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2013 LZXC Summer Dates are Finalized
Click here for the LZXC Camp Brochure.
LZXC Summer Camp: June 10 - July 18,
Paavo North: Sunday June 23 - Saturday June 29
LZXC Kettle Moraine Camping Trip: Sunday July 14 -
Tuesday July 16
First 2013 LZXC Practice: Wednesday August 14, 7AM
Farewell and Thank You to 7 Seniors in the class of 2013
Seanís first timed mile during summer camp
before his junior year was a 6:48, so he certainly came a long way. Despite
joining us his junior year, Sean immediately became an integral part of our
culture. Seanís positive attitude, desire to excel, and infectious
personality spread throughout the program. Sean battled shin splits and
lower leg soreness throughout his career, but he was relentless in his
battle to overcome adversity. Sean was a key player on our JV roster during
his tenure in LZXC, highlighted with PRs of 19:01 at the Palatine Invite and
PRs of 2:26/5:33 in track. Sean was also a member of the scholastic bowl
team and Drum Major of the Marching Band. Sean will attend Worcester
Polytechnic Institute in Boston next fall.
start his journey in LZXC as an 8th grader in our summer camp. He
did the camp again in 9th grade, when he truly dedicated himself
as well as any athlete that has even come through our program. From that
first day of camp before his Freshman year, June 13, 2009, Bobby has not
missed a single day of running. Bobby is our current record holder for
longest CD streak, and that streak continues to grow on a daily basis. Bobby
has been incredibly dedicated, and also incredibly resilient to injury and
illness. Throughout his career, Bobby was left out of the spotlight, being
overshadowed by some of his teammates, but that should not diminish his
accomplishments and importance to our program. Bobby ends his career as a
3-time all-conference athlete, 2 in track and 1 in cross country. Bobby ran
PRís of 4:27 in the 1600 at conference and 15:25 at Detweiller. Over his 4
years, Bobby earned the respect from his teammates and coaches as a
Big-Meet-Runner, and always seemed to perform his best when the team needed
him most. Bobby was our critical 5th man in the 2 biggest races
of his life, conference and state. Bobby will attend Ohio State University
in the fall.
Trevor, like Bobby, began with LZXC as an 8th
grader as a part of our summer camp. He came out again the following year
and was hooked. Trevor also has been a model of dedication, having run for
1500 consecutive days, dating back to August of his freshman year. What is
more impressive during that time is the adversity he overcame during that
period. Trevor battled iron deficiency, Mono, a strained calf, a strained
hamstring, numerous illnesses, as well as all the other aches and pains that
come with the sport. Trevorís competitive drive and dedication kept him
going, and the end result was quite impressive. Trevor finished his career
as one of our most accomplished athletes of all time. Trevor competed in 4
state meets, 2 in track and 2 in cross country. His PRís include a 1:56.2 in
the 800 and 14:46 at Detweiller, where he placed 20th at the IHSA
State Meet as a senior. Trevor is a 4-time All-Conference Athlete in the
North Suburban Conference. Trevor will be attend the University of Illinois
next fall, where he plans to compete on the track and cross country teams.
Alexís story is one I will likely tell each
athlete for the remainder of my tenure as coach. Alex started out as a
freshman as the slowest member of the team. He placed dead last in his first
3m PPM of Heaven Week with a time of 25:12. It goes to show that this sport
is truly a working manís sport, and it doesnít matter where you start, just
what you do once you start.
Alex committed himself over the next 4
years to becoming stronger, fitter, and faster. He trained with a sense of
urgency alongside his teammates, and became an All-State athlete, a school
record holder, and an All-Time Great in the process. Alex finishes his
career as a 4-time NSC All-Conference athlete, competing in 4 state meets,
and earning an All-State medal in cross country with his 16th
place 14:42 performance. Alex also set the school record for the 3200, with
a time of 9:18.70. Alex will continue his running career at Purdue
University next fall.
Jon is another All-Time Great graduating
with our class of 2013. Jon ends his career as one of our most decorated
athletes in both cross country and track. He competed in 5 state meets, 2 in
cross country and 3 in track, was a 5-time NSC All-Conference Athlete, and
while not holding any school records, came very close in many. Jon ran
everything from the 400 to the 3200 in track, and was a key player in our
4x400 and 4x800 tradition over the past 4 years. Jon finished with a PR at
Detweiller of 15:24, ending as our 4th man on our 4th
Ruben joined us during his sophomore year
and immediately showed some potential. In Cross Country, he was one of our
top JV performers during his sophomore and junior years, placing 8th
in JV conference as a sophomore and 2nd in JV conference as a
junior. Ruben stepped up to the varsity his senior year, running as our 3rd
man at conference and 5th man at sectionals. His PR at Detweiller
was 15:31. Ruben ends his career as a 2-time All-Conference Athlete, once in
cross country and once in track. His PRs on the track include 4:40 in the
1600 and 2:01 in the 800. Ruben will continue his running career at the
College of Lake County. I am proud to say that Ruben plans to pursue a
career as a math teacher.
The interesting thing about Jared is that
he was a bad runner in middle school, never earning a spot on the varsity
team. When he came to high school, that all changed, as he showed a strong
set of lungs and an unparalleled work ethic. Jared showed a quick learning
curve, and became a varsity runner by his sophomore year. Jared was our 7th
man on our second place team in 2011, his first of 5 state meet
competitions. Jared was undoubtedly the training leader of this class,
constantly pushing himself to higher training levels, culminating in the
1000 mile club in winter 2012-2013. Jared was a near-unanimous selection as
Captain of both Cross Country and Track his senior year. Jared finishes with
PRs of 15:05, 9:29, 4:30, 1:59.5. He is a 5-time all-conference athlete, but
his influence on his teammates may prove to be his biggest legacy. Jared
will attend the University of Illinois in the fall.
