3A recap: York girls dominate; Sandburg boys wins 2nd crown

The 2021 version of the Lady Duke of York was about as dominating as we have seen in awhile




The lovable Lady Dukes of York came too far to be friendly on the Detweiller course. The top-rated team in the state came into the season as the favorites as they obviously wanted to depart the IHSA portion of their campaign as champs.  Right away, the York scoring pack plus one more got themselves in a good position after a lightning-fast opening pace set up by Josephine Welin (Sr., Oak Park-River Forest) in 5:10!

The US#10 Dukesters already had a commanding lead at the first mile against #5 Prospect 68-130 with a split of two seconds. It was Katherine Klimek's (So) turn to lead the charge and she did with a 5:27 first mile. 

The margin over Prospect was 70-143 at the second mile and the scorers were still intact and the split was just a scant 14 seconds. Though it increased slightly inside the final mile, the fans witnessed one of the all-time great performances as the Dukes put all of their scorers in the top 20 (#6 was 27th) and routed the field. The 17:09 per girl scoring average was #3 behind the 2018 state meet (Naperville North 16:58, Yorkville 16:59). #6 Hinsdale Central scored 197 to take third. 

Back to Welin, she is still peaking and the time right now could not have been better. With only seven weeks of regular training under her belt, she continued her assault on the field, mounting a 14-second lead by the second mile in 10:45. As good as things looked, Welin started to slow down as she did at the sectional round. Experienced vets in the field by the name of Brooke Johnston (Jr., Lake Zurich), Aly Negovetich (Sr., Grant), and Grace Schager (Jr., Glenbard North) are the primary notables who can close out races well.

Negovetich passed tiring Johnston and Schager deep inside the final mile. The big lead that Welin had fizzled down to under five seconds with less than 200m to go. However, she was fortunate that there was not enough real estate for Negovetich to pull off the upset- the win goes to Welin in a personal best 16:26. Negovetich's 16:29 is also a career run and behind her a dozen girls broke 17:00, making it one of the fastest finals in state history. 
1York High School623+12+14+15+18 (27+77)0:35 1-5 Split | 17:09 Avg
2Prospect High School1517+19+26+43+56 (65+101)1:08 1-5 Split | 17:37 Avg
3Hinsdale Central High School1979+28+39+47+74 (97+152)1:21 1-5 Split | 17:46 Avg
4Minooka High School20424+29+31+37+83 (90+134)0:49 1-5 Split | 17:51 Avg
5Yorkville High School24413+30+55+67+79 (126+139)1:16 1-5 Split | 17:54 Avg


The best sectional in the state courtesy of Hinsdale Central did not disappoint.  The predictions by many were that it would be a clean sweep led by #1 Sandburg. They would be followed by Downers Grove North, Hinsdale Central, and Oswego- all top five teams who ran well at the last round.

As the race unfolded, the top-ranked Eagles got its corps into position off of a fast first mile in 4:34 led by Micah Wilson (Sr., St. Charles East) and nearly a dozen or more guys upfront. If the blistering pace was going to hurt some of Sandburg's key scorers, then it would be the same for everyone else.

It was a game of attrition as the race entered the back loop. Wilson began to turn up the gas as he crossed the halfway point under 7:00. This is where many former champions made their move to win or try and break open the race. Luke Wiley (Sr., Warren), one of the favorites, was among the first favorites to add by the second mile which was around 9:21 for Wilson. Nick Falk (Sr., New Trier) had dropped off as well. Riley Newport (Jr., Dekalb) was an unlikely figure late in the race. He was a long shot to win but he could hold on, he would garner a tremendous personal best (14:51 was previously best).

Wilson coasted home in a new school record 14:11 and the fastest time of the day. The dream of winning the IHSA state title since he was a freshman came to fruition. Falk clocked 14:14 to take second and just ahead of Newport's 14:15. The fourth-place finish went to Wiley in 14:19.

Simultaneously, Sandburg's hard-fought battle earned Coach John O'Malley his second title. The Eagles led by Declan Tunney's fifth-place finish (14:29) put three scorers in the top 20 and two more in the scoring top 50 and won with 130 points. The Red Devils earned another trophy and beat their conference rivals the Trojans 175-179 for the runner-up spot. 
1Sandburg High School1305+17+18+41+49 (87+147)0:46 1-5 Split | 14:54 Avg
2Hinsdale Central High School17512+25+30+44+64 (104+119)0:34 1-5 Split | 15:05 Avg
3Downers Grove North High School1796+34+36+51+52 (83+116)0:46 1-5 Split | 15:04 Avg
4New Trier High School1962+39+46+54+55 (92+114)1:03 1-5 Split | 15:02 Avg
5Oswego High School19715+24+28+56+74 (85+111)0:38 1-5 Split | 15:06 Avg