Katelynne Hart earns her second Hornet-Devil Invitational title in thrilling fashion
Even for the great ones no one ever says it's easy. For Glenbard West's Katelynne Hart, she has made a habit out of making things look easy by running fast... it was pretty evident once the gun went off the iconic senior out and away from a talented field. Hart's burst through the Katherine Legge Memorial Park had to be captured because it would her final time here.
Already clear of the field at the first mile, Hart was up by over 20 seconds over Chicago (Latin) sophomore Ava Parekh in 5:16. The buzz among the throng of watchers was evident. Between Hart and Parekh were a stream of runners from Wheaton-Warrenville South, Hinsdale Central, New Trier, and a mixture of others passing through under 6:00.
Hart would increase her lead to nearly a minute over Parekh at the two-mile as she passed the checkpoint in approximately 10:45. Clearly, on meet record pace, the talk began to wonder by how much. Former Glenbard West great Lindsey Graham held the previous mark of 16:35 set in 2014. With less than 600m to go Hart misjudged a turn and ran an estimated 50 meters extra and completely stopped in her tracks. She bumped into several fans before beelining back toward the course. Amid the journey to the finish line was a fall in the KLM creek filled with water and nearly twisting her ankle. But the end result was a sizzling clocking that read 16:28.7 and the record. It does not matter the 'what if's' because Hart will run much faster as the season progresses. The margin of victory was a whopping one minute as Parekh crossed in a very solid 17:28. The gap was big and strange between them and the third place scamperer junior Sam Poglitsch of Wheaton South in 18:10. She was able to hold off the Hinsdale Central senior duo Emma Watcke and Mckenna Revord whose 18:15 and 18:17 set up their team nicely in the team standings.
The host Red Devilettes surprised the 18-field team scoring 78 points by placing three girls in the top ten and four in the top 20. Freshman Catie McCabe and senior Taylor Wagner placed seventh and 18th respectively. The pre-meet favorite Wheaton South was a distant second scoring 103 points. Lockport and Oswego East took third and fourth place ahead of Naperville Central 133-166.
You will not see a closer finish in a major invitational this one.... closer than close!
Defending 3A boys state champion Wheaton-Warrenville South was more than anxious to get their 2019 campaign underway. They enjoyed all of the accolades afforded to them over the past year. However, the Tigers have a highly rated crew with a ton of seniors. Oswego East had a short memory and surely as respect is given, they want to taste victory as well. New Trier and Neuqua Valley were among the quality teams in the midst.
The race got out in an honest pace with a pack of at ten runners crossing the initial mile in 5:00. Wheaton South senior William Hauenstein and junior Nicolas Dovalovsky of Neuqua Valley appeared to lead the charge. Bolingbrook senior Tyler Cushing as well as Naperville North senior Jake Allen in the pack. The Tigers had tremendous numbers up on the field right away- perhaps five in the top 20. Oswego East had three in the top 20.
The second mile was just as thorough if not stretched out with Dovalovsky and Hauenstein in 10:02-03. A stream of others continued to file in during the next 30+ seconds. The Tigers had everything wrapped up at this point.
The final finish was as thrilling as your favorite movie with Dovalovsky holding a slight lead coming up the incline toward the finish. But a deep determination by Hauenstein got him the win in 14:55.5 to 14:55.8. His teammates piled in with five scorers in the top 20. The final verdict was a thumping 46-101 win over Oswego East.