State Meet Results
We didnít have the state meet that we had
hoped in our dreams. We left without a single medal for the first time in 5
years. We ran hard and competed hard, but didnít have enough bullets in our
gun to make a significant impact. Back to the drawing board I guess.
Trevor Kuehr, Jared Ripoli, Will Llanos,
Jon Ramirez Ė 4x800 Ė 23rd
Our 4x800 team had hopes of a state medal,
but failed to qualify out of their preliminary heat, placing 7th
with a time of 8:01. None of our guys ran PRs, and we never really seemed to
be a threat in the race. We just seemed too cautious, too conservative for a
state meet prelim. We had a difficult time passing other runners, and didnít
seem to have the fight when others passed us. In retrospect, I recognize the
importance of creating space for your teammates so you each can run his own
race. In a prelim with so many teams of equal abilities, it is so important
to have a burner that could jump out front. It seemed that we were caught
time and time again preparing to make a move but there were 2 guys in front
of us clogging the track, and we were relegated to racing in the pack.
Nevertheless, the team of Trevor Kuehr,
Jared Ripoli, Will Llanos, and Jon Ramirez made great strides from last
season. Trevor, Jared, and Will each ran in this race as alternates last
year, finishing last in their heat in 8:24, substantial improvements by
anybodyís standards. It was another key experience for our seniors, as
Trevor competed in his 4th state meet and Jared and Jon competed
in their 5th state meet. All 4 of these guys end with PRs that
place them in the Top 10 in school history, we just couldnít put it all
together on the right day.
Ben Klett Ė 100 Ė 18th
Ben Klett is finished 7th in his
preliminary heat with a time of 11.07. It was a good showing by Ben as it
was his second fastest 100m time of the season, just not good enough to earn
him a trip to the finals. Being only a freshman, it was a valuable
experience for him, and he has high goals over the next 3 years. Ben was the
only freshman to make state in the 100.
Alex Milner Ė 3200 Ė 21st
Alex placed 13th in the fast
heat of the 3200, 21st overall with a time of 9:23. The field was
incredibly strong, and we knew that even if Alex ran a perfect race and a 5
second PR, he may still not earn a medal. That was the case DGNís Ben Eaton
was the last medalist with a 9:09. The race did not play out to Alexís
strengths. Alex was hoping for somebody to push the pace from the gun,
string out the field, and keep the kickers at bay. It didnít happen. The
field lagged through the mile at 4:39, and then the race was on. Belvidere
Northís Yunk made the first move and the field began to string out. Those
who had the strength to run negative splits did, and those who couldnít were
left behind. Jack Keelanís winning time of 8:57 showed he clocked a 4:19
last mile for the win, and even Eatonís 9th place medal was
earned with a 4:30 final mile split. This is what is demanded in Illinois;
you must be able to close in under 4:30 or else you are relegated to an
also-ran. Alex ends his career as our school record holder with his 9:18.70.
Check Out this Video made by Geoff
Somary, father of 4x800m participant Robert Somary
5/16/13 - Bears Qualify 3
Events to IHSA State Meet
We qualified 3 events to the
IHSA State Track Meet. First it was the 4x800 Relay team of J-Rip,
J-Ram, Trevor, and Will. We placed 5th with a 7:56, so in my
biased opinion, we come into the state meet a bit under the radar.
Here is a video of this race,
courtesy of Hersey father Geoff Somary. Mr. Somary plans to video the
state meet prelims and finals of all distance races and place them on the
same YouTube Channel, titled "RunHersey". Thank you to Mr. Somary for
Alex qualified in the 3200,
running a smooth 9:22 good for second, just good enough to sneak into the
fast heat on Saturday.
Freshman Phenom Ben Klett
qualified in the 100, placing second with a 10.99.
Bears Take 5th
in Conference, Three-Year Reign atop North Suburban Conference Ends
We had hopes of making a run at a 4th
straight conference title, but it wasnít meant to be for us. We needed all
the stars to align, as well as some help from our competition, and it just
didnít happen. Nobody was going to beat Grant on this day, as they have the
horses and those horses produced. We have to give them and their coaching
staff credit for building a state-level team and performing like champions.
The meet saw 3 NSC Conference Meet Records
go down. Grant's Brandon Lombardino is a tank, breaking the Shot and Discus
record, including a 201 foot discus toss (second best in the nation). Rumor
is that he skipped his disc into the Libertyville pond on 1 bounce, for
those who have been at their facility! Stevenson's Danny Gardiner also broke
the 800m record, as I will describe more below.
Our distance team didnít have a great team
day, but we had some great individual performances. Our goal is always to
score 40 points in the 4 distance races, and we came up short with only 30.
In retrospect, we ran about how fast our training dictated that we could
run, an indication that we ran pretty well. The difference was that the rest
of the conference ran really well also. After all, when was the last time
that 1:56.25 and 1:57.36 earn a 4th and 6th place
medal in the open 800? Never!!! The NSC is not thought of as a great
distance runnerís conference, but after watching all the great performances
by our conference in the distance races, there is no doubt that we will have
strong representation in two weeks in Charleston. Our distance crew was
simply a footnote in the meet, overshadowed by Martin Martinezís double
victories and Stevensonís impressive duo of Danny Gardiner and stud freshman
Jared Borowski. For those that havenít heard of this Borowski kid yet, you
will very soon, and you will for a long time to come. It is clear that he
will by a tyrant in the NSC for the next 3 years.
