileSplit HERE starting at 8:00 p.m. ET. 

Date/Time: Saturday, April 21/7pm
Location: Palatine High School; Palatine IL
Meet Program: Click Here
MileSplit Illinois Social Media: @milesplitil #DNP18
Race Schedule: Community races- 6:30p; Undercard- 7p; Main event- 9p
Full Race Schedule: 

The Community Races will start at 6:30 pm with the following order of events:

  • 6:30 pm Youth boys/girls 800 (6th grade and below)
  • 6:40 pm Junior high boys/girls 1600 (7th and 8th grade)
  • 6:50 pm Open 1600 men/women (post-high school)

The Undercard will start at 7:00 pm with the following order of events:

  • 7:00 pm Emerging Girls 1600
  • 7:08 pm Freshman boys 1600
  • 7:15 pm Girls 3200 - Section 1
  • 7:29 pm Boys 3200 - Section 1
  • 7:40 pm Girls 800 - Section 1
  • 7:45 pm Girls 800 - Section 2
  • 7:50 pm Boys 800 - Section 1
  • 7:54 pm Boys 800 - Section 2
  • 7:58 pm Girls 1600 - Section 1
  • 8:05 pm Girls 1600 - Section 2
  • 8:12 pm Boys 1600 - Section 1
  • 8:18 pm Boys 1600 - Section 2
  • 8:24 pm Girls Distance Medley Relay
  • 8:40 pm Boys Distance Medley Relay
  • 8:54 pm National Anthem / Special Olympics 800 

The Main Event will start at 9:00 pm with the following order of events:

  • 9:00 pm Girls 800 - Section 3
  • 9:07 pm Boys 800 - Section 3
  • 9:14 pm Girls 3200 - Section 2
  • 9:28 pm Boys 3200 - Section 2
  • 9:41 pm Girls 1600 - Section 3 (Run in "The Gauntlet" with spectators on the track)
  • 9:50 pm Boys 1600 - Section 3 (Run in "The Gauntlet" with spectators on the track)
  • 10:00 pm Costume 4 x 400 relay


The Undercard

Things will start off with feelings that you like-


This is probably the least stacked event on the card, but this card is so great that it will still be a good race. Watch for the likes of Tim Stevenson (York), Robert St. Clair (Mundelein), and Charlie Nevins (Whitney Young) to be leading the pack. Stevenson was a nice surprise for the dukes during the Cross- Country season with Charlie Kern out for most of the season with a illness. Stevenson always seemed to push his teammate Sean MacGregor when his team needed them most. Stevenson last ran the 3200m at West Suburban Silver Conference meet where he took 4th place with a 9:32.92. St. Clair has been having a rough year during track. His PR's this year are a 4:39.62 1600m and a 9:48.99 3200m. St. Clair is needing a breakout race at Palatine, Robert had one last year when he ran a 9:36.35 3200m at this meet last year. Can lightning strike twice? Nevins is a dark horse. When you think of Whitney Young distance running you think of two runners: Clayton Mendez and Sam Rivera. Nevins should get looked at more! The junior was an All-Stater in XC this past fall taking 25th place at the 3A State Championship. Nevins is coming into Palatine after winning the 3200m at the Lane Tech Pizza Invite with a 9:39.20. Other big names to watch are Spencer Smith (Alleman), Collin Luell (Zion-Benton), and Andrew Pilat (McHenry).


Anyone could win this heat. Everyone is within three seconds of each other. The runner to watch in this race could be Adam Swanson (Dundee-Crown). Swanson is only in his 2nd year of distance running and ran XC for the first time this past fall and boy did he impress people! He ran a 15:05 at the 3A State Meet to take 50th. That is very impressive for your first ever xc season imagine what he could be running if he did it his freshman and sophomore year! He has run 1:58.61 indoors and will be looking to drop into the 1:55 range. He was expecting to race the current his #1 Rival in his sectional this year, Adam Kennedy (Batavia), but Kennedy just slipped onto the main card. He will probably want to go out fast to get that 1:55. It will be very interesting to see if anyone will go with Swanson. Other big names to watch are Shane Yamco (Riverton), Cayden Kirkham (Waterloo), and Jeremy Brown (Jones).

