Conference Champs on All LevelsSunday, October 17 2021
Yesterday we had an incredible team day at the WSC Gold Division Meet hosted by Leyden HS. While it was our 9th consecutive title on the varsity level and 7th straight year of winning on all levels (our last loss on a Conference Championship day was the sophomore race back in 2014), we did a number of things for the first time.
For the first time ever, DGS placed 7 runners in the top 9 of the varsity race. Also, the team set a new record with 38 conference award winners with 9 freshmen, 8 sophomores, 7 varsity, and 14 JV runners placing in the top 16 of their respective races.
Recap of the day:
The first race of the day was the Freshman championship race. We went in knowing that with our depth, we could have a really good shot at winning even though we’d lost much earlier in the season against Willowbrook at the LT Invite. Fortunately, our freshmen were up to the challenge that we set back for them about 7 weeks ago. We saw a bunch of new runners go from being guys that were just kind of going through the motions and having fun being a part of the team to real athletes that were working hard for the team. This group grew tremendously and finished their season with a host of personal bests, and despite the fast start with Willowbrook having the top 4 early in the race, a team championship! The team won with a low score of 28 points, with Willowbrook being the closest competitor with 47.
Billy Neumann and Owen Fudacz ran really well together moving up and getting into position for great finishes. Both ran personal bests as they ended up 2nd and 3rd overall. Keegan Rentfrow had a huge breakout race to place 6th overall in a huge lifetime best. John Foley battled hard to place 9th in a PR. Tim Sumlin ran with great focus throughout the race, moving up well and maintaining that focus and form all the way through the finish. He placed 10th and ran a PR of over a minute with his previous best being over 20 minutes - he ran under 19!
Martin Joy, Brayden Zurawski, Eduardo Contreras, and Ethan O’Connor all ran personal bests as well on a course that was a little bit longer than 3 miles.
Next up were our sophomores who like the freshmen, we thought had a good chance due to our depth. Anthony Addante took off from the gun and led for the entire race securing the comfortable 30 second victory. The exciting race was what came next with Richard Gasmen battling the whole way with an athlete from Morton. Entering the last 100 they were neck and neck, but Richard’s top speed was too much for the opponent to handle as he blazed across the line to finish 2nd. Drew Donaldson stayed hot as he’s been running faster and faster every meet for the past 4 weeks to place 4th. Zach Cotner was 7th and Chris Tung 12th to round out the top 5 for DGS. John Bodem, Adam Meitz, and Alec Hanna all ran PRs to place amongst the top 16. Aidan Maier, Alex Hernandez, and James Boersma all ran lifetime bests as well as part of the sophomore team win. In the end the sophomores came out 1st with only 26 points compared to Morton who was 2nd with 56.
The final race of the day was the JV race. This saw a long blue line of Stangs up front as DGS displayed the tremendous depth that we’ve exhibited and been so proud of throughout the season. We placed the first 12 finishers overall and also had 15 and 16 to have 14 of the 16 award winners in the race. Shane Hosty pushed the pace early and put a gap on the field of teammates, but they remained in pursuit until the end. Shane started to run out of gas a bit in the last 400 meters as Michael Joseph made his move to pass with about 200 meters to go. Shane kicked hard but couldn’t quite match Michael’s furious finish. Jeremy Wilczak finished fewer than 2 seconds behind Shane for 3rd as he worked his way up throughout the race. Placing 4th and 5th to complete our perfect score of 15 points were Dean Spicuzza and Nolan Crooks (who ran a lifetime best of 17:05). In 6th was Josh Traugott with another big PR of 17:15 - just a couple weeks ago his best was well over 18 minutes! 7th went to Colin McLaughlin who also PRd in 17:21. Luke Urban, Jordan D’Urso, and Dean Golminas were 8-10 followed by Mitch Reiken who ran his best time to place 11th. Robert Del Cotto battled hard throughout to place 12th while Henry Rotunno and Caleb Peterson were 15-16 (PRs for both Rotunno and Peterson). Other Mustangs who ran their best races of the season included Sam Norris, Nick Esposito, and Bobby Grogan.
In the Varsity race, favorite Tim Neumann elected to hold back early to try and help teammates along. The “pack” broke apart earlier than we’d have liked, but Tim ran with a pair of Morton runners and teammate Carter Smott where the 4 of them battled up front until the final 800 meters. With 800 to go, Tim took off changing gears and closing the last half mile in 2:14 to win by 15 seconds. He is one of just a handful of back-to-back Conference Champions in school history. Carter ended up 4th with a fantastic performance running only 3 seconds off his lifetime best which came on a much faster course. Jacob Curulewski placed 5th followed by Joey Puccillo, Nick Motuelle, Josh Poeschel, and Jeffrey Spirek who finished 6-9th respectively. In the end the team scored just 23 points to secure the comfortable victory over rival Morton.
Next week the Mustangs will travel to Midloathian Meadows Forest Preserve for the Sandburg Regional XC Meet. The boys will race at 1:15 pm. Go Mustangs!