Before I get to the distance highlights, I
have to promote our Freshman sprinter Ben Klettís efforts on the day. Ben
only scored 8 points in the meet, but he had a heck of a day and battled for
every inch in all 4 of his events. Ben finished 3rd in the 100, 6th
in the 200, 6th in the long jump, and led off in our 7th
place 4x200 relay. With a lack of depth in the sprints, it was great to see
that we can count on Ben to be a superstar in big meets in years to come.
As far as our distance highlights, I
mentioned earlier that I thought we ran really well. We didnít score as many
points as we would have liked, and in retrospect, we may have been able to
adjust our lineup to be a little more point-friendly. Nevertheless, we had
some great individual performances and put ourselves in favorable positions
heading into the state series.
Coming into this race, I thought our lineup
of Anthony Baca, Ruben Riano, Will Llanos, and Jon Ramirez could run close
to 8:00. I thought that was going to be good enough to win and maybe even
allow Jon to coast on the anchor leg to save a bit for the 800. I was right
about our time, we ended up running 7:59. But I was wrong about the
competition. Stevenson was flat-out tough and reminded of the Stevenson
teams of the early 2000s that rolled through the NSC. Grant was a team on a
mission to win the team title, and their 4x8 set the tone for the rest of
their team in the track events with a gutsy race as well.
Anthony led off with a PR 2:02.4, handing
off in 3rd about 10 back of the leaders. Ruben ran second with a
PR of his own in 2:01.0, and he did a good job to get us back in the race.
And the midway mark, it was a tight 4-team race between us, Grant,
Stevenson, and Libertyville. Will ran third and was matched against two
studs: Stevensonís Gardiner and Grantsí Hatton. Will had his breakthrough
race, splitting 1:57.8 and hanging close to Gardiner and Hatton. Jon got the
baton about 8m back, and the race was quickly a tight three-team race.
Grantís anchor fell off the pace and it was our experienced senior Jon vs.
Stevensonís up-and-coming freshman Jared Borowski. We saw Borowski last week
come out of nowhere with a huge kick to win the slow heat of the 1600 at
County, so we knew he could change gears. Jon probably had a chance to drop
Borowski with a big first 600, but he missed that opportunity trying to
conserve for the open 800. It backfired, as Borowksi showed he is ready for
the spotlight now, outkicking Jon in the final 100. Jonís split was a PR
1:57.8, but his recent workouts indicate he has an even bigger breakthrough
performance coming his way.
With Jared and Alex toing the line against
Martin Martinez, we were fairly confident we could earn at least 14 points
in this event, so we had 2 goals in mind: (1) see if we could sneak 1 of our
2 guys in front of Martin or (2) save Alex for a fast mile later in the
meet. Neither of these goals panned out. Martin is flat out too tough as he
never gave Alex an inch and Jared fell off the pace early in the second
mile. Despite shutting Alex down in the final 400, he did not have the
strength to run two good races in the same meet.
This race was wide open, and we were hoping
for big points. Nobody in the conference had run exceptionally fast yet
(like most of the state), but but we knew the field was loaded with some
elite talent. Trevor was running it with fresh legs along with Lakesí Ryan
Prais, Mundeleinís Bryce Richards, and Warrenís Jacob Butler. J-Ramwas
doubling back from the 4x8 along with Stevensonís Danny Gardiner, Grantís
Kyle Hatton, and Libertyvilleís David Rule. Trevor started out aggressively
and took the lead through a 55-high. This is not Trevorís best racing style,
and probably cost him a place or two in the final results. It did help the
field run exceptionally fast and he will likely benefit more from this race
as we move forward toward the big show.
The final results were staggering. Gardiner
took the win with a new NSC Meet Record in 1:55.11, followed by Hatton,
Richards, Kuehr, and Prais all between 1:56.00 and 1:56.26. J-Ram settled
for 6th despite a 2nd PR of the day with 1:57.36.
After speaking with Warren Coach Bill Dawson, the Dean of the Conference
distance coaches, he confirmed that this was the fastest and deepest 800m
field in his recollection.
We lined up Bobby and Alex in this one.
Alex frankly didnít have it, and will leave it at that. Bobby ran
competitively, though settling for 6th in a PR 4:27. Martin won
his second event of the evening, with Stevensonís Frosh Star Borowski
blazing the last 100 for second.
Milner Sets School Record
in 3200, Highlighting Lake County Meet
Alex Milner set the school
record in the 3200m with a time of 9:18.70. He broke Alex Brend's
record from 2011 of 9:19.04. The race was even split throughout, with
Deerfield's Alex Gold, HP's Jonah Hanig, LZ's Jared Ripoli, and Barrington's
Ryan Burgoon in the lead group. Burgoon fell off around the 1200 and
and Hanig fell off around the 2000 mark. Gold pulled away in the final
400 for a nice 9:15 clocking, with Milner finishing strong for second.
Jared hung on for 4th with a time of 9:30, a second off his PR.
As a team, we placed 8th in
the 18 team field. Barrington used their depth to take the overall
title, winning all 4 relays. Here are some other highlights:
-Trevor Kuehr placed second in
the 800 with a time of 1:58.high. He didn't run a great race, as he
got stuck in the inside lane in a slow race. However, he made some
good moves to get in space and showed a nice burst in the final 100 to
overtake Ryan Prais from Lakes and Bryce Richards from Mundelein. Kyle
Hatton from Grant took the win with a well-run race and a time of 1:58.low.
-Our 4x800 relay of Anthony
Baca, Ruben Riano, Brian Griffin, and Bobby Klett took 6th in the 4x800.
The best legs cam from Ruben and Brian, who both ran PR's in the middle 2
legs (2:03.5 and 2:09.6). Anthony didn't look as smooth as he did on
Monday and settled for a 2:05.x, and Bobby was relegated to no-man's land as
our anchor, with a time of 2:06.x.
