It's Fast Times At The Lake Forest Regional

Here is a short-clipped version of the Lake Forest High School Regional Championship


Lake Forest, IL -

The Lake Forest Regional will serve as conference part two for many of the teams competing because seven of the eight teams who competed last weekend are back at Lake Forest High School again to prove themselves at a high stakes meeting. Lake Forest officials mended the course's rough spots -- most notably the 50-meter mud pit in the backwoods of the course -- to further support the runners.

The Scouts course is known to be flat and quick. Their coach will say it's second only to Detweiler in terms of speed. Regardless of the windy, 45-degree weather, many athletes will be looking to run a personal best today to gain confidence before heading into Sectionals and, for a few athletes, the State meet.

Last week on the girls' side, we saw Warren edge out the win by a half-point over Libertyville, so coming into Regionals, all spectators were waiting to see which team would come out victorious. Unfortunately, Warren's fourth and fifth runners -- Hailey Smith and Mia Pasha -- were injured and sat out the race. Hopefully, the Blue Devils will be in shape for next week's Sectionals. This meant Libertyville had the team spotlight. A talented mix of individuals includes Libertyville's Sheila Tucker and Bree Ponchak, Warren's Raina Rice, and Lake Forest's Skyler Kreunen.

Tucker cruises through the first mile in 5:32 with a following pack of Kreunen, Brenda Torres, Rice, Kreunen, and Ponchak. The Wildcats have five in the top 16, all with a sub-5:55 mile. Through the 1.5-mile point, Tucker has a three-second lead and will work to increase that in the second half of the race. Sprinting down the final 100m, Tucker has no one in sight behind her and finishes with a new PR of 17:25, earning her the title of second-fastest freshman in Illinois. Kreunen, Torres, Hamilton, and Rice all earn their first sub-18:00 finishes. The Wildcats, as expected without the Blue Devils at full strength, win in 48 points.

1Libertyville High School481+6+7+16+18 (25+33)1:45 1-5 Split | 18:29 Avg
2Warren High School945+8+22+27+32 (43+50)1:48 1-5 Split | 19:01 Avg
3Lake Forest High School1022+12+19+29+40 (47+54)2:22 1-5 Split | 19:09 Avg
4Stevenson High School10311+15+23+26+28 (48+52)0:43 1-5 Split | 19:19 Avg
5Wheeling High School1093+10+21+30+45 (46+57)2:37 1-5 Split | 19:13 Avg
6Zion Benton High School1124+9+14+41+44 (56+60)2:29 1-5 Split | 19:15 Avg

The boys side features 3A #25 Warren who will be competing closely against Deerfield, Libertyville, Stevenson, and Mundelein. Warren placed second at Conference, and without the threat of Lake Zurich on the Regionals field, they're the clear favorite to take home the title. The individuals race will be closer than the teams race because the talent includes Dillon Blake of Mundelein, Nate Schmitt of Lake Forest, and Will Gordon of Libertyville among others.

Carter Schorr of Mundelein leads the pack of five (Blake, Schmitt, Gordon, and Polydoris) into a 4:42 first mile. Half a mile later, Blake stole the reigns from his teammate, but none of them have been able to pull away from the pack and secure a lead, which is to be expected in such a deep field. The spectators are in awe as Blake and Schmitt sprint stride-for-stride down the final stretch. Schmitt throws himself across the finish line, but Blake ends up winning by a fraction of a second, however both end in 14:36. Gordon scores third in 14:41, followed by Jason Polydoris of Highland Park who charges past Stevenson's Corey Pacernick, both finishing at 14:41. The competition of the boys race lent itself to several nail-biting finishes. As expected, the Blue Devils came through with the team title in 71 points thanks to their top five runners all placing within the top 20 spots. 

1Warren High School717+10+17+18+19 (36+48)0:53 1-5 Split | 15:20 Avg
2Deerfield High School8312+13+15+21+22 (35+40)0:38 1-5 Split | 15:28 Avg
3Libertyville High School893+8+20+26+32 (46+50)1:29 1-5 Split | 15:27 Avg
4Stevenson High School915+9+24+25+28 (52+55)1:17 1-5 Split | 15:28 Avg
5Mundelein High School1071+6+30+33+37 (45+49)1:42 1-5 Split | 15:34 Avg
6Lake Forest High School1162+11+14+42+47 (54+60)1:55 1-5 Split | 15:36 Avg

Although the temperature was nearly 20 degrees colder than last week, the athletes seemed to enjoy the frigidness as it led to significant PR's for most of the runners. Overall, the Lake Forest Regional meet surely boosted the confidence of both individuals and teams hoping to qualify for state, and I wish them the best of luck in the following two weeks!