The Duchesses of York were checking their statuses throughout a great meet
The West Suburban Silver Conference is known to be one of the deepest conferences in the state of Illinois. Its seven-member teams: York, Downers Grove North, Lyons Township, Oak Park-River Forest, Glenbard West, Hinsdale Central, and Proviso West -- gathered at Camera Park's hilly 2.88-mile course to compete on Saturday, October 17. The harsh 30-40 mile per hour winds throughout the afternoon also provided a challenge to the runners.
On the girl's side, there three teams to be watched: 3A #6 York, #7 Downers Grove North, and #10 Oak Park-River Forest. At 2:00 pm, the first wave of the day started, featuring the 6-10 fastest runners on each team. Freshman Maggie Owens of York took out the race fast in a 6:03 first mile, and held on for an 18:23 win.
Then it was time for the fast wave to start, where the 1-5 runners on each team competed. This race featured an individual battle between Josephine Welin (Oak Park-River Forest) and Audrey Allman (Glenbard West), who are both top girls in the state.
Welin challenges the pace from the gun, pacing through a 5:36 first mile. No one dares to go out with her, which leaves her the freedom to pull away even farther over the next ⅔ of the race. York's entire top five pack goes through the mile in 5:51. At the two-mile, Welin hits a solid 11:29 split, leaving a 22-second gap between her and Allman, who is in second place. Michaela Quinn of York is in third and starting to break away. At the finish line, it's all Welin as she earns her first conference win in 16:49. Quinn ran to a second-place finish in 17:10. Allman was third, running 17:22.
Quinn led her team, York, to a dominating 38-point win over a solid field. The Dukes had just a 73-second 1-5 split and showed off what could be accomplished when implementing a pack running strategy. Oak Park-River Forest was second in 69 points, with Downers Grove North close behind in 72 points.
The boys' side was just as competitive as the
girls. Notables teams in this field are 3A #2 Lyons Township, #5 Downers Grove
North, and #10 Hinsdale Central. The first wave, with runners 6-10, started at 4:00 pm, and Elijah Chen of DGN won in 15:46.
Then the fastest race of the day, the 1-5 boys runners of each team, were lined up to start. There are three notable individuals in this field: Owen Hays (Lyons Twp.), Dan Watcke (Hinsdale Central), and Pierce Cousins (Glenbard West). Neither of the three are clear favorites, which should make for an exciting race.
Hays and Watcke lead the pack through a shockingly conservative 5:19 first mile. After hearing his mile split, Hays takes off and makes it his mission to try to compensate for this slow first mile through the next 1.88 miles. Two miles in, the pack thins out considerably, with Hays, Watcke, and Cousins running 10:30, which comes out to be a 5:11 second mile. Hays uses the third mile to pull away from his competitors, and wins by a comfortable margin in 14:51. Behind him, Cousins and Watcke have a vicious finishing kick battle to the end, but Cousins was able to muster up enough strength to pass Watcke at the end and run 14:57.87 for second. Watcke was under a half-second behind in 14:58.40.
On the team side, Downers Grove North narrowly won in 44 points over Lyons Township in 51 and Hinsdale Central with 55. Downers Grove North and Hinsdale Central will have the opportunity to rematch next week at the Chicago (Marist) Regional.
Several teams in the WSC-Silver Conference Meet will be rematching in the upcoming weeks during Regionals and Sectionals. Camera Park is far from an easy course, and with the harsh wind on top of that, each runner did a great job facing many types of adversity. Good luck to these teams as we get further entrenched into the postseason.