Sandburg boys leave no doubt about top dog status at pnd

Tim Anderson came through in the clutch as Sandburg's fifth man at the Peoria Notre Dame Invite



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.

This invitational is unique in that boy's varsity race precedes the frosh and open races. The frosh race was won by Sachit Muduli (So., Normal University) in 15:52. Oak Park-River Forest won the team title scoring 71 points. 

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. Several questions prior to the race were presented. 1) Is Sandburg really the #1 team in the state? 2) Can Micah Wilson (Sr., St. Charles East) win the race and run the fastest time in the state? 3) Is York and Oswego among the elite top five schools in the state? Well, let's find out. 

Wilson did not waste too much time getting himself in position. He along with Marcellus Mines (So., Joliet West), Aidan Simon (Sr., Loyola Academy), Grant Giblin (So., Sandburg), and many others in a few close pockets hit the first mile under 5:00 and some dipped under 4:45. Wilson and Mines were more like 4:41.

As the race entered the "Bermuda Triangle" things as usual got a little more serious. It is here where Wilson began to assert himself and surge to rid himself of those who dared to go out with him. Mines and Michael Schumacher (Sr., St. Viator) were within a second of Wilson at the two-mile (9:41, 9:42). The team race at this point was clearly in Sandburg's hands. In counting the number of Eagles in relation to #2 Oswego and #3 York, it wasn't even close. Giblin and Declan Tunney (Sr) were in the top five and when the race moved to less than a half-mile remaining, it was all but complete for coach John O'Malley's crew. 

One would have thought that Wilson would have snapped the final half-mile. Although he was leading and in control of the race, it was not dominant. He closed out the race in a real-time state leading 14:37 (now #2).  

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. Tunney holds off Mines 14:44-14:45 for fourth. It was a very good representation of what Illinois distance running is. There were 11 runners under the 15:00 threshold. 

The question on whether the Eagles were for real was answered 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 Oswego who scored 139 points (w/o #2 man). Lincoln OR took fourth ahead of Palatine 195-255.