Lakes Sunset Showcases North Suburban Talent

In recent weeks, Illinois has seen a handful of speedy nighttime meets, and Lakes Community High School wanted to get in on the action. On Friday evening, Lakes welcomed twelve teams from across Chicago's north suburbs to compete in a flighted coed meet. The final wave, wave four, held each team's first- and second-fastest runners of each gender.

Boys Breakdown

The boys' side of the meet featured three top teams in the state: 3A #11 Deerfield, #17 Lake Zurich, and #25 Gurnee (Warren). Standout individuals include last week's Athlete of the Week, Josh Puyear of Deerfield, Lake Zurich teammates Jake Myers and Jack Gilboy, and Warren teammates Luke Wiley and Griffin Pasha.

The top pack of nine cruised through a comfortable 4:57 first mile, a strategic move for the group leaders. Through the two-mile, Gilboy and Wiley have distanced themselves from Myers, who is third in no man's land. Gilboy and Wiley are stride for stride as they hit the two-mile in 9:55. Their second mile was an even split, 4:58.

Gilboy uses the third mile to create a gap between him and Wiley. As Gilboy enters the final 200 meters of the course, it's a race only against the clock as he goes all-out to attempt a sub-15:00 finish. Gilboy wins by a significant margin in 14:55.3. Wiley earns second in 15:06.7. Myers is not far behind in third, running 15:11.8. Lake Zurich's low-stick runners in Gilboy and Myers will prove to be lucrative assets as the postseason nears. Warren and Lake Zurich will have the opportunity to rematch next weekend at the North Suburban Conference.

On the team side, Lake Zurich put on their first big performance of the season, winning in an impressive 22 points. Warren did not let Lake Zurich win easily, however, and were second in 33 points. Deerfield was third in 48 points.

Girls Breakdown

The girls' race held a breadth of top 2A teams: #4 Grayslake Central, #5 Lakes, and #6 Vernon Hills. It also showcased three of the top individuals in the state, Aly Negovetich of Grant, Brooke Stromsland of Lakes, and Brooke Johnston of Lake Zurich.

The top four girls, Negovetich, Stromsland, Johnston, and Bella Domier of Grayslake Central, mingle with the guys over the course of the first mile, running approximately a 5:30 split. Negovetich asserted herself throughout the second mile, creating a seven-second lead over Stromsland, and hitting an 11:17 two-mile split. Negovetich is not letting Stromsland off easy, even if it is Stromsland's home course.

At the finish, Negovetich trails the last of the boy finishers and runs to a win in 17:13.3. Stromsland is just under ten seconds back, earning second in 17:22.8. The third girl who runs sub-18:00 today is Bella Domier, running a two-second PR of 17:54.0.

The top four places on the team side were nerve-wracking close. Grayslake Central comfortably won in 41 points, but Lake Forest, Lake Zurich, and Vernon Hills filled up the second through fourth places, respectively. Lake Forest had 51 points, with Vernon Hills scoring 55. A rematch between Lake Forest and Lake Zurich will be seen next week at the North Suburban Conference.

The Lakes Sunset Series #3 did an excellent job of showing the depth in Chicago's northern suburbs. Both the boy's and girl's sides of the meet had impressive results and top-of-the-state talent. Many of these teams will be competing in the same conferences next weekend, so the competitive spirit will stay fiery.