Freshman 1600m-

This race is always great as we get to see the new talent that will be the big names of Midwest Distance Running in a few years. Watch for Colin Hill (York), Elian Salgado (Mundelein), and Bryan Bloomquist (Janesville Craig, WI) to be in the lead of this race. Hill had a good indoor campaign as a freshman with winning the WSCS Frosh/Soph 1600m championship. Hill's PR in the 1600m this year is a 4:39.17. Salgado is the next young stud from Mundelein. The Freshman ran a 4:44.59 in the 1600m at the Lane Tech Pizza Invite in high school track debut. For your first track race that is impressive. He could very well break 4:40 since he has gotten rid of those first race jitters. Bloomquist is the young gun that the state of Wisconsin will have to offer. The Freshman took 22nd place at the Division 1 State Meet and ran a 4:48.23 in his first ever track race. Like we said with Salgado we will have to see what he can do now that he has gotten rid of those first race jitters.


This race has a great lineup that includes Rory Cavan (Glenbard West), James Giftos (Monana Grove), Scott Maison (Wheaton Warrenville South), and Sam Jaeger (Middleton). Cavan took 2nd the last time he ran the 1600m at the WSC Silver Championship during the indoor season. The 3A All- Stater in cross country will be making his outdoor debut at Palatine. Giftos took 13th place at Wisconsin's Division 1 state meet for cross country this past season. The junior took 9th place at the Wisconsin Indoor State Meet with a 4:25.92 in the 1600m. Scott Maison will not have his twin brother Sean Maison to push him in this race as Sean is on the main card in the 1600m. Scott had a good race at DuPage Conference Meet in the 1600m taking 2nd place with a 4:23.70. Scott told us that he wanted to beat his twin brother at this meet before the heat sheets came out, but now Scott's goal is just to win the undercard 1600m. Jaeger is a sneaky member of this field. The Wisconsin native qualified for NXN this past cross country and took 97th place at the big meet. Jaeger will be making his 2018 track season debut at palatine. It will be interesting what the NXN qualifier can do in his first race since cross country.

Main Card

Record: 10:30.20 Shepard (P. Milkus, B. Hauser, D. Humphrey, C. Washington) 2017

All of Hinsdale Central and DGN's teams will be competing at Bob Cahoon the night before. Jacob Ridderhoff in the 3200m, Ryan Birkmeier in the 4x800m and 1600m, Brendan Lockerby in the 4x800m and 800m, and Miles Christensen in the 3200m for DGN. Colin Yandel in the 3200m, Neil Cumberland in the 800m and 4x400m, Alec Hill in the 3200m, and Sean O'Connell in the 1600m.

It will be interesting to see how they compete having two meets in 24 hours but it is great preparation for the State Meet in May. We will be seeing Charlie Kern compete for the first time in almost two months as he races the DMR for the dukes. This will only be Charlie's 5th race of his senior year as he had an illness that kept him out till Sectionals of cross country. York has a very good lineup that should definitely challenge the top pack. Also watch for the wildcard team of Normal University to push for the win.

Record: 8:59.46 (Clayton Mendez /Whitney Young) 2017

This will be an interesting race. It is not as stacked as most people thought it would be, but it will be fast for sure. This field will have the likes of Matthew Meinke (Neenah), Conor Perreault (Niles North), Charlie Parrish (Freeburg), Tommy Brady (Maine South), Mathias Powell (Mahomet-Seymour), Tyler Cushing (Bolingbrook), and Josh Methner (Hersey). Meinke took 4th place at the Wisconsin Divison 1 State Championships for XC this past fall and he took 28th place at NXN. Meinke will be the favorite in this race after the 2 mile he had at New Balance Indoor Nationals when he took 5th place with a 9:06.37. Perreault took 5 th place at the 3A State Championship for XC this past fall. Perreault has taken his success from XC and has stayed on a roll ever since. The University of Wisconsin bound Perreault won the 3200m 3A Top Times Title with a 9:15.07.

