Josh Methner comes home to a familiar scene beside him at the Palatine Meet of Champions
Saturday was a great day to be a cross country runner and fan if you were at Deer Grove East Forest Preserve. The first official day of fall was greeted with temperatures in the upper 50s and lower 60s. It was certainly a welcomed relief for all of those who experienced the 80s and 90s just a few days prior.
The talk of the town coming in was what would Mundelein do to the field. The second-ranked Mustangs were freshly minted from their trip from the west coast. Though not completely healthy, they placed 16th at the super Woodbridge Invitational
in California. As it would happen on Saturday laced with a few alibis, things would not materialize for the Mustangs. An injury or two to several members has depleted the Mustangs a bit. They would finish a distant 7th in the team standings. Senior Robert St. Clair
led the way with an 8th place finish in 15:07.
Hersey departed Detweiller Park in Peoria last weekend as unhappy campers. By most fans observation, the Richard Spring Invitational was just a glorified regular season meet. But not for the Huskies who vision each big meet as a stepping stone. So a 4th place finish was unacceptable. In not so many words, the team vowed to do much better. That meant running better 2-5 behind star junior Josh Methner. The Huskies did just that with a good 1:10 scoring split to compliment Methner's big victory. The 84 total points put a stamp on things now and should quiet pundits for a while. One of Kentucky's best teams St. Xavier of Louisville took second with 188 points.
The individual race would be quite a spectacle from a bird's eye view. One of the main protagonists was Methner. He is a reserved dude with a calm demeanor- cold-blooded, quiet assassin when it comes to racing in big meets. You can see it in his eyes and later body language as he prepares for his victims. The opening pace went out to his liking in 4:50-51 as he worked the snake-like turns with familiar faces senior Tommy Brady of Maine South and junior Ethan Kern of York. Add in Roland Knowlton of Edwardsville and Nick Bozarth of Oswego East for added value.
But by the halfway point the race was in hand for Methner. The outcome was a new meet and course record 14:32. Brady strutted home second in 14:42. Kern, who continues to gain strength, was third in 14:52. Christian Knowlton continued his late-race pickups. The Plainfield South senior ran a season-best 14:56 to finish fourth ahead of Prenzler who broke 15:00.