IL kids make the most of Arcadia Invitational

The girls 800m field was the fastest in the country in the United States


The Arcadia Invitational has seen many glorious performances in its 54 years of existence. Saturday was the culmination of a spectacular weekend in which not only several national records were threatened, but many of the athletes enjoyed a memorable experience that will last a lifetime. 

Allison Ince (So., Normal Community) made her 2022 outdoor debut with a huge performance in the 800m. Ince looked refreshed and her old self with the front running gun style that netted a US#1 2:05.42.

Audrey Allman (Sr., Glenbard West) continued her school's run of great performances here. In the early session, Allman placed 8th in the 800m with a time of 2:12.94. Several hours later in the seeded mile, Allman dropped an eye-opening effort in the mile that netted an IL #2 4:50.77.

Mary Grace Hegberg (Sr., St. Viator) just missed out on earning a medal in the girls invite mile but she came away with a personal best and state leading 4:49.78 time. It was one of the fastest races in the history of the event. 

The 10:25.17 that senior Ava Parekh of Chicago Latin ran was not her personal best. However, it was an effort that was solid for a season debut and hopefully when she is at full strength, the championship ring talk will go through her.

Nick Falk (Sr., New Trier) may have finished 14th in the boys historic Invite 3200m, but it was the fastest in the state this season. He clocked a personal best 8:53.44. Falk's first and second mile were nearly equal- 4:26/4:27. Friendly rival and pal Micah Wilson (Sr., St. Charles East) set things up in the seeded race. The 3A cross country state champion moved to the front of the lead pack with a few laps remaining which would later solidify his future standing. Wilson would even eventually run a lifetime best 8:57.40. Also, Luke Wiley (Sr., Warren) was in the race but wasn't as fortunate though his time of 9:14.67 was respectable.

The Chicago Lane Tech boys distance crew was feeling good after a fine performance in Friday evening's invite 4x800m relay. On Saturday morning under scorching 90 degree temperatures, Lane junior Hunter Whitney placed ninth overall in the open mile with a time of 4:18.71 (New Trier senior George Cahill had earlier clocked IL#1 4:16.18 and senior Michael Schumacher of St. Viator ran 4:20.14).

Lane finished the night off in style by testing their mettle in the Invite Distance Medley Relay. The Northsiders were pitted against the best competition in the country. Whitney led off in 3:08.8 for 1200m and kept his teammates in contention. Junior Nick Gestrich and senior Emmett Kennedy jetted 52.0 and 1:57.2 for their 400 and 800 meter legs. Senior Jack Klein closed things out with a 4:19.5 1600m carry. The overall time 10:17.62 was good for fourth place and US#7. It is a school as well.