Boys cross country: Methner's pace helps Hersey secure title at Palatine
Hersey junior Josh Methner entered the Palatine Invitational on a high note after running to the title at the Richard Springs Invitational at Peoria's Detweiler Park last Saturday.
But the Huskies' boys cross country team was looking for a bit of redemption after finishing fourth in Peoria.
On Saturday both Methner and the Huskies were in sync.
Methner took charge early and didn't let up in cruising to first place in 14:32 powering Hersey to a commanding team title with 88 points at Deer Grove East Forest Preserve in Palatine.
Kentucky's St. Xavier finished a distant second with 188 points followed by Oswego East (195 points), St. Louis University High School (236 points), and Downers Grove South (238 points).
"It was a different group from last week," said Hersey coach Kevin Young of the Huskies' impressive performance. "You could see it in their eyes, they had confidence the entire race."
Methner is certainly building his confidence after two huge back-to-back victories.
The Huskies' standout set the tone early and didn't let up in crossing the line with a 10-second cushion over Maine South senior Tommy Brady (14:42), who won the Palatine Invite title last season.
"I was just feeling good," said Methner of his title run. "Having that confidence, after the first mile I just wanted to pick it up a little bit."
Methner did not run in the varsity race at the Palatine Invite his first two years, but definitely made an impact this year.
"It was awesome," said Methner, "watching my teammates run freshman and sophomore year and now I was able to do it."
"He is in the spotlight and he is embracing it," said Young, who was impressed with Methner's composure. "He found the lead early and didn't let up."
Methner had plenty of help with sophomore Max Svienty (15:11) and senior Ryan Buch (15:11) going 10-11.
"We were in a bit of a slump last week and we knew we needed a good race," said Svienty of the Huskies 'attack. "I think we got out really well and we ran with confidence."
Senior Thomas McCarthy (15:22) kept the line going for Hersey by securing 22nd place with junior Colin Safford (15:42, 42nd place) aiding the charge.
"It's a step in the right direction," added Buch of the Huskies' charge. "We definitely took a look from last weekend and learned a lot from that race. We wanted to treat today like state meet, with the stress and the environment and I think we performed under stress."
Barrington also took a step in the right direction with junior Paddy Furlong (15:19) and senior Greg Van Hollen (15:20) capturing 20th and 21st place respectively, powering the Broncos to a sixth-place team finish.
Furlong and Van Hollen worked off each other the entire race in setting the tone for the Broncos.
"We've been tightening it together," said Furlong of the Broncos' 1-2 punch. "Making sure we're aware of where we are and not falling off."
"We've been training for that during our practices," said Van Hollen, "and one thing we've been focusing on is that final kick and staying together."
Senior Robert St. Clair (15:07) set the tone for Mundelein, running to an eighth-place finish and helping the Mustangs secure seventh place as a team.
Junior Dillon Blake (15:22) aided the Mustangs' charge with a 24th place finish.
"I started pushing it the second half of the race," said St. Clair, "by the time I was at the 2-mile mark I was in a pretty good position. I am pretty happy with my race."
Junior Richard Jacobo, (15:26), who is coming back from an early season injury, took 27th place to aid host Palatine.
"Our varsity didn't get out and the race was pretty much over the first 400 meters," said Palatine coach Chris Quick. "Jacobo ran faster that last week and keeps improving."
Dundee Crown senior Adam Swanson (15:15) and junior Lucas Janikowski (15:16) captured 13th place and 15th place respectively for the Chargers
Lake Zurich sophomore Jack Gilboy (15:26) ran to a 28th place finish for the Bears.