Bears Place 5th at
Spartan Relays 4/26/13
We placed 5th at the
competitive Glenbrook North Spartan Relays behind some nice performances on
the track. We had some good individual performances in the field
events, but not enough depth to score substantial points. Our only
field event points were scored in the high jump with a 4th place tally, with sophomore DJ Smith
highlighting the event with a PR 5'8'' leap. On the track, our
distance crew carried us with victorious 4x8 and 4x16 relays, and had a key
hand in the first place Middle Distance Medley Relay. It was not ideal
conditions with a stiff April breeze throughout the afternoon, but
considering the spring that we have had, we are not complaining. Here
are some highlights.
We won this event with a
season best 8:02 against stiff competition. We ran tough, but not
great, and nobody really stood out as a having a breakthrough race.
Perhaps the wind held back the times a little as each runner seemed hesitant
to lead and push an early fast pace. We have stacked this event in
each of the past 3 years with our best 4x8 runners and each year I have left
this meet scratching my head wondering what we are doing wrong. Fast
forward 3 weeks, and each year we seem to have it all figured out.
Check out some statistics for the guys who ran the 4x8 in this meet compared
to their end of season times (Note- the end of season times for 2010 is the
IHSA state meet, while the 2011 and 2012 times are from Sectionals since
those teams were disbanded at the state meet.)
As you can see, this year's
times are comparable if not better than most of our previous years.
Although nobody has really broken out, we move forward with confidence in
better things to come.
The setup of this meet
presents a challenge to any distance team. If you stack the 4x800,
there is not enough time to double back in the DMR. As a result, most
teams pick and choose their spots. We lined up a handful of juniors
alongside along with Senior Ruben Riano, so felt pretty good about our
lineup despite a second string unit. This crew ran great for 4th, with
4 PRs set despite the windy conditions. It started with a gutsy 1200
by junior Austin Kuehr to get us in good position. Just 4 days after
breaking 5:00 for the first time, Austin ran probably the best track race of
his life. Austin ran aggressively and held on into the wind, handing
off in 4th with a 3:31. Dan Abboud ran the 400 with a nice 55.1.
Brian Griffin ran tough for a 2:10.6, holding our position in 4th.
Ruben anchored with a PR in the 1600 of 4:40.7, extending the gap from 4th
to 5th, but too far out of 3rd to make any fireworks.
We anchored J-Ram in this race
to see how well he responds to a second 800 off short rest. We stacked
the 2-2-4 with our 3 best sprinters, hoping to steal big points in the
event. Freshman phenom Ben Klett led off and handed to junior sprinter
Sam Walstrum and we had the lead. Senior Drew Pavlovich ran the best
400 of his life with a sweet 51.9 before J-Ram got the baton in second in a
tight 3-team race with Glenbrook South and New Trier. J-Ram looked
fatigued and didn't have the aggressiveness that he usually does in an 800.
The trio split the 400 at a comfortable 60 flat, which probably boded well
for Jon. Jon made a strong move on the backstretch and extended the
lead around the curve. In an exciting finish, Jon held on for the win.
Jon's split was a solid 2:00.9, but more importantly, he showed he can
anchor two 800s in strong fashion with less rest than you would see in a
This race is a novelty among
distance fans, and with a strong crew of distance programs at the meet, this
race is usually very competitive. New Trier, Maine South, Deerfield
and Highland Park all entered strong teams with many familiar faces off the
2012 Cross Country State Meet. We had Bobby Klett and Alex Milner
running fresh, while Trevor Kuehr and Jared Ripoli were coming off the
4x800. Not surprising, it was Bobby and Alex with the best races, each
setting PRs in the process. Bobby led off with a 4:32, but he was
about 200m from posting something in the mid 4:20s. He struggled into
the wind around the final turn, and we will hope he can find that last gear
and turn that 71s last 400 into something special. Nevertheless, it
was a great race for Bobby, who handed off in a competitive 4th place.
Trevor ran second, and didn't show the necessary strength to be a 2-race
horse. I thought he would be able to make up a lot of ground in this
position, but his 4:39 wasn't going to make up ground on any of these elite
teams. It was Alex that ran the best leg of the day. Alex got
the baton in a distance 4th, but swallowed up ground seemingly effortlessly
and getting us to the lead by the end. He split 62/2:08 en route to a
PR 4:22, showing he is ready for a big drop in the 3200. Jared got the
baton just ahead of Highland Park's sophomore star Ben Casey. Like
Trevor, Jared didn't ever look comfortable in the race, and when Casey
passed him at the 800, it appeared as if Jared was going to get blown away,
but he responded and immediately passed Casey back, pulling away in the past
600. Jared split a good but not great 4:33, but he did enough to hold
off HP, MS, and New Trier who all finished within 5 seconds of him.
Lake Forest Dual 4/22/13
We had our second nice day of the season in
a dual against Lake Forest. We won, improving our dual meet record to 3-2.
More importantly, we made some nice improvements and showed some competitive
spirit. Here are some highlights.
*Before I get to the distance events, I
must acknowledge our improving field events. Our captain thrower, Matt
Schirmann set a PR in both the shot and discus (46í and 140í), with his
discus placing in as 10th all-time. Robert Rossduetcher set 2 PRs
in the vault, clearing 12í3íí and just tipping the bar with his elbow on
12í9íí. He will likely have some attempts at tying our school record of
13í3íí and hopefully at the state qualifying mark of 13í9íí in the upcoming
weeks. Nick Mandal had an even better day on the vault, setting 4 PRs,
clearing 10í6íí, good for the 3rd best sophomore vault in
history. And Freshman Ben Klett continues to shine in the sprints and long
jump. Ben set a PR long jump of 18í10íí and posted some gaudy hand-timed
marks of 10.75 and 22.59 in the 100 and 200. We are looking forward to our
FAT meets coming up to give Ben some official times, as he approaches our
Freshman and Varsity records.
