Hunter Whitney and lane tech roll at mather series finale

Hunter Whitney and his Lane Tech mates continue their comeback trail back to respectability



Legion Park; Chicago IL

Chicago Public League cross country has shown glimpses of talent throughout the years that is hard to imagine. ''When you`ve got it, you`ve got it. Guys like [Aaron Rogers of Chicago Vocational] are few and far between," once said by the iconic York HS coach Joe Newton. He referred to the fact that Rogers only ran two races before the 1988 2A State Championship and then proceeded to kick down 23 runners in the final quarter-mile before settling for the silver medal. 

Jones Prep, Whitney Young, and Lane Tech have all tasted success at the state level in the modern era. Could it happen again? Only time will tell but quality meets like Mather HS puts on helps bring out the best the city has to offer. The final edition of the two-mile "city series" finale was another good one as more than 700 runners competed in the two races.

The girls' race featured one of the best runners in the state in Elia Ton-That (Sr., Northside Prep). Ton-That has to yet hit her stride as she had been training hard for upcoming meets as well as visiting prospective colleges. On this occasion, she entered the ring and though she appeared to conduct herself at half-speed, it was Ton-That's race to "win" or "lose." She and Josephine Dziedzic (Jr., Payton) hit the first mile around 5:50. Shortly thereafter is when Ton-That took flight and went on win in a meet record/course record 11:24. Whitney Young freshman Xochitl Lopez charged home ahead of teammate sophomore Nicole Chopra 11:36 and 11:38. Elia's baby sister freshman "Lulu" Lucia Ton-That was fourth and three seconds better than Dziedzic in 11:39.

Lane's top runner was junior Olivia Ide and she placed seventh in 12:12. Two of her fellow teammates followed suit, juniors Kate Roarty and Caroline McCarthy were eighth and ninth respectively in 12:20 and 12:30.

1Lane Tech High School517+8+9+12+15 (16+17)0:35 1-5 Split | 12:29 Avg
2Northside Prep High School541+4+10+18+21 (33+46)1:31 1-5 Split | 12:17 Avg
3Payton High School655+11+13+14+22 (24+26)1:32 1-5 Split | 12:32 Avg
4Whitney Young High School782+3+19+25+29 (30+31)1:51 1-5 Split | 12:35 Avg
5Taft High School1206+20+23+32+39 (43+44)1:54 1-5 Split | 13:12 Avg


The boys' race was just as intense as the girls as over 400 runners streamed to a head in the opening 200 meters. Lane Tech junior Hunter Whitney emerged from the fray along with Kieran Subra (Sr., Lycee francais de Chicago), Whitney had several steps on Subra through a fast opening mile in 4:46. The meet and course record on the revised layout was on the line. Initially, Whitney was going for the win but realized there was something at stake if he could challenge the 9:47 mark. He would kick it home five seconds ahead of Subra in a new standard 9:40.7. Ritvik Viniak (Jr., Payton) trotted home in a swift 9:57. Gabriel Saunders (Sr., Whitney Young) was fourth in 10:00. Michael Polizzi (Sr., Taft) took fifth in 10:06.

As for the series team win, Lane Tech got the job done with 38 points. It also averted the Indians a three-week layout. They last competed on September 18 and won't be in action until October 6 at the Naperville Twilight Invite.

1Lane Tech High School381+5+9+10+13 (19+21)0:50 1-5 Split | 10:13 Avg
2Whitney Young High School503+7+11+14+15 (17+22)0:34 1-5 Split | 10:22 Avg
3Payton High School522+6+8+16+20 (25+26)0:40 1-5 Split | 10:21 Avg
4Taft High School1454+32+33+35+41 (44+47)1:22 1-5 Split | 10:58 Avg
5Northside Prep High School15724+28+29+37+39 (40+45)0:40 1-5 Split | 10:58 Avg