By Charlie Walsh ‘23

It’s always a great day when you have the opportunity to race at Detweiller Park.

On Saturday, the cross country team finished 12th place out of 41 teams at Detweiller Park in Peoria Ill. Personally, I think we could have done better as a team, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

The meet day was different than usual. The team went out for a steak dinner on Friday night and stayed in a hotel. Although this is a fun team bonding exercise, sometimes getting thrown out of your routine before competing can result in a poor race.

After arriving at the course in the morning, we all reflected on the night before. It was fun but resulted in a lack of sleep. We were able to keep positive thoughts throughout the warm-up and made it to the start line with optimism.

The gun went off, and I knew immediately it was going to be a successful race. It seemed all seven runners got out fairly quickly.

Junior Charley Duggan, our top finisher on Saturday, said, “I rolled through the first mile at about five flat pace and continued feeling good. I felt very comfortable running this pace until the last mile, which was the toughest part. I still hung on to a good pack of guys and ended up finishing in 15th place and got a personal best (15:31).”

Other personal bests came from Andrew Straley (17:03), Brian Sheehan (18:07), Gavin O’Connor (16:06), Danny Macis (16:57) and me, Charlie Walsh (16:18).

Coach Wazio said, “Saturday went exactly as I thought it would go. As a coach, you never know how all seven guys are going to respond when you take them out of their routine. They came ready to race and competed to their full potential. There is still more to come in the next five weeks.”

With six out of seven personal bests, this team can do some damage in the meets where it matters most. Our training is geared towards sectionals on October 29 to have the best possible chance to compete at the state meet.

Senior Joey Bowes said, “To make it downstate, we have to continue to fight and push through the pain during workouts and hard times.”