*In the 4x800, we created 2 teams as evenly
matched as we could to compete against each other. This was a tall feat as
Alex Milner was anchoring the underdogs, and he had a significantly faster
PR than Shaun Bonefas who anchoring the favorites. After some substitutions
due to sickness, the teams ended being Logan Ejupi, Ryan Wendell, Lloyd Fan,
and Milner against Ruben Riano, Mark Syverson, Brian Glatz, and Bonefas.
Ruben led off against Logan and immediately created a huge gap of 12
seconds. Mark Syverson took the baton from Ruben, while Ryan Wendell took
the baton from Logan. Coming into the day, Mark had a faster PR than Ryan,
but it was Ryan who made up some ground on Mark, as he ran a big PR of 2:32.
Mark settled for a 2:33 after an illness last week. It was still looking up
for Shaun Bonefasís team, as they held an 11 second lead when Brian Glatz
took the baton on leg 3. Brian was pitted against Lloyd, and Brian extended
the lead to 21 seconds. Both Brian and Lloyd set PRís in the process (2:29
and 2:39) although Lloydís valiant effort may have kept Alex in the race.
When Alex Milner got the baton, Shaun was already on the backstretch, but
this didnít stop him from aggressively pursuing Shaun. By the 400, Alex had
made up half the ground and was closing. Shaun was still running strong into
the backstretch. Alex finally caught and passed Shaun with 150 to go,
finishing with a PR of 2:01.5. Shaun probably had an even better race than
Alex even though he was run down from behind. It is not an easy task to keep
your focus knowing that somebody is closing on you, yet Shaun still ran with
authority and made Alex give everything he had to catch him. Shaun set a big
PR of 2:26.0 in the process.
*In the 3200, we were giving a couple guys
their first opportunity at the event. Ian Murray ran an aggressive opening
lap only to find himself all alone and settled for a solo 10:22. Behind him,
we took 3rd and 5th with PRís from Mark Charnogorsky
(11:36) and Arthur Garcia (12:12).
*Our Frosh/Soph crew took 1-2-3 in the 800,
with Logan Ejupi (2:24) and Drew Witt (PR Ė 2:24.9) leading the charge.
Probably the best race of the day came from Collin Beaver, who snagged 3rd
with a PR 2:50. It was the first time Colin broke 3 minutes and his first
point in a track meet.
*In the varsity 800, we attempted the same
race plan as last week, pitting Trevor, Jared, Ruben, Will, and Alex against
each other in hopes of blazing a fast 400. We again had similar results as
last week, as Trevor took the lead early and struggled to get the pace
faster than 58. Trevor ended up holding on for the win over a charging Will
in 2:01.0, but it was an eerily similar race as last week.
*The 1600 ended up being the highlight of
the meet for our distance crew, as we had 4 guys break 5:00 for the first
time. Mark Spatz set a fast pace in the Frosh/Soph heat, as he and Matt
Milner cruised through the 800 in 2:22. As is typical in a Frosh/Soph mile,
the pace lagged in lap 3 and it was going to be close if Mark and Matt were
to join The Club. Matt took the lead from a fading Spatz, but Spatz clung to
Matt for dear life. In the end, it was Matt edging Mark for the win, with
both running 4:57's.
*After watching the FS duo successfully
accomplish the feat, it was on for our hopefuls in the varsity heat: Brian
Griffin, Matt Reninger, and Austin Kuehr. Jon Ramirez was out front smoothly
racing to a victory in 4:31, but the excitement occurred back with Austin,
Matt, and Brian. In the end, it was Brian and Austin both breaking the
barrier, while Matt will have to wait another week with his 5:06.
We have had few dual meet in the past
couple weeks, which has provided our only competition recently. Our home
invitational was canceled due to weather, and both the Libertyville Frosh/Soph
Invitational and Barrington Frosh Invitational were canceled as well.
Needless to say, our athletes were craving a nice day to put up some good
marks. This day didn't provide ideal conditions, but they were
adequate considering the "spring" we have had.
Of the 2 duals, we won 1 and lost the
other. Libertyville beat us on their track, but we bested Mundelein. Letís
take a look at some highlights.
*As the weather eroded over the course of
the afternoon, so did the opportunities for PRs. Our all-junior 4x8 team had
decent temperature with only a slight breeze, and they took advantage with 4
PRs. Jon Berggren showed he may have a future in the event, with a nice
debut 2:13.8. Jon showed good speed and a strong kick before delivering the
baton to Mark Charnogorsky. Mark has been setting PRís in just about every
meet and this was no different. Mark popped a 2:25.4, breaking 2:30 for the
first time. It is great to see Mark competing well and pain free, as it
seems his growing pains are a thing of the past. Brian Glatz showed that he
is made for the 800 as well, running 2:30 in his first try. Brendan Murphy
anchored and with our 4th PR of the relay, with a 2:48.
*We loaded up our 3200 with a bunch of our
returnees for next year, hoping to get some big PRs into the mid and low-10s
as they raced as a group. The first mile looked went smoothly as our entire
pack of Mark Spatz, Brian Griffin, Austin Kuehr, Justin Shim, and Matt
Reninger cruised through a 5:10, with a couple Libertyville runners and a
Mundelein runner sprinkled in. In lap 5, Austin and Mark made a courageous
move to gap the field dropping a 75, which strung out the group.
