Plainfield Central RecapSunday, September 6 2015 - Plainfield Central (Wildcat Invitational)
PLAINFIELD CENTRAL "WILDCAT" INVITATIONAL
Saturday, September 5, 2015
Whew. What a weird day yesterday at Plainfield Central yesterday, wasn't it? Despite an ultra-rare lightning delay for cross country (I -- Coach Dunne -- can think of only one other time that we've had a lightning delay in a cross country invitational meet), our athletes put on fine showings across the board at our first invitational of the season.
A quick note on the course at Plainfield Central: This year, they redesigned the course in an effort to cut down on runners being passed. Previously, the entire course had been about three loops around the South Grounds complex, but did not run behind cornfield at the western end of the South Grounds. This year, the one mile and two mile marks were both beyond the cornfields. Although we were told that the course was measured to be "within ten feet of three miles", we also feel that this course runs slower than the previous course design.
In addition, the weather didn't do us any favors. It wasn't necessarily hot -- at least before the rain delay, but boy, was it humid.
Regardless of whatever factors there may be, the bottom line is this: Despite the delays -- among other things -- at the meet yesterday, as well as missing some key pieces of our lineups due to various reasons, our Sentinels turned in very good performances.
Four Sentinel ladies toed the line for the Frosh-Soph girls race, the first race of the morning. Although we knew we wouldn't score as a team (you need five runners to score), the ladies were looking to put their training on the line in our first invitational meet of the season. Sophomore Ashley Eiermann, making her career invitational debut after an injury-filled season last year, led a trio of freshmen through the warmup and pre-race routines before the gun fired to signal the start of the meet. Along with Ashley, three freshmen made their invitational debuts: Frankie Fabry, Katie Schultz, and Whittney Ruiz.
Frankie would go on to turn in a very good time of 24:04 -- a drop of two solid minutes from Tuesday's season opener, good for a 24th place finish. Ashley would cross the finish line in 26:25, dropping 35 seconds from Tuesday's meet, to finish 54th. Katie also ran another very solid race after her debut on Tuesday, finishing in 28:15 for 67th and marking a drop of more than two minutes from Tuesday. Whittney, in her debut race, ran a time of 43:28 for 92nd place.
Nice job yesterday, ladies, be proud of yourselves!
We again ran four Sentinels in the Frosh-Soph Boys race. We were missing a couple of pieces -- Pierre Cherim was at the meet with us, but was out with an injury. Ben Padgitt was with the band at Band Day at Northwestern University, where the Wildcats went on to upset Stanford, 16-6 in their own season debut. While there would be no upset like Northwestern over Stanford for our Frosh-Soph boys today, as we wouldn't have a team score with only four guys running. That said, however, our Frosh-Soph boys have nothing to be upset about after their performances yesterday.
All four boys in this race were making their invitational debuts. Robbie Burns led the way for the Frosh-Soph boys, finishing in 57th with a time of 20:31, which now ranks as the 8th best time by a Frosh-Soph athlete since 2007 at Plainfield Central's South Grounds, as well as the 8th fastest Frosh-Soph runner on our Top 10 list. Behind Robbie was Jake Dooley, who ran with Robbie for the first two miles of the race. Jake ended up finishing 72nd with a time of 21:26, which marks an improvement of almost three minutes from Tuesday's meet! Connor Alessi followed not far behind Jake, and he just missed out on breaking 22 minutes, finishing in 22:01 to claim 78th place, and Connor can be very proud of an improvement of almost four minutes from Tuesday's time! Brandon was not feeling very well, during the race, and we would find out why after. Despite that, Brandon battled his hardest to complete the three mile circuit in 23:50, good for 87th place.
Our Frosh-Soph boys had great races all around on Saturday! Be proud, guys!
It was during the Frosh-Soph Boys race that lightning struck for the first time, near the end of the race. Those runners still out on the course finished, but the meet officials began herding the crowd indoors for safety reasons. The delay lasted a little over an hour, which meant our varsity girls would not run until 11:15.
Despite the unexpected delay, five of our ladies toed the line and all turned in very good races. We've still got some work to do if we're going to go after our goal of a top ten finish at State in November, but this was a good start, and we'll build off of it. And, we were without Peyton Nash for today, as she was out with injury this past week -- but is looking forward to returning to the lineup.
Halle and Lisa would run the entire race together until Halle put down a final kick to finish in 22nd with a time of 22:11 and Lisa finished two seconds back of Halle in 22:13, good for 25th. Both sophomore ladies broke into our Top 10 Runners list for the varsity girls, going back to 2007. Halle moves up to 8th place, while Lisa ties Greta Sauciunaite for 9th place. Congratulations, ladies!
Our back trio of Lily, Brittany, and Hannah all ran fine races -- Lily was behind Brittany and Hannah for the first two miles, but the order was reversed by the end of the race: Lily threw down a huge kick to catch and must have passed about ten runners to move up to 42nd place in 23:40. Brittany, however, felt good for the first two and a half miles, but had nothing left in the tank down the stretch. Brittany would finish 47th in 23:52, and Hannah finished another five spots back in 52nd place in 24:02.
While Lockport (a trophy contender in 3A and possibly one of the top teams in the NXN-Midwest Region) and Lemont (a trophy contender to dethrone four-time state champion Yorkville in 2A) cleaned up individual honors, the ladies scored 22-25-42-47-51 for 187 points, good for a very strong 7th place finish in a tough field of mostly 2A and 3A schools. Congratulations ladies!
Although we lost a lot of talent and experience after last season (losing Nick Dea, Anthony Alessi -- who came out to support his brother in his Frosh-Soph race -- Mitch Perrotta, and Tony Cordero), four of our guys from last season are back for another season and they showed that the future is bright. Four underclassmen and one senior -- who played soccer last year -- made up our varsity roster for today. Tom Dea was one of our missing pieces for today as he was out of town.
Neverthless, after the varsity girls ran their race, the guys ran theirs as the anticipated rapid temperature increase finally arrived combined with the humidity left over from the brief rainstorm that caused the delay earlier.
After losing half his season to injury last year, sophomore Jasper Requiron is intent on making sure that does not happen again this year. He led our varsity boys with a 18:09 time to finish 34th overall in a very tough field loaded with superb 2A and 3A talent. Paul Gordon, making his invitational debut after playing soccer for three years, turned in a time of 19:01 for 51st place and Sam Asa followed not far behind Paul with 19:35 to take 66th place. Ryan Pleva ran 20:37 to finish 82nd, and Jacob Nader, in his first varsity race of his career finished in 92nd with 24:14.
The boys battled the quickly rising heat and humidity to score 34-51-66-82-92 for 325 points, good for a 13th place finish.
LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK
We will once again have two meets next week. On Tuesday, we remain at home for our second of three home meets on our schedule. We will welcome Aurora Central Catholic (ACC), Immaculate Conception (IC), and Nazareth Academy to our course.
On Saturday, we have a very early wake-up and departure time for the Peoria Woodruff/First to the Finish Invitational. It's for good reason as we will be heading to Detweiller Park -- home of the state meet course -- for this meet. Athletes are expected to be at school by 4:45 am for a 5:00 am bus departure to Peoria. The bus WILL leave at 5:00 am, with or without you -- don't be late!
Finally, athletes, you can check out the Week 5 Workouts right here!