After battling a second 14-day COVID-19 quarantine, nobody beat the clock better than the York boys cross country runners at Saturday’s Class 3A Proviso West Regional.
The Dukes had their best races of the season, and luckily they came after 12:01 p.m.
“We’ve been knocked down, stepped on, pushed, shoved, but we’ve got up every time,” York coach Charlie Kern said. “They ran today with some serious determination.”
The Dukes were a strong second to Lyons Township 37-43 after the York girls earlier captured their first regional crown since 2011 with 38 points to also advance to the LT Sectional Oct. 31. Times were combined from separate races for No. 6-7, 4-5 and finally 1-2-3 entries.
The top York boys’ varsity training group competed within hours after another quarantine following contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Following medical consultation from a runner’s parent, the Dukes had their quarantine pinpointed to end at 12:01 p.m., just before the first of their three races at 1:30 p.m.
“If our regional was in the morning (like the girls), we couldn’t have run,” Kern said. “Some people say (LT) might be the best team in the state. We were right there.”
LT senior Owen Hays won the boys race (15:47.89 for 3.06 miles) after winning the West Suburban Silver Meet Oct. 17. Glenbard West senior Pierce Cousins was second (15:53.48) like the Silver.
“Much of the same competitors (as Silver) so it’s always nice to beat those guys. They’re great runners,” Hays said. “It’s great to have York back.”
Six York boys entries could not compete at the Silver Meet. That included York senior Mickey Vreeland (15:57.63) and junior Ethan Summer (15:58.46), who with Wheaton Warrenville South junior Michael Atkins (16:00.37) also were all-regional with top-five finishes.
“We were quarantined for 28 days (total). Honestly I think we came out better because of it,” Vreeland said. “We just wanted to prove ourselves because we didn’t get that opportunity last week.”
In the sixth meeting of two of the state’s best girls, Batavia junior Katrina Schlenker won (17:56.00) with WW South senior Sam Poglitsch second (18:04.38). York freshmen Michaela Quinn (18:12.80) and sophomore Brooke Berger (18:18.11) and LT senior Kate Dickman (18:27.14) also were all-regional.
Schlenker and Poglitsch again were together at two miles but also had three to four others join the lead pack much of the race.
“I like the competition definitely,” Schlenker said. “There’s the familiarity of Sam being up there with me. It was pretty different with all of the other girls.”
Also advancing as top-five boys teams were WW South (80), Glenbard West (94) and Batavia (127) and in girls Batavia (74), LT (89), WW South (101) and Glenbard West (105), whose coach Paul Hass called this the state’s toughest 3A girls regional.
“Interestingly enough, (our seven) ran in three separate races and it was probably our best team effort,” Hass said.
The LT boys responded to a close second-place finish to Downers Grove North at the Silver Meet. Senior Jocqael Thorpe, junior Charlie McLawhorn and seniors Sawyer Madell and Sam Nowak were sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th.
At sectionals, the Lions hope to challenge defending 3A state champion St. Charles East.
“Since we lost that conference we just wanted to win this one,” Nowak said. “Not all of the pieces together, but I think next week we’re going to have them.”
The York girls hope to challenge DuKane champion St. Charles East at sectionals. They improved upon their Silver-winning performance with seven top-17 efforts. Sophomore Bria Bennis, junior Katelyn Winton and freshman Katherine Klimek were 8-11-12.
“They definitely stepped up,” York coach Lauren DeAngelis said. “They’re running awesome and we want to keep going on a strong note.”
Often York’s top finisher, Berger bounced back from a bike accident the day before conference, which contributed to 21st place.
“I got some bruises. I was totally fine during the race but I think I just worried about it too much about it,” Berger said. “I’m happy with how I performed (Saturday).”
Glenbard West junior Audrey Allman and LT sophomore Catherine Sommerfeld were sixth and seventh and Batavia seniors Jenna Schifferer and Lauren Hunecke ninth and 10th. Advancing girls individuals included Wheaton North junior Jacelyn Johnson (18th) and senior Amelia Murray (22nd).
For the boys, Batavia senior Ryan Mansour and sophomore Quintin Lowe were seventh and 13th.
Wheaton North, expected to advance, did not compete. This week, the Falcons responsibly went into quarantine.
“The team couldn’t rule out close contact with a COVID-positive person,” said Wheaton North coach Nate Roe via phone.