There was something missing at the Elgin Area School District U-46 boys track meet Tuesday night in South Elgin.
With the temperature taking a swift turn below 40 and the winds howling near 20 mph, the Polar Bear Plunge could have fit in right after the last event.
As for any takers to participate in the plunge, you might be able to get the Elgin 1,600-meter relay team, which opted to run the last race of the night when no other school wanted to in South Elgin.
And while Elgin's relay team fought the odds after the winds shifted and brought the temps down below 40, Larkin bailed with 3 events remaining but Bartlett's team persevered with a convincing win in the event with 98 points. Elgin was second with 64 while South Elgin took third with 50.
"The beginning of the meet was good weather for us to have, " Bartlett coach Eric Kramer said. "And it's just a mental mindset. The kids were just going to complain about it in the beginning but it was 'no, you're going to run it' and they're like 'OK.' And it goes into just being smart, keeping the clothes on, properly warming up, keeping them on until you're running your race, making sure you sweat so that you're warm.
"A lot of guys were just running up to the starting line and trying to go and their muscles were cold and you're not going to get good performances."
The Hawks' 400 relay team of A.J. Santori, Bryce Petty, Kyle Garcia and Aaron Everson made it look easy and got to run when the weather wasn't so brutal.
"Big thing we were working on this week were our exchanges," said Garcia, who said the team was a little off with them in the last meet. "We just were working on timing this week and I feel like we're a little better, getting more comfortable with each other."
The weather wasn't so favorable in the 3,200 run for Bartlett's Matt Hess and Nick Sullivan, but they finished 1-2.
"Weather wasn't the greatest, especially in the back stretch. We just tried to keep it steady and keep pushing a little bit throughout the race," said Hess.
"We just tried to work off each other for each mile," said Sullivan, who finished second. "I led and kicked through the front of the wind in the first mile and he did that in the second mile and then we went for it in the end." Brandon Smith won the 400 for Bartlett. Dan Cotton won the 1,600.
Elgin's 3,200 team of Christian Martin, Logan Jostes, Emilio Macha and Chris Porras, actually started off with a surprise win in the first track event in 8:42.
"In all honesty, a little bit," Porras said. "But not too much. We've been working on our work ethic and the way our team has been this season, our team we expected to be a contender."
South Elgin senior Dan Boice won the 100 at 11.03 for the first time in his career while Larkin's Ernesto Garcia did the same as he passed four Bartlett runners with 200 meters to go in the 800.
Streamwood's Tae Reets won the 200 in "the coldest I've run," he said.
Elgin's Eduardo Perez won the triple jump at 35 feet and won the pole vault, while South Elgin's Kyle Kumerow won the high jump in 5-10.