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State Meet Highlights -11/9/13
We placed 20th
as a team at the 2013 IHSA State Meet. I think we had 2 or 3 good days out
of seven, which is usually not a recipe for success at the State Meet. We
hoped for a better showing, but it wasnít in the cards for us. We were out
of position from the gun, and most of our guys did not move through the
field very effectively. Such is the way in Illinois Cross Country. There is
not much room for error, and if you hesitate, there are dozens of good teams
ready to jump all over you. We had run well in recent weeks taking a relaxed
approach to racing, but Detweiller tends to reward the aggressive teams. I
can promise that we will not take a backseat in that race ever again. Our
goal over the next 12 months will be to prepare ourselves for the first half
of that race. At the very least, we will be in it, and we will let the chips
fall as they may in the final 8 minutes.
With that said, we
conclude an excellent season. We once again turned some eyebrows and
accomplished what others didnít think we could. This team made a commitment
over the summer to be the hardest working team in LZXC history. The created
key experiences, pushed the envelope of dedication, and pursued higher
training levels. As a result, they developed a bond that can only be
understood each other. This team is as tight-knit as any team we have had,
and the full extent of this teams contributions may not be evident for 3 or
4 more years. We had a number of guys step up at different times and
contribute. As a result, we are awarding the most varsity letters in our
teamís history (16). Frankly, they are all deserving.
Dave Brown has run
tough for us all season, and this race was no different. Dave had the best
race of any LZXC Bear. Dave finished as our #1 man in 62nd place
by moving up well through the field to a PR time of 15:23. Dave showed once
again that he is one of the best athletes in Lake Zurich High School.
Already a two-sport star basketball and tennis, Dave joined us over the
summer and committed to the training. He showed that competitive drive, a
desire to excel, mental toughness, and self-confidence can go a long way in
Matt Pereira has been
on fire of late, improving at an unbelievable rate over the past month.
Unfortunately a midweek cold and some Achilles tendonitis contributed to 3
missed workouts from Tuesday through Thursday. He clearly didnít have the
bounce in his step from the gun and his chances of an All-State medal were
lost. Matt hung in the 60s for most of the race and fell back a bit more in
the final mile to a 15:25.
less-than-ideal conclusion to his debut high school season, the future looks
bright. In a single season, Matt asserted himself as one of the top runners
in the north suburbs and an elite talent for years to come. When you
consider what he accomplished this season despite limited training over the
summer and carrying only a modest 30 miles per week in season, you realize
how special he is. It is going to be fun to watch what he can do as he gains
strength, experience, and training.
Will Llanos was our #3
but had trouble getting into the flow of the race. It is a race he would
soon choose to forget, but his experience and poise was invaluable for us in
the championship phase of the season. As the only experienced post-season
runner on the team, his teammates looked to him for leadership, and he did
provide, running the best races of his career in Regionals and Sectionals.
Look for Will to race with something to prove as he stands out on the track
There was a time when
Austin Kuehr was one of the most mentally weak runners on our team. If
anything didnít go according to plan, Austin would fade away faster than
sidewalk chalk in a rainstorm. But Austin has worked diligently on winning
the mental battle of this sport, and has become one of our most consistent
runners. When he found himself in the last 30 runners of the race around the
first turn, he did not panic or give up. Austin battled every step of the
race, moving methodically through the field. Austin finished in 15:54,
within seconds of his PR. It was probably our second best race of the day,
although I know Austin was hoping for better. More importantly, Austin won
the mental battle, and finished his high school cross country career with
Matt Reninger did not
run as great as he did last week at Sectionals, but he ran well enough to
earn a PR 16:19 as our 5th man. It was an uplifting conclusion to
his career as a member of LZXC, as he likely thought his career was over
after his JV Conference Championship. Justin Shim and Matt Milnerís races
will serve as motivation for redemption over the next 12 months.
