Here is a glimpse of what to watch for in the 3 distances races in 3A for 2012. With the influx of 2A schools moving up, we should have some great races in Charleston.
3200 Meter Run
In the last 3 years, there have been 3 different York runners that have won this race. It is highly unlikely that this will happen in 2012, but it is only February. We will have to see what transpires during the season.
Malachy Schrobilgen of Oak Park (Oak Park-River Forest HS) placed 2nd in this event last year behind York’s Jack Driggs. “Mac” had a good cross country season finishing 3rd at the state meet and qualifying for both the Nike and Foot Locker National Meets. Schrobilgen will be starting out slow this indoor season. Before the Nike National Meet, he suffered an Achilles injury. He took some time off in December, He is recovered but don’t expect to see him racing before March.
Garrett Sweatt of Edwardsville HS had the same type of season as Schrobilgen in cross country. He lost only one race before state meet, that to Michael Clevenger at the Peoria Invitational. He finished 4th last November. In the 3200 last spring he finished 5th. I am sure he will be pushing the pace in the state race. Mark Derrick of Naperville (Neuqua Valley HS) finished 6th in the 3200 last spring running a personal best. He has the talent to run well under 9:10 this spring.
The one wild card to watch in this event is Tyler Yunk of Belvidere (North HS). The big question right after the state cross country meet was how would he race against the top runners in 3A. He proved himself by running a strong 7th place at the Nike Midwest Regionals. Yunk finished 2nd last November behind Clevenger in the 2A race. At state track, he ran a personal best of running 9:18 in finishing 3rd as a sophomore. He will definitely be in the mix with the leaders in Charleston.
There are two runners to watch in this event this spring. The first is Peter Tomkiewicz of Palatine HS. He did not run last year at the state track meet. His best time last spring was 9:41.14. He showed he was one of the elite runners in the state last fall by placing 11th at Detweiller. I am sure he will better his personal best. That is a no brainer but it should be below 9:20.
The second runner to watch is Jack Keelan of Chicago (St. Ignatius Prep HS). He is coming off of a rough cross country season where he did not qualify for the state meet. In track, he was consistently in the low 9:20’s during the season culminating with a 10th place finish. Two weeks later, he ran 9:14 at the Midwest Distance Gala. The big thing to watch in this young man is how he responds to the setbacks he had in the fall. I am sure it will have a positive outcome.
Other runners to watch in this event include Patrick Niyork of Villa Park (Willowbrook HS), Erik Peterson of Barrington HS, Anthony Gregorio of Palatine HS, Paxson Menard of Belvidere (North HS), William Hague of Wilmette (Loyola Academy HS), Taylor Soltys of Naperville (Neuqua Valley HS), Jereme Atchison of Buffalo Grove HS, and Scott Milling of Elmhurst (York HS).
800 Meter Run
After looking at the runners that are returning in this event, I think we could see some sizzling times this spring if the weather cooperates. Michal Filipczak of Park Ridge (Maine South HS) was a surprise last year at the state meet when finished 2nd. He will not be a surprise this year. He has the talent to go under 1:50.
Second runner to watch is the 2A champion Michael Simon of Springfield HS, now in 3A. His personal best last year was 1:55.82. He used the tactics last year of running fast enough to win. I do not think we saw the fastest out of this athlete. We could see some fast time from this runner this spring.
There are 2 other runners from 2A that could make a difference in this event. Chris Alvarez of Crystal Lake (Central HS) finished 2nd last year in 2A; Will Crocker of Belvidere (North HS) finished 7th last year after running in the 4 x 8 relay. Both runners have the talent to challenge for the state title.
A big question will be Mike Fahey of Lombard (Glenbard East HS). He diod not run cross country in the fall instead of opting to play football. He has a PR of 1:53.28. If he decides to run this spring, he could be a factor in this event.
This is a deep event. Other runners to keep a watch on include Jake Mazanke of St. Charles (East HS), Neal Omar of Skokie (Niles West HS), Johnny Moore of East St. Louis (Senior HS) and David Timlin of Chicago (Lane Tech HS).
1600 Meter Run
It was not a fast pace at last year’s state meet in the 1600 but it sure was exciting. Will we see more of the tactical racing this season? Of course it is hard to tell, but we have runners that are returning that like to push the pace. We could see some times coming close to 4:10 and perhaps below that.
State 3A Cross Country Champion Leland Later of Winnetka (New Trier HS) is the fastest returner in this event when he ran 4:14.30 for a 4th place finish at the state meet. You could see the change of him over the summer where he ran with more confidence in the cross country season. I think that the way he is running now, I think we can see fast times from this young man.
Mike Lederhouse of Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West HS) has the second returning time in this event. He did not have the best of cross country seasons. During his training last summer, he suffered an osteochondral lesion in his ankle as a result of an earlier ankle sprain. It hampered his training and thus he was unable to qualify for the state cross country meet. He is in shape and will be interesting to see how he progresses during this indoor season.
Pat Juras of Lake Zurich HS will be a runner that will be in the hunt for the state championship. The same can be said about Erik Peterson of Barrington HS and Mitch Wilkins of Crystal Lake (Prairie Ridge HS). They are sub 4:20 milers that are capable of running in the low teens. Also watch for Malachy Schrobilgen of Oak Park (Oak Park-River Forest HS) and Garrett Sweatt of Edwardsville HS. Both most likely will be coming off of a double. Both runners are strong enough to challenge for the state championship if they choose to run just the both races.
There is a wild card runner in this event and that runner is Alex Riba of O’Fallon HS. He ran 4:18.93 last spring in the 1600. He did not qualify for the state meet in this event. He had a great cross country season finishing up with a 2nd place finish at the state meet. He has the confidence and could be the surprise to win the individual race. Could he run sub 4:10? Possibly.
Other runners to watch include Todd Ford of Wilmette (Loyola Academy HS), Garrett Lee of Belvidere (North HS), Bill Clink of Elmhurst (York HS), and Aron Sebhat of Skokie (Niles North HS).
Questions Comments? Contact Michael Newman > newman.dyestatIL@gmail.com