Richard Spring Invitational: the grand preview

Prospect (light blue uniforms) will be looking for a bit of revenge on York after last week's performance


The team battle could be a one-sided affair if top-ranked York comes in and take care of business as expected. Last weekend at the Harvey Braus Lake Park Invitational, the Lady Dukes polished off a solid field with very little resistance. It was quick work with all five scorers inside of the top 15. The 41-second split there against the likes of #4 Prospect and St. Charles East was scary. Detweiller is said to be similar in terms of a speed rating, so we could see another 17:47 per girl average. One more thing, top returning running Brooke Berger did not factor into the scoring column as she was 20th (#6 girl) in 18:35. 

Prospect has another opportunity to close the gap on the Dukes if they can get more out of the final mile and get the back end of the scoring pack. It of course is a lot to ask for but they still should be in for a top-three trophy celebration. 

The inside battle between classes is an interesting scenario. 2A top-ranked Chatham-Glenwood lost to 1A Monticello at the Springfield Lee Halberg Invite last week but they appeared to be tempo racing it. Without mentioning names, the Titans should be loading up on Saturday. This will obviously be their toughest encounter of the season to date.

We may witness the individual race of the season on Saturday. Ava Parekh (Chicago Latin) is the premier runner in the state per our premium 25. Though she won the powerful Hinsdale Hornet-Devil Invite on 9/4 with ease, she is going to be in for a tremendous battle. Josie Welin (Sr., Oak Park-River Forest) will open her season. She is one of the premier runners in the nation and who knows what she is capable of. We could see a mark in the 16:20-30 range.

One such runner to watch is Grace Schager (Jr., Glenbard North). She has quietly run to the state's top time of 16:57 achieved at the Harvey Braus Invitational. She appears to be a patient runner and that could bode well on a course like Detweiller which is ultra-fast in the beginning.

We are not done yet. Lianna Surtz (Sr., Aurora Rosary), Brooke Johnston (Jr., Lake Zurich), Morgan Mackie (So., Loyola Academy), and Aly Negovetich (Sr., Grant) are undefeated on the season. Something will have to give because there will not be a tie. But of course, we could see someone emerge from under the cover of darkness and shine. We could see the coming of the age from freshmen Mia Kotler (Latin) and Holly Johnson (Downers South) here. They were at the top of the middle school food chain for a number of seasons. Both have an opportunity to place in the top 10-15.