Unfortunately, neither Austin nor Mark have the strength yet to hold that
move, and they faded back to the strung-out pack. It was our opponents that
looked the strongest coming home, as Cardenas from Mundelein took the win in
10:22. Austin Kuehr followed with a strong finish for second in 10:28,
followed closely by Libertyvilleís duo of Bujak and Zoellick in 10:29. The
rest of our pack faded badly down the stretch, with Mark Spatz finishing in
10:40, Brian Griffin and Matt Reninger in 10:54, and Justin Shim in 11:08.
It was a couple small PRís for Austin, Spatz, and B-Griff, but it confirmed
what we already knew: that we have a lot of work ahead of us. Running the
3200 in the high 10s just isnít going to cut it if we expect to be
competitive Varsity athletes in the fall. These guys may get 1 more crack at
a good 3200 before the end of the season, so hopefully we can take advantage
and run some good races.
*We loaded the 800 with Trevor, J-Ram, and
J-Rip, with the intent to feel the excitement of a fast 800 that splits 56
or faster. The fast race never materialized, showing the our cross country
stars need to get out of their cross country mindset and find the sense of
urgency that the 800 requires. Mundeleinís sophomore stud Bryce Richards was
also entered in the race, as was Libertyvilleís ace Rule, so it was set up
to be competitive. The race split a 58 at the 400, and it was already clear
we missed an opportunity to try something new. J-Ram led, while Trevor and
Jared were simply too patient in a 2 minute race. They were out of position.
Richards took the lead on the backstretch and pulled away for the win in
1:59.2, while J-Ram gave chase settling for a 1:59.7 and his first sub 2
clocking of the season. Trevor remains stuck on 2:00, while Jared faded back
to a 2:04, behind Libertyvilleís Rule. Jared, Trevor, and J-Ram completed
the rare back-to-back double of 800-4x200. We canít be afraid to take risks
in our racing, and it appears we are still a little fearful of the unknown.
*The 1600 turned out to be the highlight of
the day, as Bobby and Gerrit were running this one fresh. Richards from
Mundelein was attempting (what I consider) the toughest double in the sport,
as he was coming off his 800m victory. Bobby made a point to set a strong
pace early to take out Richardsí kick. Gerrit hung onto Bobbyís shoulder.
The trio split 2:17 through the 800 and the pace slowed in the 3rd
lap. It appeared Richards was preparing to make his move, and he did with
400 to go. Bobby was ready and made a move of his own. Bobby ended up
pulling away, and Gerrit caught a fading Richards for second. Both Bobby and
PRs set PRs of 4:34 and 4:37. Ian Murray was stuck in the crowd and never
got into the race, finishing in 4:49. Behind them, Jon Berggren inched
closer to the 5:00 mark, PRíing in 5:06.
4/13/13 -Bears Take 2nd in the Cold at Warren
We took second in the Warren Invitational at both the
Frosh/Soph and Varsity levels. The host won at both levels, while Lake
Forest, Grayslake North, Kenosha Tremper, and Maine East also competed.
It was a cold and windy day, not ideal for good marks, but there were some
exciting races and we had a number of athletes that managed lifetime PRs in
the less-than-ideal conditions. Here are some highlights:
- The 3200 provided maybe the best race of the day.
J-Rip and Alex Milner toed the line against Warren's stud Martin Martinez.
The three of them gapped the field by the mile at 4:42 and the race was on
from there. Alex dropped a 67 on lap 5 hoping to shake Martinez and
J-Rip, who were drafting through the wind. However, Martin matched the
move with ease, and Jared hung on gamely in tow. In the final lap,
Martin made a strong move, gapping both of our two aces. But the wind
on the final curve gave our guys an opportunity as Martin battled the wind
head-on. It was Jared who whipped into the final straight with
momentum, and edged Martin at the line for the win and a new PR 9:29.
I learned from Daily Herald's Jeff Newton that this was the fastest time in
Lake County so far, as well as one of the top times recorded in the state in
a season that has provided few opportunities for good times. It is
refreshing to see our hardest worker get rewarded with a big-meet win, and
Jared has trained himself into a position with a lot of options as we move
towards state. Recall that Jared joined the 1000 mile club this past
winter, the first to join that club since Andrew Morrison back in 2009.
- We had two other event winners on the day: Robert
Rossduetcher won the pole vault with 11' and our 4x200 relay team edged
Warren for the title.
-Our 4x800 relay was a team of all juniors who managed 2
lifetime PRs and 2 near-PRs. Anthony Baca led off with a PR 2:07.5,
and was in second at the exchange. Look for Anthony to make
significant varsity contributions in the event as he gains the confidence to
race aggressively. Austin Kuehr ran a tough 2:18, followed by Brian
Griffin's 2:14. Austin and Brian held us in a close third through the
middle legs. Gerrit Williams anchored and showed good strength in the
final 300m as he ran a PR 2:08.7, and propelling us into second behind
- Jon Ramirez and Will Llanos ran their debut races of
the season. Jon looked fit but rusty while Will just looked unprepared
for the intensity of a varsity 800. The field was a strong field with
Warren's Jacob Butler heading the lineup. The race began with 6
runners splitting the 400 south of 58, with Jon in 3rd and Will hanging onto
the pack in 6th. Butler made a strong move heading into the second lap
and the field began to string out. Jon was caught out of position and
Will couldn't match the move. Jon ended up moving into second, but
couldn't catch Butler. Butler won with a nice 1:59.x while Jon
finished in 2:00.6.
