PEORIA – DeKalb junior Riley Newport utilized an intrepid approach at the IHSA Cross Country State Meet.
“My goal was top five coming in here,” Newport said. “I knew this group of [Class] 3A top individuals it could be anybody’s day, so why not mine?”
Newport did not win, but finished strong by taking third behind St. Charles East’s Micah Wilson and New Trier’s Nick Falk in the Class 3A boys race at Detweiller Park.
Newport finished in 14:15.65 with his hard charge in the last half mile. Wilson won in 14:11.18 and Falk was second in 14:14.11. Newport’s finish was the highest for a DeKalb boys runner since Jim Bowers was the 1955 state champion. It’s the Barbs’ first All-Stater since 1977.
Newport ran a good part of the race with Sandburg’s Declan Tunney, working together with him behind a few runners in the front pack. Newport passed Tunney and Warren’s Luke Wiley to move up to third place.
“That was hard, I’m still pretty tired from that [finish],” he said. “I had to give it my all today. If I wanted to put my name out there, I had to give everything I had and I think I did that today.
“I knew that first mile was going to be fast, so I wanted to stay back a little bit and be really mentally tough that second and third mile and catch some people, work my way forward. I just wanted to put my best effort forward. I’m proud of the result.”
Kaneland’s Evan Nosek finished 20th in the Class 2A boys race to earn All-State honors [top 25]. The Knights’ Christian Phillips was 44th and Nolan Allen took 52nd.
Sycamore’s Ethan Solfisburg took 46th and Naif Al Harby was 63rd in the 2A boys race.
Sycamore’s Lily Baker took 57th (18:45.28) in the Class 2A girls race, while Kaneland’s Alli Gonnella was 76th (19:00.7). Indian Creek’s Caroline Bend (19:00.61) took 51st in the Class 1A girls race.