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Niles West Pat Savage Invite





After off their best race of the season at a Quad meet on Tuesday, Deerfield got eleven days of training before Saturday’s chance to see if they could replicate their success at a big Invite. The Pat Savage Invitational at Niles West is known for having tons of teams and major traffic on the course. Among those teams were some top 20 2A teams that Deerfield is likely to see again at the State Meet plus some solid 3A teams including #26 St. Ignatius.

Deerfield had such success with pack running at their recent meets, so the plan was to first get out fast to avoid the congestion around the first few turns, and then seek to pack up with teammates. They executed that plan well with Lucas Moskovitz and Cole Bernstein together in the lead pack, and Eric Lakemaker, Carter Levinson, and Evan Morris with the next group only a few second back. David Fisher started very fast and found himself between the two packs.

The lead group thinned to five runners, and Moskovitz and Bernstein were still hanging on. By the final mile, the two Deerfield runners had been gapped by the top three, but they fought together to hold on to fourth and fifth place. The top three runners had all broken 15:00 two weeks ago, so that was an impressive 4-5 finish by Moskovitz and Bernstein.

For most of the race, St. Ignatius had a tight pack of four runners ahead of Deerfield’s #3. They placed 7th, 8th, and 11th, but Eric Lakemaker came roaring with a super strong last mile to overtake their fourth runner in the last 100 meters. Lakemaker finished 12th, just one second, but two places, ahead of St. Ignatius’ #4. Lakemaker’s kick ended up making a huge difference in the final scores. Rounding out the scoring for Deerfield was Carter Levinson in 22nd, and David Fisher held onto Levinson for a huge finish in 25th place. St. Ignatius’ fifth runner came through in 30th.

The final scores revealed a two point victory for the Warriors over St. Ignatius 68-70. Loyola was third, New Trier’s B team was 4th, and Evanston was 5th. Deerfield solidly beat all the other 2A schools including #11 Walter Payton, #20 Vernon Hills and #7 Woodstock who finished in 8th, 10th, and 11th, respectively.

The Deerfield sophomores impressed as well. In 2A/1A competition, they won easily with 21 points. They got second in the overall scoring, beating all 3A teams except for New Trier. Jon Wool led the way as the sophomore race champion in the 2A/1A division, and Dylan Cohen finished second. Edwin Shi had a solid race for fifth, and John Healy and Eric Hogenkamp battled together really well throughout the race to finish 6th and 7th. This sophomore class has made incredible strides since their freshman year because of their hard work and consistent dedication in the winter, spring, and summer. The future of the team is bright with this group of runners already over-achieving their level of talent.

On the topic of improving, the Deerfield freshmen have been getting better each week. In the 2A/1A competition, they earned the second place trophy led by Nick Dowell in 12th.

Deerfield walked out of Niles West with a lot of cargo—two first place trophies, one second place trophy, and 11 individual medals. Next week Deerfield has meets at Lakes and Wheeling, and then the CSL Championships and IHSA State Series begin the following week.