by Keri Groen
Kaneland Krier Reporter
The boys cross country team participated in the Sterling Invitational, including over 30 class 3A and 2A ranked schools in the state on Oct. 10.
Chad Clarey, the boys cross country coach, was very confident in his team this year.
Clareyâ€™s hope for this yearâ€™s invite would be to finish in the top five as a team and have a finisher in the top 10 for each race.
â€œWe have a chance to finish in the top five in both levels, but we need to keep our pack split down,â€ Clarey said.
The team needed to have the first and fifth finishers less than 60 seconds apart from each other in order to keep the pack split down, and they have been keeping it to about 40 seconds in previous meets, which would help their chances of finishing in the top five.
â€œ(Achieving our goal will be) easier because we have long, hard practices and we always try our hardest,â€ freshman Gus Stott said.
There are a number of state-ranked teams in the Class 3A and 2A rankings that the cross country team did compete against in this meet.
â€œAlthough many are tough competition, and we respect the teams we face, we fear none,â€ Clarey said.
In preparation for the Sterling Invitational, the cross country team had been running intervals of distances 200 to over 1,000 meters. Other days, they would run over 10 miles in 75 minutes, but before race days they would run slower and shorter distances because races are typically three miles, Clarey said.
Teams for both ages have great depth, and seniors are in the last month of their careers as cross country runners at Kaneland. Seniors want to have their best races this time of year, which may help fair better over most teams Clarey said.
â€œWe allow (seniors) to help make decisions, and we ask for all of their input. They lead by word and example every single day,â€ Clarey said.
Seniors this year have been a great help to the coaches, and being named captains was an even greater accomplishment for them, Clarey said.
â€œWe are a talented group, with many varsity races under our belts. We have done well in the past, and we rely on those experiences to help us in races,â€ Clarey said.
The cross country team has already won the Freeport Pretzel Invite and Byron Handicap Invitational this year.
â€œTrevor Holm has been our number-one runner the last few weeks, and Matt Reusche is getting ready to climb back into that position,â€ Clarey said. â€œAs long as everyone is fighting for the same goal, competitive with one another, and pulling each other along in races, we can always come out on the top of the pack.â€
Last year, varsity got ninth place while sophomores claimed sixth place in the Sterling Invitational.