From here, we will send
a group down to Terre Haute to try their hand at the NXN Regional
Championships. Next week, Polar Bears kicks off with Game Week, and we
look forward to challenging our individual limits and will pursue even
greater training levels and dedication.
Sectional Highlights Ė
We placed 4th
in the Schaumburg Sectional with 157 points. Hersey won with 93, followed by
Buffalo Grove with 112. Palatine edged us with 154. Conant tied Prospect for
5th at 184, with each earning a spot at Detweiller.
It was our best team
race of the year, and I am simply proud to coach a group of guys who have
prepared and executed as well as anybody. We had great presence up front
with Matt Pereira taking another big step forward, but the story was a new
face stepping up in the back of our pack. Matt Reninger had the best race of
his life to run as our 5th man, and it couldnít have come at a
better time. As a result, we advanced to the IHSA State meet with for the
sixth consecutive year, and look forward to toing the line against the best
that Illinois has to offer.
The rest of the state
is quickly learning what we knew all along: that Matt Pereira is crazy good.
Matt ran with poise from the gun, hanging on the back of the lead back
through the mile. From there, the lead pack split in half with Reiser, Dale,
Estrada, Brown and Thomas pulling away. Matt hung with Herseyís duo of
Philipose and Rodriguez through the two mile before making a move and
securing 6th. I did a little research and discovered only 1 other
Freshman has placed top 10 in the Schaumburg Sectional in the last 12 years:
Kevin Havel who placed 5th his Freshman year. Thatís pretty good
Will Llanos and Dave
Brown were good as our #2-3, finishing 24th and 26th.
Will and Dave looked comfortable through the mile around 30 and move up
steadily through the final half of the race.
Despite our strong
races up front, Austin Kuehr and Matt Reninger were the story for us. At the
mile, Austin was hovering around 50th, but he looked very
relaxed. In fact, Austin looked like the most relaxed runner on the course,
and it showed over the last half of the race. Austin attacked the last mile
and moved up to 39th in his best race of his career.
Justin Shim was running
as our 5th man but looked tight. From the 1-mile to the 2-mile,
Justin had fallen from around 55th to around 70th.
Matt Milner was well back and out of contention as well. I was a bit worried
that our strong races up front would not be enough. At that point, I noticed
Matt Reninger in about 75th moving up behind Justin. Matt looked
fresh and focused moving forward. Typically an even paced runner, it looked
as if Matt would step up as our fifth man. I hoped it would be enough.
When Matt came around
the loop the last time, I counted and Matt had moved up to around 66th.
I yelled encouragement to him, which I rarely do, and he responded in turn
by passing another bib. Matt sprinted aggressively to the finish, passing
another couple runners to end in 62nd, punching our ticket to
Mattís story is pretty
amazing, and has almost become typical of our team; as one man goes down,
another steps up. Matt won the JV Conference race, and it likely would have
been his final race if Gerrit Williams and Mark Spatz had been able. But
with those two out, Matt stepped into the Regional lineup and ran well, and
followed it up with a better day at Busse Woods.
Regional Highlights -
We placed second in the Palatine Regional
behind the host Pirates. Palatine won convincingly with 45, while we had 60
and Barrington (without their #2 runner) had 64.
We had a rough week of training, so I
didnít know what to expect in this race. Four of our varsity runners from
the Conference Meet: Will Llanos, Dave Brown, Austin Kuehr, and Mark Spatz,
were all sick during the week, each missing at least a day of school.
Luckily, these illnesses came the week of regionals and not later.
Furthermore, we lost our #5 Gerrit Williams for the year. Gerrit developed a
painful bump on the top of his foot after the NSC Conference Meet, and he
will be wearing a boot for the next 3 weeks. This experience further
reinforces the importance of every manís value on the roster.
Matt Pereira led the way for us with an
All-Regional 4th place finish. Matt hung tough with
3 standout runners in McHenryís Jesse Reiser, Palatineís Graham Brown, and
Barringtonís Jake Herb. Each of these three stars are All-State hopefuls, so
Matt ran with good company. The 3 veterans showed a bit more strength coming
home, but if I have learned anything in my short time coaching Matt, it is
that you shouldnít be surprised by anything he does. He is pretty special.
