Dan Watcke was part of a Hinsdale Central track 4x800 relay that in June ran the fastest time in Illinois history, breaking a 22-year-old state record. Now Watcke and the Red Devils are striving for similar success in cross country as the Class 3A preseason No. 1 team.
Downers Grove North senior Roy Llewellyn, who ran a lifetime-best time at state to take sixth place in Peoria in leading the Trojans to a third-place team finish and state trophy, is the Suburban Life Boys Cross Country Athlete of the Year. His story, and the All-Area list team.
Led by All-Staters Katherine Klimek, Bria Bennis, Brooke Berger and Katelyn Winton, York's girls cross country team raced to the Class 3A state championship. Hinsdale Central's girls were third, Hinsdale Central and Downers Grove North second and third, respectively, in 3A boys with Fenwick winning the 2A boys title.
Downers Grove South senior Sophia McNerney took second place at sectionals, leading area state qualifiers from a loaded field at Hinsdale Central that included nine top-11 ranked girls teams and seven top-nine ranked boys teams.
Hinsdale South sophomore Charlotte Old continued her upward progression by taking eighth place at the Class 2A Fenton Sectional to punch her ticket to state. Nazareth's girls team placed second and St. Francis fifth, while on the boys side Nathaniel McKillop led Fenwick to the sectional title while Kaneland and Riverside-Brookfield rounded out the top three.
Dan Watcke closed fast to win the individual title, pacing Hinsdale Central's boys cross country team to its first West Suburban Silver title since 2014. Meanwhile, York's No. 1-ranked girls team had five of the top nine runners to repeat as Silver champs.