Freshmen Kara Waishwell (Lincoln-Way East) and Nicole Poglitsch (Wheaton-Warrenville South) duel at PND
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Peoria, IL --
It was a great day for cross country at one of America's most fabled landmarks just minutes north of downtown Peoria. The Richard Spring Peoria Notre Dame Invitational is a winner takes all spectacular that's unraveled throughout the state and certainly in the trilogy series.
The girls led off with open/JV and temps were calm as the winner Bella Swanson (Sr., York) ran 19:02. She and five of her teammates pulled a perfect score of 15 points.
Next up was the frosh-soph girls and the stakes got a tad bit higher. Wheaton-Warrenville South freshman Nicole Poglitsch led at each checkpoint and took home the gold medal in 18:10. Yes, she is the younger sister of the great Samantha Poglitsch who is now running for the University of Illinois. Prospect was victorious over WWS 58-76.
The main event did not disappoint as a slew of ranked teams and individuals geared themselves for the ultimate battle. The team battle was settled right away as #1 York packed up its scorers and led at every juncture. The Lady Dukes put four girls under 18:00 led by Katherine Klimek's 11th place finish in 17:20 PB. The 17:34 scoring average was one of the best ever for the meet as well as the top seven 17:51.
Individually, this was the most anticipated field of the season. Ava Parekh (Sr., Chicago Latin), the premier girl in the state would duel among others Josie Welin (Sr., Oak Park-River Forest), Aly Negovetich (Sr., Grant), and Grace Schager (Jr., Glenbard North). The first time was taken out in a swift but manageable 5:20 by Parekh and Welin. They would stay together for most of the way through the "Bermuda Triangle." Parekh made her surge just before the second mile and open daylight and later the win in a state-leading 16:27.1. Welin, dogged by the early harsh pace, held on to second over Schager 16:40-16:42. An out of owner Kendall York of Lincoln HS in Portland, Oregon was fourth in 16:54. The fifth-place finisher was Aly Negovetich (Sr., Grant) who clocked 16:54.
The varsity boys kicked off their portion of the day after the varsity girls and it was noticeably warmer than it was from the start of the meet. The start of the race saw near 460 runners take off like a stampeding herd. Micah Wilson (Sr., St. Charles East) did not waste too much time getting himself in position. He along with Marcellus Mines (So., Joliet West), Grant Giblin (So., Sandburg), and many others hit the first mile under 5:00 and some dipped under 4:45. Wilson for much of the contest was kept honest. But at two miles, Wilson was in the clear and would go on for the victory in a state-best 14:37. Giblin runs a lifetime best 14:40 to make it respectable in the runner-up spot. Ethan Summer (Sr., York) takes third in a PB 14:42. Declan Tunney (Sr., Sandburg) holds off Mines 14:44-14:45 for fourth.
The question on whether #1 Sandburg was real was answered quickly as the Eagles disposed of the competition with 63 points. For a team that is not very deep past its top five, they had no trouble getting its charges up to the top pack and racing. Giblin and Tunney of course finished in the top five overall. Brock Rice (Sr.) was also under 15:00 at 14:59 and placed 11th. The fifth runner Trent Anderson (Jr.) closed it out in 30th place.
York loaded its full team for the first time this season and they took second with 129 points. The Dukes held off #2 Oswego who scored 139 points (w/o #2 man). Lincoln OR took fourth ahead of Palatine 195-255.