State Bound in 2017!Tuesday, October 31 2017
Saturday was another historic day in the world of DGSXC. The boys bounced back after a lackluster regional performance with an emotionally charged race that culminated in our 3rd state qualification as a team in the 50+ year history of the school. It was also the 2nd in 3 years, hopefully an indication that our program has made its long overdue arrival as regulars on the states biggest stage.
From the gun, the boys put together an inspired performance to survive and advance out of what was without question the toughest sectional in the state. Going in, there were 6 teams in the top 14 in the state and several other additional squads that certainly would’ve qualified from some other Sectionals. It’s crazy to look at the teams in our sectional and what they’ve accomplished and consistently do year in year out. Four teams in our sectional have made it to the Nike national meet in Portland in the last few years. LT is a trophy contender every season, Hinsdale Central has won state twice in the last several years, DGN was 2nd a year ago and is the presumptive favorite this year, Sandburg has placed well at Nats and won state recently as well. On top of them are Plainfield South who is an incredibly tough and motivated group that’s finished high at state and a pair of really tough city schools in St. Ignatius and Jones.
Clearly, going into the race we knew we had to perform well, but the guys believed in themselves, each other, and the thousands of miles they’ve put in since heartbreak at this meet a year before.
As the gun went off, we situated ourselves well but not overly aggressive. Eddie gave us a fright by choosing to go our way in the back but skillfully worked himself back up near where he should be by the 1k. Pip showed some great courage by leading He chase pack that followed Dylan Jacobs and Danny Kilrea (the 2nd and 3rd ranked runners in the nation). Akhil wasn’t far behind and was battling with a pack from DGN. Weigel and Dziedzic were in a great spot battling with runners from Sandburg and looking strong against Plainfield South. At the halfway mark it looked like we were in great shape as long as we finished. While we faded a few spots over the last mile, we ultimately did enough to garner a 4th place finish. DGN were victorious and clearly the best team on the day winning comfortably. LT ran great for 2nd while Central was in front of us, but not by a ton for 3rd. We finished 4th, 7 points in front of Sandburg and 28 in front of a great PSHS team.
While we celebrated our performance on Saturday, the feeling was pervasive that we still have unfinished business to attend to. While we are happy to be going to state... we aren’t content just getting to race. We have high expectations and aspirations to take care of and are ready to put it all together on Saturday and show the state what DGSXC can do.