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One little move is all that Perrier needs for individual crown

Published by
DyeStatIL   Sep 22nd 2013, 10:02am

York runs vintage team race in winning Spring title


By Michael Newman



Peoria, Ill --- He was turning the corner and heading towards the two mile in the Richard Spring Invitational Boys Varsity race on the state meet course. As Patrick Perrier (O’Fallon HS) made the jug jog turn to the main straightaway, he passed his O’Fallon teammates. The Lady Gaga song Applause should have been playing over the course speakers. Perrier started to wave his arms up in the air looking for some noise from the quiet on lookers.


“It was a little bit quiet around the course,” Perrier said afterwards. “I just wanted to get some energy. Illinois is known for having great fans. I just wanted to get some energy during the race.”


Perrier made the race look easy Saturday morning. His win of eleven seconds over Dan Lathrop (Plainfield South HS) could have been bigger if he actually pushed himself. To run 14:24 and to make it look that easy, then you start to think what the O’Fallon senior can do when he pushes the gas pedal all the way to the ground.


“At the end, I was just cruising in and trying to save my legs,” he continued. “I’ll have bigger fishes to fry at the end of the year.”


The pace was slow compared to other years. The lead pack went through the 800 in 2:17 and then passed the mile in a pedestrian 4:47. Lathrop had a step on Perrier along with a pack of runners led by Nolan McKenna (Wheaton-Warrenville South HS), Joe Suarez (Plainfield South HS), Graham Brown (Palatine HS), Alex Keeble (Mahomet-Seymour HS), and Nick Hess (St. Thomas More HS, Champaign). As they entered the triangle back area of the course, Perrier tried to make a move but Lathrop refused to give up the lead. Perrier waited patiently to go. As they made the left turn past the Detweiller Park sign, Perrier put his head down and went. According to one opposing coach that was in the area, he made a concerted effort to gap himself from the rest of the race. When he entered back onto the main part of the course, he had close to a 50 meter lead and it was growing. 9:30 at 2 miles and he flipped the switch back to cruise control.


The team race was supposed to be a battle between the top two teams from last year’s state meet York and O’Fallon. What it turned out to be was a clinic by York of how to pack run during a race. At the mile, #5 Hersey had the team lead having all seven runners in the first 60. O’Fallon was close behind them. Where was York?


The York pack containing Nathan Mroz, Alex Bashqawi, Kyle Mattes, and Matt Plowman were in a pack in between 40th and 45th place approximately going through the first mile in 4:58. Mroz was talking to the group as they entered the triangle. York’s fifth and sixth runner (Jon May and Jeff Nosek) were around 90th at the same point. At that point, the York runners started to move through the pack demonstrating a strategy of York teams of days gone past. The four were around twentieth at 2 miles with May around 50th at that point. The York pack went past the two miles in 9:53 nearly thirteen seconds behind


The last mile York stormed to the front. David Rodriguez (Hersey HS, Arlington Heights) held off York’s Bashqawi for third. Mroz was two seconds back. Then Plowman came in for 9th. York’s split on five was 36 seconds and good enough for an 82-147 win over O’Fallon. The Panthers have been banged up during this early part of the season, but are starting to rebound after getting Evan Wesslund, who was fourth man and 36th in the race, and Romeo Scagliarini back running again. There is still seven weeks of work to get where they need to be. “York was great. They have everything they need for another title,” said O’Fallon coach Jon Burnett. “I was happy with the way the guys raced. We had a rough week of workouts and it showed late in the race.  Several guys faded during the third mile but I was proud of how hard they ran this race.   Each one ran a season’s best time.  Evan Wesslund returned to the lineup and looked very smooth.”


The next three finishing teams ran great races. #5 Hersey we talked about establishing position early in the race. They held on that to finish third. The Huskies had their front runner in Rodriguez, but what was impressive the 12 second split that they had between second runner Andy Philipose and fifth runner Grant Von Der Lippe. Their overall 5 runner split was 44 seconds. #13 Lane Tech exhibited the tight pack that they had in two earlier meet in finishing fourth. The Indians had a 36 second split led by the 24th and 25th place finishes by Jon Vara and Pavlo Hutsalyuk. #18 Sandburg finished fifth led by the 22nd place finish of Greg Bruzinski. The Eagles split on five was 37 seconds. But after the race, all the talk was about the way York moved during the race.


“That’s how we have been. That is part of our tradition. It was just a matter of maintaining. It is so easy to get caught up in going out so hard down here,” said York assistant coach Jim Hedman. “We stayed in control. You have to have some confidence when you get out that far behind when you go into the back that you have the confidence that you can get up to the front. That is what they did today.”

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