- The 1600 didn't unfold as we wanted. We had both
Trevor and Bobby racing fresh in this one, while Martinez was coming back
from an emotional 3200. It was clear from the gun that Martin was
content with a slow race, and so it was Trevor that led into the biting
wind. This is not Trevor's preferred race. At times when he
should have pushed the pace, the pace lagged, and Martin was just rearing to
explode. Martin showed his strength with 400 to go, and Trevor
couldn't answer. Trevor and Bobby both missed an opportunity,
finishing a distant second and 4th.
- At the Frosh/Soph level, we had some great performances
as well. Our Frosh/Soph distance team is pretty thin in numbers, and
we even more depleted because of a Band Concert. As a result, we had
an all-sprint team 4x800 and a couple guys, Justin Shim and Arthur Garcia,
were running multiple events.
- Our FS 4x800 team of Alex Didier, Juan Garcia, Alex
Maticevic, and Zach Stark are all sprinters, but filled in and ran
competitively to place 4th in the event. Their time of 10:42 was
respectable given their lack of focus on the event. Some of them may
even have a future in the distance events...
- Matt Milner ran a PR 10:42.5 in the FS 3200, good for
second. Drew Witt also ran tough, earning a PR in 11:20, outkicking a
competitor for 6th.
- Justin Shim won the FS 800. His time was not his
best, but it was good to see him race with confidence and earn a win.
- Probably the best race of the day came from Arthur
Garcia in the 1600. Arthur doubled back from the 800 along with
Justin, and anybody who has done that double in a small meet knows how
tough it is (ask Justin...). I challenged Justin to race more
aggressively before the race as he always seems to have a lot left in the
tank at the finish. He took my suggestion to heart, coming through the
800 in 2:35. Arthur ended with a 5:24, a huge PR of over 20 seconds.
I am excited to see how low he can go in a fresh race.
4/2/13 - Francisco Soto ('10) runs 1:59.x after
Recovering from IT Band Surgery
Alex Soto, the great Palatine runner and brother of our
own Francisco Soto, stopped by a dual meet of ours the other day and gave me
a few updates on Cisco. After winning a Junior College National
Championship in the 1500 at Harper College, Cisco had a severe injury to his
IT Band, so bad that it required surgery last year. Cisco has since
finished at Harper and transferred to Eastern Illinois, where he is almost
recovered from his surgery and competing of EIU's track team. Cisco
recently ran a 1:59.x 800 as he continues to show his mettle despite the
adversity faced to him.
3/31/13 - LZTF Competes in 4th Annual Octathlon
For the fourth year in a row, we got after it in our 8
events as a team. The weather was cold, colder than any other Octathlon we
have had, but that didn't stop us from running the 100m, Long Jump, 2-footed
High Jump, 110 Low Hurdles, 400m, Shot Put, 1600m, and Pancake Eating
Contest. The Full 2013 LZXC
Octathlon Results can be found here, and the
All-time Octathlon Records can be found
here. Here are the highlights:
- In the tightest individual competition in history, it
was the distance runners who showed off their overall athleticism.
Trevor Kuehr snagged the victory with 455 points, claiming the title as Best
Athlete in LZHS. Trevor edged Will Llanos (444 points), Jared Ripoli
(433 points), and Yours Truly (428 points, PR!) in the competition that came
down to the very last few pancakes.
- DJ Smith was the top Sophomore with 363 points, but
more importantly, we found DJ's true calling in the high jump pit. DJ
had been training as a 400m runner, but showed he has natural leaping
ability and even more natural in-air awareness, clearing 5'7'' (without
using the 2-foot handicap). This is the second diamond in the rough
that the Octathlon has produced for us in finding hidden talents.
Recall back in 2010 when Chris Rantis, a sophomore sprinter at the time,
toed the line in the 1600, dropped a 4:55 with no training, and was
instantly converted to the 800 where he excelled for the next 3 seasons.
- Ben Klett showed his superior talents in the sprints
and jumps, finishing as the top overall freshman. Ben set the
Octathlon High Jump Record with a 6' jump (off 2 feet), as well as strong
showings in the Long Jump, 100m, and Shot Put.
- In the team competition, two distance teams went at it
to the bitter end. "We Like Mike", the team of Bobby Klett, Trevor
Kuehr, and Jared Ripoli outlasted "Los Sexy Mexicanos", consisting of Jon
Ramirez, Will Llanos, and Ruben Riano.
- Trevor posted the 9th best Octathlon score in history
and the 4th best distance performance in history.
- Jared Ripoli posted the 8th best distance performance
- DJ Smith's efforts produced the 7th best Sophomore
performance in history.
- Ben Klett (4th best Freshman) and Bokun Lee (9th best
Freshman) also made the all-time lists.
- Our throwers really posted some nice efforts, with 4
throwers making the All-time top 10. Mark Pacyga (3rd), Greg McLain
(4th), Tyler Hart (5th), and Vikram Tamanna (9th) had solid weeks.
- In the individual events, Coach McNalis showed his
stuff by posting the 3rd best shot put throw in history (40+ feet).
- Dan Abboud showed his hard work over the winter is
paying off, as he posted the second best 110 Low Hurdle time in history.
- Will Llanos once again swallowed the most pancakes,
defending his title from last year, with 17 panclogs. He really might
have a future in speed eating. Jared Ripoli tied the same mark, as he
desperately forced down extra pancakes to edge out Coach Hanson in the
3/31/13 - Alex Brend Earns Big 10 Athlete of the
Alex Brend ('11) was awarded with the Big 10 Athlete of
the Week, just a few weeks after placing 7th in the Indoor Big 10
Championships. Alex won the 800m in 1:51.x in his outdoor debut down
in Arizona. He has since followed it up with a PR 3:46 1500 at the
Here is the article.
