Survive and advance was the rule at Lyons Twp Regional

Josie Welin went coast to coast in her regional win at Lyons Township High School



LaGrange IL-

A total of 10 ranked teams (six boys, four girls) easily made the Lyons Township Regional the hardest in the state regardless of classification. The inside joke contained a molecule of seriousness, "survive and advance." On a sunny but chilly day, more than 80 participants in each race went out and made an attempt to advance to the Hinsdale Central Sectional.

It was rough enough that so many great teams and individuals had to compete in this regional, but the meet officials adjusted the course several years ago from 2.85 miles to 5000m (3.10 miles). The Lyons Township High School course featured two long loops and one shorter loop which veered to the right on the third time and just passed the three-mile marker. Finally, the hairpin turn about 120m from the finish line greeted tired runners.

Josephine Welin, Hinsdale Central paced the girls in the opening race-

Josie Welin (Sr., Oak Park-River Forest) wasted no time in setting the tone of the race. As Welin did a week prior at the West Suburban Conference Silver Championship on the same course, she roared to the front of the herd and sped off. Already ten seconds up on the field, Welin hit the first mile in approximately 5:27. Catherine Sommerfeld (Jr., Lyons Twp) and Catie McCabe (Jr., Hinsdale Central) worked together for almost the entire race, were key pieces to their team's opportunity to advance to the next round.

The team battle was a sea of red, orange, yellow, and purple from the various schools of the mighty WSC Silver. The Red Devilettes of Hinsdale Central appeared to have a slight advantage. Meanwhile, Welin continued to motor on and increased her advantage, passing the second mile in 11:09. It was virtually over at this point, but the team points needed to be counted. The Red Devilettes were on their way to the win followed by Downers North.

Welin would come home for the win in 17:34, 23 seconds ahead of McCabe's 17:57. Sommerfeld strolled home in 18:03 in third ahead of Claire Pyne (Jr., Downers Grove North) and her 18:40. The fifth-place finisher was Erin Milligan (Sr., Hinsdale Central) who clocked 18:46.

Qualifying Sectional TEAM SCORES
1Hinsdale Central High School432+5+8+12+16 (18+41)1:23 1-5 Split | 18:49 Avg
2Downers Grove North High School604+7+10+17+22 (29+31)1:00 1-5 Split | 19:05 Avg
3Oak Park-River Forest811+9+13+21+37 (47+50)3:01 1-5 Split | 19:11 Avg
4Lyons Township High School823+14+19+20+26 (27+28)1:39 1-5 Split | 19:13 Avg
5Whitney Young High School1376+11+33+43+44 (51+54)2:14 1-5 Split | 20:00 Avg
6Lane Tech High School14115+23+32+35+36 (40+45)1:14 1-5 Split | 20:04 Avg


The boy's side of the game was a blood bath-

#3 Hinsdale Central, #5 Downers Grove North, #8 Lyons Twp, #17 Chicago Jones Prep, #24 Chicago Lane Tech, and #25 Oak Park-River Forest were the ranked teams. But don't forget about Chicago St. Ignatius too. The Wolfpack is a dangerous team that has been in a position of dropping big performances. None of these teams could afford to have a letdown or they could be left sitting at home.

Right away the pace went out pretty fast as Dan Watcke (Jr., Hinsdale Central), Roy Llewellyn (Sr., Downers Grove North), Charlie McLawhorn (Sr., Lyons Twp.), Colby Revord (Sr., Hinsdale Central), and Hunter Whitney (Jr., Chicago Lane Tech) set the tone.

It was a dash around the first tour of the crazy maze course that resulted in the opening mile in 4:50. Though this friendly quartet was controlling things, DGN, Hinsdale Central, and Lyons had their packs about 10 seconds off the pace.

The second mile saw Llewellyn open things up and gap the group- 9:49 at the post. The three aforementioned teams were comfortably upfront and destined to move. Oak Park-River Forest appeared to look safe as well. It was tight between Jones, St. Iggy, and Lane were battling for the final two spots. 

Watcke made a push and separated from the comfort zone with less than a half-mile to go. He tracked down Llewellyn before the final stretch and put on a quick burst and earned the win in 15:21 and the one-second victory. McLawhorn took third in 15:28. Revord had his best race of the season as did Whitney who took fourth and fifth with 15:30 and 15:39 clockings.

We could see a different scenario next weekend with #1 Sandburg, #2 Oswego, and several other top dogs entering the picture. We may see a version of the state championship a week early at Katherine Legge Memorial Park on October 30.

Qualifying sectional TEAM SCORES
1Downers Grove North High School552+6+8+14+25 (36+54)1:03 1-5 Split | 15:52 Avg
2Hinsdale Central High School611+4+13+20+23 (26+46)0:54 1-5 Split | 15:50 Avg
3Lyons Township High School753+16+17+18+21 (27+42)0:43 1-5 Split | 15:59 Avg
4Oak Park-River Forest11211+12+28+30+31 (38+39)0:38 1-5 Split | 16:17 Avg
5Jones College Prep12810+15+32+34+37 (43+48)0:51 1-5 Split | 16:21 Avg
6St. Ignatius College Prep High School14519+22+24+33+47 (55+57)1:01 1-5 Split | 16:29 Avg