Josh Methner (Sr., Arlington Heights Hersey) was all smiles during his record breaking Detweiller finish
Championship day started out with an ominous feeling in the air and it wasn't because it was cold and blustery. The Illinois High School Association's legal woes against the Chicago Public School qualifying athletes still existed. But somehow for an afternoon, things were alright. They were actually great.
Class A: Coming into the race, the featured runners were Lianna Surtz (So., Aurora Rosary) and Lydia Roller (Jr., Staunton). The first mile hit in approximately 5:22 before Surtz took charge and ran away with the win in 16:41. Roller was a distant second in 16:58. The team battle went to #2 Winnebago who destroyed a hot #1 Monticello 63-144. It was one of the most dominating performances in state history and the Indians 17:55 average was the best ever for Class A and would have challenged for a top 10 placement in 3A.
Class 2A: Tatum David (Fr., Olney Richland County) was good in many people's eyes coming in. After she opened a massive lead in the first half-mile, it was essentially a second place battle that Ava Parekh (So., Chicago Latin) and Brooke Stromsland (Jr., Lakes) would have to fight together. David hit the first mile in an all-time record 5:03. Although David slowed a bit pace wise during the final two miles, she still crushed the field in a freshman and classification record 16:04. Stromsland pulled away from Parekh during the final mile to take second in 16:33. Benet Academy dropped down to 2A and were tabbed the pre-season #1. The Red Wings did not disappoint despite facing some resistance from a few teams. But a 48-second spread led to the win in 110 points.
Class 3A: It was a happy occasion and swan song for the great Katelynne Hart (Sr., Glenbard West) who was shooting for her fourth consecutive title in a row. Hart admitted to hearing about David's great feat and went out designed her own masterpiece. A first mile in 5:08 was all that she needed in coasting to her record breaking medal run in 16:05. Sam Poglitsch (Jr., Wheaton-Warrenville South) sprinted past Katrina Schlenker (So., Batavia) several meters from the finish line to run a personal best and school record 16:37 to take second. The team title went to #1 Naperville North for the fourth consecutive time. The Huskies ruffed up the competition with 90 points. The scoring average of 17:19 was one of the fastest in meet history. Yorkville rebounded to take another runner-up finish best Hinsdale Central 142-183.
Class A: It was supposed to be Dawson Smith (Sr., Rock Falls) time to be a state champion. However, Drew Rogers (So., Herscher) had other ideas and ran away from the field during the second half of the race in 14:30. Smith took second in 14:44. Top ranked Monticello held off the surprising Elgin (Harvest Christian Academy) team who had an opportunity to trophy 115-121. Stanford-Olympia took third with 127 points.
Class 2A: #1 Kaneland got everything they expected from Dixon in a hard fought victory 74-95. Four of the Knights placed inside the top 15 and that was the difference. Sam Lange (Sr., Morton) and Charlie Smith (Sr., Antioch) battled fiercely to a bloody 1st and 2nd place finish 14:46-49
Class 3A: Josh Methner (Sr., Hersey) had a plan coming in to run 4:35 for the first mile and then go 4:30. He went 4:28 and later hit the second in 9:12 which put him on par for the immortal Craig Virgin's 13:50.7 record. Methner did it! He closed hard over the final 400 to break the 47 year old mark with a time of 13:49. Wheaton South gave a great fight to defend their title but fell four points short in a historical low total for runner up team. #1 St. Charles East put five runners under 15:00 to narrowly win their first title 64-68.