Parrish has been rolling this whole track season. Parrish has found success in the 1600m, 3200m, and 2000 Steeplechase and has had a great three weeks at the end of indoor season and into the outdoor season. Parrish started off winning the "deuce" at Illinois Top Times, the next week he ran a US#5 6:09.78 to take 3rd at Texas Relays. Brady took 3rd at the State Championship for cross country. The Junior took 2 nd in the 3200m at the 3A Top Times meet. Powell shocked a lot of people at the Charger Invitational when he beat Logan Hall in the 3200m to run a 9:18.97, but Powell didn't shock as many people at the Top Times meet running a 9:24.50 taking 2nd place. Cushing has been very surprising to some people this season beating many top dogs this year. Can he stay on a roll at Palatine? Methner has been super quiet this season. The 7th place finisher at 3A State this past fall last ran the 3200m at the Nagel-Saylor Invite on March 17th where he ran a 9:45. Methner will be looking for a fast meet. Other big names to watch are Jack McNabola (F.W. Parker), Matthew Blanco (Oswego East), Austin Ohm (Illiana Christian), Stephen Moody (Glenbard West), and Patrick Burns (Lake Zurich).

Record: 1:54.86 (Arthur Santoro/Jones Prep) 2017

Oh boy this will be a good one. The likes of Riley Wells, Grant Jensen, and Wes York will be interesting to watch. Wells was the 800m 1A Top Times Champion to end his indoor campaign. The Junior won the 800m 1A State Title last spring as a sophomore with a US#1 Sophomore time of 1:52.84. Wells will be racing his second outdoor race this season after running a 1:56.97 at the Yorkville Invite this past weekend. Jensen had a great indoor season and will be making his outdoor season debut at Palatine. The Junior ran a 1:53.32 last year at the Midwest Distance Classic and took 2nd in the 800m at the 3A Top Times meet with a 1:57.41. York is coming off a mediocre performance at the Arcadia Invitational in California from two weeks ago. The Ohio State Commit ran a 1:57.39 at the historic meet. York has proven in the past how excellent of a runner he can be when he ran a 1:54.61 to take 7th place at the 3A State Championship last spring. Big names to also watch are Ed Worthem (Fremd), Brandon Schnitker (Nashville), and Nick Swartzendruber.

Record: Sean Torpy (4:08.64) 2016

This will be the race of the night. There will be a stacked field including Jacob Gebhardt, Clayton Mendez, Danny Kilrea, and Drew Bosley. Gebhardt is still on the look for that state title that has eluded him in his high school career. He won the 1600m at the 2A Top Times Meet with a 4:26.44 and will be looking to hang with the 3A guys in the 1600m at Palatine. Gebhardt will be racing the 1600m the night before in Metamora.

Mendez has been mentioned a lot on the site this week after our very own Colin Boyle aka Colin B. Photography wrote his first ever article about the Whitney Young runner. Colin also had a video that went with the great article. Mendez is the only part of Illinois big 3 of distance runners that has yet to win a state title; Dylan Jacobs won the 4x800m in 2016 and Kilrea won XC this past fall. Mendez is going to move from his main event of the 3200m to the 1600m at this meet. Mendez ran the mile at the Proviso West 53rd Boys invite. Since that race Mendez has become a 2x All-American in the 2 mile after he placed 4th with a 9:06.11 at New Balance Indoor Nationals making Mendez now a 4x All-American.

Kilrea has just found success all year. He has raced twice during track running a 14:36.78 in the 5k to take 2 nd place at the Texas Distance Festival and running an 8:56.84 in the 3200m at Arcadia. Kilrea has had some problems closing out his races this season. Just look at the Texas Distance Festival, Arcadia, and NXR Midwest Regional. If it comes down to a sprint Kilrea may not be able to hang. Bosley is coming from Wisconsin to race with some of the best Illinois has to offer. Bosley has only raced once outdoors and it was at the Arcadia Invitational where he ran an 8:59.04 in the 3200m. It was Bosley's first time breaking 9 in the 3200m. Will he be able to stay on a roll switching to the 1600m? Other big names to watch are Jared Schuckman (Normal University), Ansel Fellman (Bradford), Logan Hall (Arthur-Lovington), and Wyatt McIntyre (Athens).