Boys cross country off to a running start
September 10, 2018
This weekend the boys cross country team competed in the Joliet Central meet which provided the runners and coaches an chance to see how the team matched up with a variety of schools around the area.
At the varsity level, Daniel Klysh finished second overall, followed by Michael Moriarty at 19th to give the team a fifth-place finish. The Frosh/Soph team took home first place; all five runners who scored for the team finished in the top 10, led by sophomore Colin Hill who crossed the finish line first.
Following a sixth-place finish at the state meet last season, the team will have to replace the talents of graduates such as Charlie Kern, Jackson Bode, and Sean Macgregor. While this is certainly not an easy thing to do, the team believes they have the work ethic and talent to remain an elite program. With a lot of senior talent graduating last year, runners realize this season will be different.
“It’s a building year; we are young, inexperienced and learning every day,” junior Daniel Klysh said. “No goals, just train hard and race harder.”
Even though the Dukes lost a lot of their leaders from last season, the team is not suffering from a lack of leadership. The runners who compete at the varsity level know it is important to mentor the underclassmen to prepare them for what is ahead.
“Our goals have to be to help the team out to be the best we can be, and for me, it’s to consistently get better after every meet and practice so I can reach my full potential,” junior Johnny Brennan said. “This season will be different because only one of the returning runners (Kern) has had experience running at state. While our team has very little experience, we have all of the hard work it takes to get to where we want to go.”
From a coaching standpoint, however, this year is no different from the previous ones. In order to become a successful program, the runners must be willing to work and be prepared for the bigger meets against the best competition the area has to offer.
“It’s not a surprise Ethan Kern is doing really well, he’s got a big chip on his shoulder, he’s trying to prove that he belongs amongst the elite of Illinois,” Coach Kern said. “And then, of course, Daniel Klysh, he competes at everything and is a phenomenal athlete, so he’s chasing after Ethan every day. Besides that we’ve got a great core of juniors which makes me really excited for the future.”
While some of the upperclassmen had less specific goals for the season, one sophomore Mickey Vreeland seems to have been determined to set new career marks within the next few months. He also has strong hopes that other runners in his class have the ability to rise up to the challenge of competing with varsity athletes.
“My goal for this season is to try to break 16 minutes for three miles (normal race distance) and become an alternate for state,” Vreeland said. “The sophomores like Sam Ayers, Colin Hill, and Thomas Braun, they are definitely going to step up and they are going to help replace the seniors we lost. I think, with the determination and heart we had over the summer, we can make a huge difference, and even with our first meet, it’s looking like we can make a bigger impact than we did last year.”
Although the team is less experienced than in previous years, the difficulty of their schedule has not changed. The West Suburban Silver Conference is one of the most challenging conferences throughout the state regardless of which sport is being discussed. Schools like Hinsdale Central, Lyons Township, and Glenbard West always seem to give York a challenge.
“Our biggest meets are Palatine and Conference,” Klysh said. “Palatine is always big and traditionally has really great competition and athletes. It’s a great way to see how you stack up against other schools midway through the season and shows us what we need to work on. Conference is all about bragging rights and we have arguably one of the hardest conferences in the state across all sports. You always want to be WSC Silver Champions.”
Coach Kern believes the team is up for the challenge.
“My expectations are for the boys to be willing to work, sacrifice. In order to get something good, you have to give up something good, and when you give up something good, you usually get something better,” Coach Kern said. “I’m expecting them to sacrifice. I am expecting them to be committed to their sport along with that focus on their effort every day. If we do that, all of the other things will take care of themselves.”