Early Oct. stop provides Knights look at themselves, field
BYRON, Ill.—Byron Forest Preserve in Byron, Ill., holds a unique October challenge for the Knight boys cross country roster.
The setup and field might be out of the ordinary, but provides opportunity to take stock of what a team has in a critical juncture of the season, just before conference.
Kaneland took care of business with the staggered field and managed five of the top six runners en route to a 16-point afternoon and first place finish. Bureau Valley was second at 76 points and Rock Falls was third at 77.
The race was structured so teams’ runners thought to be tenth fastest would start the race, followed by a 20-second interval before the ninth-fastest runners would go, on through the fastest.
“The best part about the race format is it celebrates the depth if your team, and it is something that we point our fingers toward all the summer running they do,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said “Not all programs work like that in the summer, and those who do are often more prepared when the gun goes off.”
Dylan Kuipers won the 2.87-mile setup at 17 minutes, 29 seconds, followed by two-three-four runners Jimmy Walker (17:54), Mitch Reger (17:55) and Kyle Carter (17:57). Teammate Brock Robertsen, at 18:07, was sixth.
“(It’s a) challenging course, unique format, and sometimes poses as a feel good meet for some of the seniors that we get into the varsity line up who sometimes do not have the chance to shine at other invitationals,” Clarey said.
On Saturday, Oct. 19, the KHS crew heads to Grundy County to face off against host Morris and the rest of the capable Northern Illinois Big XII field, with races beginning at 9 a.m.