Lake Park Sectional Endured Many Twists And Turns

Intern Jamie Nicholson breaks down the girls' race like no one can


Unexpected snow on Thursday and a last-minute decision allowing all Chicago Public Schools to run sectionals provided lots of uncertainty and chatter at the Lake Park Sectional. However, the strongest teams and individuals pushed through despite the distractions and adverse course conditions to show their strength this weekend at arguably the most difficult sectional in the state.


#9 Wheaton-Warrenville South came in as the predicted winner after a strong season led by junior Samantha Poglitsch and a solid supporting cast behind her. However, #8 Glenbard West on the strength of superstar senior Katelynne Hart has the advantage of her always low stick presence. If she could get another top-notch performance out of her sophomore teammates Audrey Allman and Delaney Engel, they would be hard to beat. Hart, of course, was able to keep up her end of the bargain and Allman and Engel These two teams battled it out clear of the other three teams who were trying to punch their tickets to Peoria.

York battled WSC Silver foe Oak Park-River Forest in taking third. Both squads lack a true front runner but they have strong packs. OPRF showed strong fortitude after essentially running by themselves last weekend at the Lincoln Park Regional, which was void of teams due to the CPS teacher's strike. 

#20 New Trier which was surprised by an upstart and newly minted #19 Loyola Academy last weekend at the Niles West Regional, made sure that it would not happen again. The Trevians were able to tighten up their scorers and put them as well as their top seven in front of the Ramblers team in amassing 104 points.

1Glenbard West High School531+3+4+21+24 (42+70)2:36 1-5 Split | 18:01 Avg
2Wheaton Warrenville South High School652+7+14+20+22 (28+45)1:55 1-5 Split | 18:23 Avg
3York High School9110+12+13+27+29 (33+34)0:48 1-5 Split | 18:51 Avg
4Oak Park-River Forest995+6+16+32+40 (50+62)1:43 1-5 Split | 18:40 Avg
5New Trier High School10411+19+23+25+26 (41+49)0:41 1-5 Split | 18:59 Avg


It has been a busy and pleasantly distracting week for Hart, who first publicly announced her college commitment. After announcing that she would be attending the University of Michigan in the fall, it was off to blowing 18 candles off her birthday cake prior to the meet. The prestigious occasion invoked a smile and chuckle: "I'm finally legal." That would be the only joke and laughter bestowed on her opponents as Hart let loose with a sizzling first mile in 5:22 before settling into her comfort zone for the remainder of the race. Hart would cruise home in a sectional best 16:34- well ahead of Poglitsch who ran a very good 17:12 on a mud slicked course. A chase pack later followed which featured four other sub 18:00 performers. CPS state hopeful senior Sydney Partyka from Taft gutted out a strong finish to take 18th in 18:49. She would be the fifth of seven qualifying spots to state.

1Katelynne Hart12Glenbard West High School16:34.601
2Samantha Poglitsch11Wheaton Warrenville South High School17:12.502
3Audrey Allman10Glenbard West High School17:36.503
4Delaney Engel10Glenbard West High School17:48.704
5Nora Wollen11Oak Park-River Forest17:49.705
6Josephine Welin10Oak Park-River Forest17:51.306
7Kaitlyn Nenninger12Wheaton Warrenville South High School18:04.907
8Hope Leman11Evanston Township High School18:05.808
9Ellie Grammas9Loyola Academy18:10.809
10Katelyn Winton10York High School18:27.9010


The boys' race was more of a pressure-packed chess match compared to the girls speed gate affair. For one, the course was tremendously chewed up and the ground thawed a bit to a slight rise in the mercury. Secondly, #2 Wheaton-Warrenville South beat #3 York in last weekend's regional. The ball was essentially in the Duke's court and so often they had been inconsistent in performing at the highest level of competition this season.

It turned out to be one of the best sectional meets hosted by the Lancers athletic department. York ended up taking the title placing all five runners within the top 15 for a total score of 40 points. The Tigers ran strong but could not overcome the 18-second scoring split by the Dukesters. #5 New Trier made a few lineup changes from last weekend's disappointing regional performance to beat CSL Conference foe #7 Maine South. To no fault of their own, #22 Wheaton North qualified for the state meet over Loyola Academy out by a mere three points. 

1York High School403+4+6+12+15 (21+75)0:18 1-5 Split | 15:27 Avg
2Wheaton Warrenville South High School621+11+14+17+19 (22+71)0:40 1-5 Split | 15:33 Avg
3New Trier High School795+10+16+23+25 (34+53)0:31 1-5 Split | 15:40 Avg
4Maine South High School982+9+24+28+35 (54+84)0:50 1-5 Split | 15:43 Avg
5Wheaton North High School16427+29+31+38+39 (40+63)0:12 1-5 Split | 16:03 Avg


The race to the tape was supposed to be between seniors William Hauenstein of Wheaton Warrenville South and Joey Kasch of Maine South. Hauenstein stayed low key for the first mile which was just past 5:00. As the large pack was making its tour a second time through the fan-friendly course, Hauenstein made a bold move and surged away from the group and opened daylight. No one seemed interested in chasing him down so he won comfortably with a time won of 15:06. Kasch pulled away from Klysh inside of the final mile to take second in 15:13. Senior Daniel Klysh of York took third with a time of 15:21 to lead York. The top individual qualifier was sophomore Spencer Werner of Loyola, who took 7th place overall. A final silver lining in all of the chaos and madness was three Chicago Jones Prep runners earning spots to the state championship. Seniors Anthony Maida and Ryan Desantis along with junior Aaron Hou were the third, fifth, and sixth individual qualifiers.

1William Hauenstein12Wheaton Warrenville South High School15:06.201
2Joey Kasch12Maine South High School15:13.502
3Daniel Klysh12York High School15:21.503
4Ethan Kern12York High School15:21.904
5Nick Falk10New Trier High School15:22.405
6Colin Hill11York High School15:22.506
7Spencer Werner10Loyola Academy15:24.707
8Pierce Cousins11Glenbard West High School15:28.708
9Adam Christopher12Maine South High School15:29.809
10Charlie Siebert11New Trier High School15:30.1010