Will seemed fully recovered by his illness
earlier in the week and ran a substantially better race than Conference,
finishing 8th. Dave and Austin didnít bounce back
from their bouts quite as well, and as a result both were a little sluggish
particularly at the end of the race. Look for them to compete with more
strength and confidence next week. Dave finished in 10th
while Austin finished in 18th. Justin Shim finished
as our #5 runner, finishing strong for 20th, which
gave us the negligible edge over Barrington. Matt Milner and Matt Reninger
each won their respective races last week, which earned them a spot in the
Regional lineup. Both ran very well in 29th and 31st,
although their last 800m cost them quite a few places.
Looking forward to Sectionals, it is going
to be something. Simply put. Our focus will remain on the process of
preparing the best we can and letting the chips fall as they may. Our
womenís team is in the hunt as well, with their gun at 10AM, while the Menís
race starts at 11:00. I hope to see many LZXC fans out at Busse next
North Suburban Conference
Meet Highlights - 10/19/13
We placed second in the
NSC Conference Meet with 93 points. Vernon Hills dominated, winning with 57
points despite their usual #2, Ben Mohrdieck not competing. Warren (97) and
Libertyville (103) were hot on our tails. Matt Pereira led the way for us
with a second place finish behind Libertyvilleís upset winner Pat Humen.
Brown and Llanos both earned all-conference honors in 11th and 13th,
while Justin Shim and Gerrit Williams ran as our 4th and 5th
men, placing 31st and 36th.
For the first time in a
long time, we entered the conference meet as underdogs. Vernon Hills had
looked dominant all season and assumed the role of favorite. We thought we
had a chance to beat them if we ran our perfect race. Well, we didnít run
our perfect race, but even if we had, I donít think we would have beaten
them. Vernon Hills is talented, deep, and well coached. Look for them to do
some serious damage in AA this season. I got the chance to speak to a few of
their runners, and in those few moments, they earned my respect. They were
genuine, respectful, and personable. They will represent the North Suburban
Conference honorably, and we will be rooting for them down at Detweiller.
We knew we had a tall
order to continue our streak of conference titles, but that wasnít going to
stop us from trying. We immediately put ourselves in position to win, with
our top 5 all running in the top 20 at the mile. I believe we had 3 in the
top 6 and 5 in front of Vernon Hillsí second. But Vernon Hills was charging
hard, and clearly their patience paid off. They made quick work of our pack
as we were simply trying to hold place. We had a tough last half of the
race, with each guy except Pereira losing close to double digit positions.
Our race strategy is an easy fix, and I am confident that the final results
are not a fair representation of our fitness. I maintain that we will be a
force in 2 weeks at Busse Woods.
The truth is that we
were lucky to claim second. Warren had a similar aggressive plan as us, as
they were also racing to win, but they also struggled to navigate around the
tight turns at Henry Horner Park. Libertyville had a good showing and they
may have caught us if they had another half mile of course. Our lineup of
finishers was all jumbled from how we had been running. Austin Kuehr has
been our usual #4 but ran as our #6 after falling down midrace. Mark Spatz
was our 5th man last week but finished well out of contention as
our #7 this week. Gerrit Williams may have broke his foot in this race, but
he held tough as our 5th man. Justin Shim ran aggressively as our
4th man, but missed all-conference honors by less than a second.
As we begin the state series, our approach does not change; we will continue
to race and train with exactness. We can only control how we prepare, and we
will do that to the best of our abilities and let the chips fall as they
Like the varsity race,
we have won this one 5 years in a row as well. This year we placed 3rd
behind Libertyville and Warren, although both Libertyville and Warren ran
their top Frosh/Soph runners in this race. Had they run them at the lower
level, we would have won our sixth.
