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Wheeling Invite





Deerfield’s final stop before the championship portion of the season was at the Wheeling Invite on Saturday. The top varsity runners had the weekend off from racing to prepare for a long postseason ahead, and another group of runners raced at the Lakes Sunset Invite two days earlier instead, so it was a small but mighty Deerfield crew racing at the Wheeling Invite.

Conditions were very tough. The course at Heritage Park is difficult to begin with due to a series of hills, each climbed twice. But on top of that, it had been a rainy week so the course was soft and sloppy. Furthermore, temperatures rose into the mid 70s, the sun was out, and the air was humid. Many runners have a tendency to use these conditions as an excuse, and Deerfield runners use that fact to their advantage.

Junior Fisher Houston was the star of the varsity race. As one of Deerfield’s toughest and most driven runners, the difficult conditions played right into his hands. He ran with Deerfield’s top pack and then broke away to finish in 18:22, just one second from his PR. Given the difference in conditions from when Houston set his PR, this was the best race of his career by far.

Senior Nick Krishnan had a similarly fantastic race. His time of 20:56 was just two second from his PR, proving that Nick is in shape for a massive PR on a good day.

Deerfield did finish last out of 14 teams in the varsity race with 361 points, but considering all the other teams were racing their varsity “A” teams, and Deerfield was only 20 points from 11th place without their best 10-15 runners, the team result is pretty positive.

In the frosh/soph race, sophomore Zach Bolon stole the show. After looking like he was struggling in the second mile, Bolon found a second wind and ran an impressive 19:17, just one second off his PR.

For the Deerfield freshmen, this meet was their first time racing three miles in over five weeks, so they set massive PRs despite the conditions. All nine freshmen who ran in both three-mile races set a new PR at Wheeling. In fact, the average new PR was by nearly three minutes, which shows the power of consistent running over long periods of time.

Next for the Warriors is the CSL Conference Championships at Maine East. Deerfield is the two-time defending CSL North champions on the varsity level and has won the JV, sophomore, and freshmen races for three consecutive years. Deerfield will attempt to defend their titles at all levels, but this year the challengers are stronger than ever.