Palatine Meet of Champions Endures Slop Fest

The varsity boys first mile was slick and muddy as well as intense- over 200 runners stampeded the course



Palatine IL-

It rained and rained and rained leading up to the Meet of Champions... Deer Grove East Forest Preserve was not immune to Mother Nature's fury on the Chicago area. To say the least the course was eschewed in a hurry by the stampede of runners throughout the morning. But that's cross country!

New Trier head coach Dave Wisner's pre-game wizardry came to life early and often as his #6 Trevians listened intently to the goal of packing up and executing the game plan. During the first mile, the group led by sophomore Nick Falk, juniors Charlie Siebert and Andrew Flynn were up well among the top 25 scorers. The times were not particularly fast because of the muddy slop. But for reference, the times were in the mid-five teens.

#4 Hersey on the other spectrum were able to position two lowstick performers seniors Josh Methner and Max Svienty up top. Another senior Colin Safford was in the thick of things. The Huskies along with Maine South, York, Oswego East, and Chicago Jones were fighting for a top-three team trophy. 

During the latter half of the race, the team battle was close but it appeared as though New Trier, Maine South, and Hersey were in the running. Methner and Svienty came home first and fourth in 15:20 and 15:36- more than a minute behind their personal best times. This was essentially a true test of cross country at its toughest moment. Maine South senior Joey Kasch had perhaps his best race after dogging Methner most of the way and even more in the closing moments, finished strong in second with a time of 15:22.

But it was the Trevians whose faith in the total unit got the job done. Falk and Sibert closed hard to finish sixth and seventh in 15:41 and 15:42. Safford was 17th in 15:49. They were somehow able to hold off Hersey for another big invitational win under such stressful circumstances. "It was a great race by the guys [today] and executed what we wanted," said coach Wisner.

#15 Maine South finished third in what was presumed as their first major invitational at full strength. The Hawks put four of five scorers among the top 40. In defeating a depleted (senior Ethan Kern) and puzzling #5 York team, they now build confidence toward the state sectional round in November. 

1New Trier High School1136+7+13+36+51 (63+77)0:39 1-5 Split | 15:56 Avg
2Hersey High School1161+4+17+42+52 (75+119)1:03 1-5 Split | 15:52 Avg
3Maine South High School1502+18+37+39+54 (68+89)1:02 1-5 Split | 15:59 Avg
4York High School17212+21+32+43+64 (81+85)0:41 1-5 Split | 16:04 Avg
5Jones College Prep1963+19+34+49+91 (105+117)1:11 1-5 Split | 16:07 Avg


Sam Poglitsch and Allison Drage slug it out down the stretch of the girls varsity championship race



On the girls' side, the race to the finish line was supposed to go through defending champion Molly Fitzpatrick. However, the unsavory field conditions were not in the Barrington junior's best interest. Fitzpatrick was still reeling from an ankle twist several weeks prior. 

The race opened with a sluggish 5:36-5:40 pack with Wheaton South junior Sam Poglitsch, Vernon Hills freshman Rose Sheridan, Barrington senior Allison Drage, Lake Zurich freshman Brooke Johnson, and Lakes junior Brooke Stromsland

The same group hit the second mile in approximately 11:47 and a half-mile later it was Sheridan, Drage, Poglitsch, and Stromsland remaining. On the final stretch, it came down to Poglitsch and Drage for the win. Poglitsh is a sub 5:00 miler and that finishing leg speed was enough to bring her home for her first MOC individual title in 17:37- one second faster than Drage's breakout performance. 

The team title went to #6 York who did not have a single finisher in the top 20. The Lady Dukes used an amazing chain gang like six-second scoring split to score 132 points over #4 Barrington at 168. #12 Oswego continues to perform well- finished third in front of 2A power Vernon Hills and #11 Wheaton South scoring 172 points. 

1Samantha Poglitsch11Wheaton Warrenville South High School17:37.001
2Allison Drage12Barrington High School17:38.002
3Brooke Stromsland11Lakes High School17:45.003
4Rose Sheridan9Vernon Hills High School17:53.004
5Saniya Mathew9Dunlap High School18:17.005
6Brooke Johnston9Lake Zurich High School18:20.006
7Melissa Jachim11Downers Grove North High School18:23.007
8Riley Knoyle9Edwardsville High School18:25.008
9Alyssa Norris12Barrington High School18:29.009
10Julia Wolke10Christian Liberty Academy18:34.000