Last year, Matt Reninger was outkicked in
this race for the JV title. This year, Matt didnít give anybody a chance to
outkick him. He pulled away in the last mile to win by 12 seconds. Mattís
time would have put him 38th in the varsity race.
The story of this race was our senior
class. We had 6 other seniors join Matt as JV medalists. Brian Griffin (9th),
Mark Charnogorsky (15th), Robert Picha (23rd), Ryan
Wendell (24th), Dan Abboud (26th), and Mark Syverson
(28th) have worked for 4 years for this, their senior conference
meet, and it is nice to see them walk away with a medal. Check out these
freshman times from the 2010 conference meet, held at the old Lakewood
course with our JV medalists today, on what I would consider a similar
|2010 Time at Lakewood
||2013 Time at Grant
||17:12 (1st JV)
||17:44 (10th JV)
||18:03 (15th JV)
||18:24 (23rd JV)
||18:24 (24th JV)
||18:25 (26th JV)
||18:32 (28th JV)
Ryan Obsuszt was our lone junior JV
medalist, as he culminated a breakthrough season, finishing 10th.
Look for Ryan to make an impact at the varsity level next year.
Our Frosh/Soph team won
a tight-fought battle with Vernon Hills, 30-33. Matt Milner showed he was
the class of the field, winning with a time of 16:58, 25 seconds ahead of
teammate Nate Quinn. Kyle Fitzgerald had his best race of the season,
finishing 4th in 17:42, while Jack Gelinas (8th),
Brian McNair (16th), Drew Witt (23rd), and Jack Pogalz
(24th) rounded out our FS medalists.
Despite Milner and
Quinn gapping the field from the gun, Vernon Hills had us beat at the mile.
We did the opposite to them as to what they did to us in the varsity race.
The patience of our trio of freshmen, Kyle Fitzgerald, Jack Gelinas, and
Brian McNair paid off as we moved up steadily. McNair lost about 6 places in
the final 400 meters, which provided a scare to the team scores, but we were
lucky to edge a good Vernon Hills squad by 3 points. Add K-Griff to that mix
(who was sick for the first time since 1st grade), Mike Pardun
(who just missed the medals in 34th) and his brother Tyler (out
with Tendonitis), you have a terrorizing class in the NSC for the next 3
Highlights from Palatine
Our Freshmen placed 3rd behind
two very strong teams from Loyola and York with 89 points. Matt Pereira did
his thing winning by 21 seconds and setting course record 12:59 for the 2.5m
course. The previous course record of 13:06 was previously owned by
Palatineís Graham Brown back in 2011. Behind Matt, our next 4 guys were
close together in the 20s. Kyle Fitzgerald moved up to finish 15th,
while Kyle Fitzgerald, Jack Gelinas, and Brian McNair also finished in the
medals in 21st, 22nd, and 24th. All 5 of
these guys finished in our top 10 fastest Freshmen times ever at this meet.
Kyle Fitzgerald has been tearing it up in practice, and we are starting to
see his workouts correlate to faster racing, and he earned Regina the Rat
for his efforts.
Our next pack of Freshmen consisted of Jack
Pogalz, Mike Pardun, and Tyler Pardun. All three finished around 15 minutes.
Other notable performances among our Freshmen were Andrew Rifkin with his
best race of his young career. Andrew set a PR at the 1mile and 2mile (6:46,
14:10) en route to his final time of 17:24. Cameron Lopez (13:29), John
Burke (14:47), Jeff Glatz (14:56), Alex Giroux (15:08), and Brian Gorke
(15:11) also set 2m PRs in strong efforts.