3/8/13 - LZ Distance Crew Goes "Bigger and Better"
We did something new this year to break up the monotony
of our month with racing, an activity called "Bigger and Better". The
premise is that you are given a penny, and have a goal to acquire the
"biggest and bestest thing", by bartering. We split into teams of 3-4,
and each team started with a penny, only to attempt to trade it for
something greater (say, a pencil), which they would then trade it up for
something better (say, a mug), and so on and so forth. My roommate did
it in college, acquiring a couch which we enjoyed for a number of years, and
there is also the story of the Canadian man who started with a red paper
clip and, over the course of a year, traded it for a house. We had no
idea what we were going to get, and with only 90 minutes to work with, the
guys were definitely faced with a challenge. To make it more
interesting, the team that acquired the "biggest and bestest thing" would
get the prize of keeping all the other groups' "biggest and bestest things".
Here are the highlights:
winning team of Shaun Bonefas, Will Llanos, Ruben Riano and "Polo"
Baryakhtar brought back the fan-favorite 8th grader, Joel Perez, as well as
an antique bottle supposedly worth $35 on Ebay. The team of Mark Spatz,
Justin Shim, Logan Ejupi, and Matt Milner were runner-ups, acquiring a dozen
donuts and a box of graham crackers. Matt Reninger, Austin Kuehr,
Brian Griffin, and Ryan Wendell acquired a skateboard. Mark
Charnogorsky and Collin Beaver acquired a box of European cookies. And
Jack Herman and Arthur "of Above" Garcia acquired a mattress, bed frame
giant frisbee, dictionary, mug, and who knows what else in their bag of
goodies. Shaun, Will, Ruben, and Polo enjoyed the cookies and donuts
immensely, but the mattress and bed frame ended up finding its way to the
2013 LZXC Summer Dates are Finalized
LZXC Summer Camp: June 10 - July 18,
Paavo North: Sunday June 23 - Saturday June 29
LZXC Kettle Moraine Camping Trip: Sunday July 14 -
Tuesday July 16
First 2013 LZXC Practice: Wednesday August 14, 7AM
3/2/13 - LZXC/LZTF Alumni Excel in Collegiate Track
A couple Alumni updates for you, which have been updated
on the Alumni Page. Any other alumni updates?
Let me know...
First, Alex Brend ('11) placed 7th at the Indoor Big 10
Championships. Alex, competing as a redshirt freshman for University
of MInnesota, was the only freshman to make finals in the event.
Alex's time was a PR 4:04.99.
Second, Braxton Klavins ('10) set the SIU Edwardsville
school record in the 400m. Braxton's time was 47.03.
3/2/13 - Bears Compete Well at BG Scarpino Invite
What has become the marquee event of our indoor season,
the Buffalo Grove Scarpino Invitational never ceases to provide exciting
racing on the short track. The AA Cross Country State Champs Chicago
Jones Prep added to an already competitive field of distance programs,
including Belvidere North, Barrington, Crystal Lake Central, Prarie Ridge,
and the host Bison. The flighted invitational allows us to get a lot
of runners in competitive races, and for the most part, we took advantage.
We placed 8th as a team with 54 points, 39 of which we earned with our
distance squad. Here are some highlights.
-We got 2 lifetime PRs in the 3200 from sophomore Mark
Spatz (6th in C division, 11:06) and junior Austin Kuehr (5th in B
division, 10:40). Both Mark and Austin ran well on the short track and
made strong, consistent efforts to post solid times.
-Alex Milner led for much of the A 3200 before getting
smoked by some very good runners in the final 1000m. Alex placed 4th
behind a great race from BG's Steve Salvano, and ever-tough Alex Baker from
Crystal Lake Central and Belvidere North's Paxson Menard.
-The 800 was our best event, with two firsts and a third.
Ruben Riano led wire to wire in the C 800 for the win in 2:15. Will
Llanos took 3rd in the B division in 2:09 in his debut race of the season.
Trevor Kuehr pulled away from the field in the A 800 for the win in 2:07.
-Coming off the 4x8, Bobby Klett ran well in the 1600 B
division for 3rd behind a couple all-staters, Tyler Yunk and Luke O'Connor.
-The A division 1600 was a really fun race to watch, with
a field of 5 all-staters and our very own Jared Ripoli doubling back off the
4x8. The race started out in a walk, hitting the opening 400 at 79-80.
From there, things got interesting. Barrington's Ryan Perkins took the lead
to keep the race honest and led for the next few laps before Belvidere
North's Garrett Lee showed why he is many people's favorite to win a state
championship. Lee pulled away from the field, seemingly effortlessly
over the final 800. Jared moved with him as long as he could ,as did JCP's stud Jameson Dale and Prarie Ridge star Joe Cowlin.
BG's Salvano and CLC's Baker tried to hang on but struggled coming off their
spirited 3200. Dale held on
through the 1200, but began to faulter. Cowlin and Ripoli followed,
with Cowlin edging Ripoli at the line for second. Jared's splits were
79, 72, 69, 64, probably the most impressive 3rd place, 4:44 1600 I have
witnessed. Lee, on the other hand, must have closed the final 800 in close
to 2:06, which is a very good 800 time on that track alone, not to mention
closing a 1600.
2/24/13 - Bears Get their Feet Wet in 2013 Season at
Maine South and Highland Park
Our low-key indoor season is only 3 meets long, and we
have completed 2 of them. We opened up at Maine South for our yearly beatdown,
and Maine South handed us exactly that. They always look bigger,
faster, and stronger, and this year was no different. Our distance
team, especially, always comes back with a new motivation to train, after
watching the backs of Maine South's uniforms spin circles around us on their
Our goals are to get in some competitive races, enjoy the
short-track tactical races, test our own limits in the process. We had
some great competitive races, and a few others that missed an opportunity.
Here are some highlights from Maine South: