The nine-second gap between Neuqua Valley's Jake McEneaney and Josh Mollway and the trailing pack of 1,600-meter runners allowed time for reflection.
"The biggest thing for us is the team points," McEneaney said. "We definitely want to be 1-2. We didn't really care about time or who was the winner."
McEneaney's time of 4 minutes, 19.86 seconds and Mollway's 4:20.39 on North Central College's Al B. Carius Track both surpassed the DuPage Valley Conference indoor boys varsity record of 4:20.67.
There was more where that came from as Neuqua repeated as DVC boys indoor track and field champion on Friday in Naperville. The Wildcats' 138 points led Wheaton Warrenville South (106) and Lake Park (73). Only 13.5 points separated fourth-place Wheaton North and ninth-place Naperville Central, the winner on the sophomore level.
Neuqua's distance strength is such that beside the McEneaney-Mollway duo and teammates Jackson Jett and Zach Kinne going 1-2 in the 3,200, four other Wildcats runners claimed the 3,200 relay.
"I think the best way to follow up a senior cross (country) title would be a senior track title with the team. That's the goal, for sure," McEneaney said.
Neuqua also got DVC titles from JaQuere Williams in the 200, Ife Oketona in long jump and Isaiah Robinson in the 400. Robinson won the 800 as a junior.
"It felt pretty smooth. I'm not really a fan of indoor, all the turns, but it felt good today," said Robinson, followed by Wheaton North's Andrew Lauber and, from a prior heat, Glenbard North's Aquil Spates.
Lake Park's Chago Basso was the lone true repeat winner with back-to-back shot put titles. The 2016 high jump winner, Glenbard North's Jace James, finished third in that event behind Naperville North's Kris Heinz and WW South's Erik Stubner. A Northwestern football recruit, James won the 55 hurdles at 7.67 seconds, ahead of Panthers teammate Paris Miller and Lake Park's versatile Dan Spejcher.
For pure speed there was Metea Valley's Alonzo Taylor-Jones, who won the 55 dash in 6.46 seconds and trailed only Williams in the 200.
"I just keep striving to get better and better," Taylor-Jones said. "I don't really think of places. I mean, first place is always nice, but what's first place with a bad time?"
Waubonsie Valley's Wes York won the 800. One of the top races of the meet, York, Wheaton North's Joey Simon, WW South's Kyle Thompson and Naperville Central's Peter Villanova all broke two minutes.
"All these guys are really talented, all these guys are really fast, so I knew it'd come down to the last 200," York said.
In pole vault, WW South's Tommy Ansiel couldn't reach his goal of 17 feet but after being sick the past week he accepted his winning height of 15-1.
"I'm just happy to win. Any time you do that you can't complain," he said.