Our sophomore class is very small with only
6 members, so it is imperative that we make each runner count. Despite a
small class, this group has good potential, but we are far from reaching
that potential. Matt Milner is still learning how to run a 3-mile race and
as a result, has not scored very high in the past 2 meets we have run. Matt,
along with teammate Nate Quinn, finished outside the medals despite racing
in medal position for most of the race. Strength and experience will improve
their final results, but I cannot fault either of their competitiveness or
aggressiveness. It is those traits that will propel them to strong varsity
careers. Matt and Nate finished in 23rd and 28th place
in 16:51 and 16:58. Drew Witt and Arthur Garcia formed our second pack and
finished in the high 17s, followed by Collin Beaver as our 5th
man in 21:21. The sophomores finished 14th place overall.
Our Varsity ran a relatively uninspired
race to finish 15th overall. We committed the cardinal sin of
racing: getting out slow and settling in to the same pace as the pack. That
formula is an easy recipe to be average, and 15th place out of 30
is just that. With that said, the Palatine Invite is probably the quickest
start we race all season, and it has always presented problems for us. But
we run in it because it prepares us for the end of the season better than
any other meet could. We must learn from our mistakes and correct our
mistakes. I canít promise PRís or victories in any race we run, but I can
promise that we will be more focused and more inspired each time we toe the
line. Dave Brown once again led the way with a 37th place 15:43,
followed by Will Llanos (56th, 15:59), Austin Kuehr (100th,
16:27), Gerrit Williams (120th, 16:20), and Mark Spatz (127th,
Our JV Team finished 9th overall
with 306 points, edging Loyola on a 6th man tie-breaker (way to
go Jack Herman!). Matt Reninger led the way for our JV group in a 39th
place 17:13. Ryan Obsuszt (54th 17:37), Mark Charnogorsky (62nd,
17:41), Ryan Wendell (84th, 17:57), and Dan Abboud (90th,
18:04) rounded out our scoring. Ryan Wendell probably had the best race of
the day, breaking 18 minutes for the first time.
Highlights from Peoria Notre Dame
We placed 16th overall in a
loaded field of 63 teams that including 22 teams ranked from 3 different
classes. I was very pleased with our preparation, aggressiveness, and
competitiveness throughout. Our guys really approached the meet as an
opportunity to do something they had never done before.
Will Llanos led our crew from the gun and
quickly situated himself in the front pack. He hung on gamely for about
3000m, but faded badly down the stretch, resulting in a final time and place
that are not indicative of his fitness. His splits tell the story
4:50-5:27-5:31 for a 15:41, which was slower than his state meet time from a
year ago. Nevertheless, I applauded Will for his aggressiveness. We have
seen time and time again that the human body will adapt to continual and
consistent stressors. Keep going to the well and the well will provide.
Probably our best race of the day came from
senior Dave Brown. Dave simply battles and looked surprisingly comfortable
despite going out sub-5 for the first time in his career. Dave only has 2
sub-5 miles under his belt in his life, so his toughness was definitely on
display today. Dave finished as our #1 runner in 15:30.
If Dave was our best race of the day,
Austin Kuehr was a close second. Austin steadily moved up through the field
to clock his first sub-16 race of his life, finishing in 15:51. It was a
nice 40 second PR for Austin, and his consistency in training has made him
into a formidable varsity runner.
We had a few other nice PRís today in the
varsity race. Brian Griffin and Mark Spatz chased each other back and forth
around the course and dropped their PRs from the high 16s to 16:15. We still
have not seen the best that these two have to offer; look for a few more big
breakthroughs from 2 of our more diligent trainers.
The back half of our varsity pack didnít
produce the big PRs that we had hoped for. The fast start that Peoria Notre
Dame presents was a shock, and our fitness levels were not equipped to
handle the speed of a varsity race. Justin Shim was the only small PR at
16:32, though Gerrit Williams tied his PR from a year ago. Matt Reninger,
Jon Berggren, and Mark Charnogorsky rounded out our varsity lineup, and
earned valuable big-meet experience.
We have been unranked in the state all
year, and probably appropriately so. Today, our 16th place finish
today will certainly not turn any eyebrows. However, I still contend that
this is a dangerous team with a lot of untapped potential. We have
historically not performed our best at this meet, and I expect this squad to
show great improvement over the next 6 weeks. For comparisonís sake, here
are our PND team places compared with our State Meet places the past 3
Peoria Notre Dame Place
State Meet Place
The future has yet to be
written, but our focus will be on the process. Our goals remain the same,
but our attention to detail must be as good as ever as we have very little
room for error. Remember, we have been unranked at this point in 3 of the
last 6 seasons. Even last yearís 4th place team was ranked 24th
at this time. Pay attention to the details, focus on the process, and pursue
excellence at those things we can control. We will find pride in whatever
We placed 5th at the Frosh/Soph
level, which was our best team place in this race since Morrison, Geimer,
and Soto led a strong sophomore class for a 4th place finish back
in 2007. The difference is that the strength of this unit is not dominated
by a single class, but has contributors from both the freshman and sophomore
Freshman Matt Pereira is a part of our
front varsity pack, but the competitiveness of Peoria Notre Dame (and
upcoming Palatine Invitational) allow us to get him in a fast race at a
lower level, opening up a varsity spot for someone else. Matt is still
working back into shape after not running most of the summer due to his hip
injury, but his talent has been apparent in limited training and racing. We
still thought he could contend for the individual title in this one, and he
hung tough through two miles. At the 4K mark, fellow NSC stud Jared Borowsky
from Stevenson and York stud sophomore Max Denning pulled away, and Matt
settled for 3rd. Nevertheless, Matt ran well and his improvements will
continue to come frequently through his steep learning curve.
Our top two sophomores, Matt Milner and
Nate Quinn had races similar to Willís in the varsity race. They raced to
the front and battled early before fading to a subpar time. Mattís time of
16:31 was not bad considering he blazed through the opening quarter in 65.
We must remember that is track PR in the 400 was only a 63, so he did pretty
well to stay upright. Nate did set a lifetime PR of 16:35, but that is far
from his potential once he learns to control that start. Look for Matt and
Nate to gain strength, confidence, and wisdom from this experience. Their
best races are still ahead of these two varsity hopefuls.
Our fourth and fifth men were freshmen Kyle
Griffith and Jack Gelinas. Kyle and Jack have generated a nice little
rivalry in the first half of the season. Jack tends to do all the heavy
lifting while Kyle sneaks in at the last minute to reap the rewards. This
race was no different. Jack actually gapped Kyle by about 10 meters late in
the third mile, but Kyle once again outkicked Jack to the line.
Nevertheless, it was two good races by some of our promising freshmen. Jack
and Kyle both broke 17 minutes, running to PRs of 16:51 and 16:56. Jack,
Kyle, and Matt join the short list of freshmen we have had that have broke
17 minutes at Detweiller Park. The only other freshman to accomplish the
feat that I have coached was Pat Juras back in 2008.
Seven of our ten entries in the FS race
were freshmen, and each one exited with a PR. That is a sign of good things
to come as this Freshmen group is not only talented but also embrace the
shining lights of the biggest stage. Brian McNair (17:28), Kyle Fitzgerald
(17:37), Jack Pogalz (18:04), and Tyler Pardun (18:40) rounded out the
freshmen competitors. Brian earned REGINA for his efforts in this race.
Sophomore Drew Witt rounded out the lineup and ran a season best 17:33.
Ryan Obsuszt and Dan Abboud are coming off
their best summers of training of their careers. Ryan was within 30 miles of
earning High Harrier status and Dan likely would have been a High Harrier
had he recorded his logbook. As a result, Ryan and Dan ran with the most
confidence of our JV group, quickly asserting themselves in the front pack.
Ryan may have ran the best race of the day
by an LZXC uniform, earning a Triple Crown performance. Triple Crowns are
rare, expecially from a junior. Ryan set new PRs and the 1-mile (5:18),
2-mile (11:19) and 3-mile (17:32). I am proud of his guts in this first mile
despite the grimace it put on his face in the third mile. Ryan will learn to
run that first mile relaxed, and when he does, he is ready to go sub-17. Dan
ran a similar race, ending in a PR 17:27. Both Ryan and Dan finished in the
top 35 of the un-scored JV race.
The other Triple Crown winner was freshman
Andrew Rifkin (7:00, 14:41, 22:07). Andrew has a lot of potential and could
make a significant jump if he puts together a year of consistent training
over the next 12 months.
Other PRs came from Mike Pardun (18:48),
Nick Mandal (19:17), Brendan Murphy (19:22) Brian Glatz (20:20), Cameron
Lopez (20:22), John Burke (22:21), Jeff Glatz (23:07), and Zak Yocius
(helped by a great kick for 32:44). Mostly beginner runners, these athletes
were rewarded handsomely for their work ethic over the first month of the
All in all, we came back with 25 of 38
competing runners setting lifetime PRís, and 21 of them set lifetime PRís in
the 2mile as well. We have a week off of dual meets before we get back at it
at Palatine next Saturday.
Highlights from UW
Parkside Rebel Invite 9/7/13
The Rebel Invite is always a great way to
begin the season. We get to traverse the renowned Dannehl National Cross
Country Course, compete against some unfamiliar competition, and test our
individual limits after a long summer of training. Great performances were
executed at all levels and we have a lot to be excited about. But, we still
have a long way to go, and this season opener undoubtedly refreshed our
sense of urgency.
Ever since Brian McNair and Jack Gelinas
showed up as sixth graders at our summer camp, we have been looking forward
to this classís arrival. Brian and Jack have added a crew of talented,
competitive, hard-working buddies, and the class of 2017 gave their first
glimpse of their potential at the Rebel Invite.
We won with 30 points, placing 5 freshmen
in the top 10. Matt Pereira ran well despite limited training placed second,
getting beat by a tough Prairie Ridge Freshman. Kyle Griffith and Jack
Gelinas battled throughout in 4th and 5th, and Kyle
Fitzgerald and Brian McNair finished strong for 9th and 10th.
Jack Pogalz placed 32nd and Mike Pardun placed 54th as
our pushers and Tyler Snick, Jeff Glatz, John Burke, and Justin Brend
rounded out our freshmen competitors. Justin earned THE RIM for his efforts.
Our varsity placed 4th with 148
points. Our NSC foes Warren and Libertyville both got the best of us, as did
West Bend West behind the 1-2 finish of the Miller twins. Warren looked
strong with a nice pack, and will be a tough team in the north suburbs this
year. Dave Brown was our #1 finisher in 9th, despite not running
in a race in almost three years. Austin Kuehr was not far behind in 12th,
but that was the extent of our medalists. Brian Griffin, Mark Spatz, and
Gerrit Williams followed in formation, but were over thirty seconds back and
placed in the 40s. Justin Shim, Matt Milner, and Nate Quinn rounded out our
varsity lineup. Of note, Austin, Brian, and Mark improved over 50 seconds
from their time last year despite less favorable conditions, while Matt and
Nate got their first taste of varsity competition.
Our focus is and always has been on the
process; if we pursue excellence in the process, we will achieve excellence
in performance. This group of athletes has embraced that belief, and if we
continue to pursue excellence, we can be proud of any outcome.
With that said, we are faced with an uphill
battle if we are to achieve our goals. Our pack will inevitably get stronger
as we add frontrunners Will Llanos and Matt Pereira to the lineup, but our
gap must shrink considerably. Faith in the process, boys: the non-trivial
pursuit of excellence.
We placed second in the JV race with 64
points. Notre Dame (WI) won with 46 points, and Warren was not far behind
with 67. Matt Reninger and Ryan Obsuszt were our two medalists, placing 7th
and 9th. Drew Witt and Ryan Wendell both ran well finishing 13th
and 14th, and Dan Abboud rounded out our scoring as our 5th
man in 21st. I want to applaud two newcomers to the team, Brendon
Skelton and Vikram Tammana, for their efforts on the tough UW Parkside
course on a tougher day. Brendon and Vikram raced with guts, earning PRs in
the 2-mile (15:53 and 16:27) en route to their 5K finishes (24:00 and
LZXC Alumni Kickball Game Saturday 8/17, 2PM,
Bristol Trails Park
Preview of LZXC 2013
Here are the facts:
Only one runner returns from our fourth
place 2012 team, Will Llanos. Will was our sixth man at State last year with
a time of 15:30.
Will is the only returner who broke 16:30
in a 3 mile race last year. The only other athlete with big meet varsity
experience is Matt Reninger, who ran in place of Ruben Riano at regionals
Our top returning 3200m runner from track
is sophomore Matt Milner who ran 10:18 last spring.
Based on those statistics some might feel
this is going to be a rebuilding year for LZXC. But this years' team has had
a special summer and hopes to prove many doubters wrong. Our goals remain
the same: defend our conference title, qualify for the state meet, and put
our best foot forward down at Detweiller. It has been six years since we
have lost a conference meet or missed qualifying to State so there is a lot
of LZXC pride on the line.
So who are the unknown runners who will
step up to the LZXC varsity this season?
Will Llanos: As our only returning varsity
runner, we will rely on Will's experience as he becomes a front runner. Will
had a solid track season last spring, running mostly relays, with a best
800m split of 1:57.
Matt Milner: Matt is our top returning
3200m runner from last spring where he ran 10:18. Although he is only a
sophomore, he may jump into the varsity spotlight as he matures
Matt Reninger: Matt was our top JV runner
last year. He placed second in the North suburban conference open race,
earning a spot on the regional championship team. Matt ran 10:46 lasts
Gerrit Williams: The senior co-captain was
having a great track season, running 4:37 in an early season 1600 until he
came down with whooping cough. It has taken three or four months for Gerrit
to recover from that illness but he is back and training at a high-level and
is ready to lead the team towards its goals.
Austin Kuehr: The senior co-captain was an
alternate on last years team and has asserted himself as the training
leader. Austin has developed into one of our toughest runners, a far cry
from where he was as a freshman. Austin ran 10:28 in track.
Jack Herman: Jack is back! Jack underwent
surgery to have a defibrillator installed in his chest. Jack earned the
respect of his teammates over the last three years and was nominated as our
third co-captain despite the uncertainty of whether he would be able to
compete. Jack was the only sophomore alternate on our 2011 state qualifying
team two years ago and we are excited to see him compete again this fall.
Dave Brown: Three years ago Dave was our
top freshman. He did not run the last two years, instead choosing to focus
on basketball. But he is back for a senior season and has put in a great
summer to make an impact.
Other junior and senior veterans: Look for
Brian Griffin (2:10 - 4:50), Robert Picha, John Berggren (4:58), Justin Shim
(2:09 - 4:52) and Mark Spatz (10:36) to make significant impacts at the
Matt Pereira and the freshmen: Matt was the
IESA state champion last year and was having a great track season last
spring before he developed a hip injury. The hip injury set him back for
most of the summer but Matt is a special talent, and will undoubtedly make
his mark on the Illinois scene soon enough. Matt leads what is arguably the
strongest freshman class and LZXC history. The freshman are talented,
motivated, hard-working, and ambitious, which makes a scary mixture of
The 6th Annual Kettle Moraine Camping Trip is
Quickly Approaching! - July 14-16
You don't want to miss it! It is guaranteed to be a
key experience! Register with Coach Hanson prior to July 8.
Click here for the Kettle
Moraine Camping Trip Itinerary. Click here for the
Camping Trip Permission Form.
LZXC 2013 Begins Wednesday August 14th at 7AM!
Fall registration is open at the
LZHS Athletic Website. There will also be walk-in athletic
physicals at the high school on Tuesday 8/13 from 1PM-7PM. All
returning athletes are required to have all paperwork turned in by August
14th in order to compete in the first meet, the popular Rebel Invite at UW