DEERFIELD WINS REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WITH FIVE RUNNERS IN THE TOP EIGHT. BERNSTEIN, MOSKOVITZ EARN ALL-REGION HONORS
Deerfield started the 2021 IHSA State Series on the right foot. The Warriors entered this postseason ranked #3 in the state for the 2A class, and they successfully backed up their high ranking on Saturday.
The IHSA State Series consist of three rounds: Regionals, Sectionals, and the State Championships. At Regionals, the top six teams advance to the Sectional round.
For the first time in four years, the IHSA placed Deerfield in Class 2A, which is the class for medium-sized schools. Lakes Community High School hosted the 2A Regional at their beautiful Eagle Acres cross country course. Deerfield and Grayslake Central were the two heavy favorites at this Regional.
The race began with a crowded group up front. The seven Deerfield runners found their starting spots keying off of specific Grayslake Central runners within the crowd. Ultimately the race thinned out and the team race became clearer. St. Viator’s Michael Schumacher ran away from everyone and nobody dared to go with. Next, in a pack of second through fourth, Cole Bernstein and Lucas Moskovitz were sitting on Grayslake Central’s top runner Trey Sato. The rest of the Warriors were situated right behind Grayslake Central’s third and fourth runners. The Deerfield runners were patient for the first mile but made their moves in the second.
Moskovitz and Bernstein moved ahead of Sato early in the second mile, but they were unable to shake him. Sato just latched onto the Deerfield pair. Towards the end of the second mile, Bernstein set a rigorous pace that neither Sato nor Moskovitz could keep up with. The trio strung out with Moskovitz trailing Sato trailing Bernstein and a gap between each. Moskovitz hung tough and did not lose much ground in the third mile. However, Sato slowly closed down on Bernstein throughout the whole third mile and just barely ran out of real estate. He closed the gap from about five seconds to 0.4 seconds at the finish line. Bernstein’s second mile pressure was just barely enough to earn him second place. Moskovitz finished only seven seconds back in fourth place.
Back in the second mile, Deerfield’s three through seven runners had ditched Grayslake Central’s third and fourth runners and were moving up. In the third mile, Carter Levinson separated himself from the group along with Senn’s top runner in fifth and sixth place. Just a few second behind, Ryan Bernstein, running his second race back from injury, was making moves and daring Eric Lakemaker to come with him. Levinson, Bernstein, and Lakemaker all ran great third miles to finish in sixth, seventh, and eighth, all under 16 minutes. Evan Morris was the Warrior’s sixth finisher in 12th place, and David Fisher was the seventh runner in 15th place. Both Morris and Fisher displaced multiple scoring runners from every other team.
This dominating Regional performance with five runners in the top eight and seven runners in the top 15 earned Deerfield the title of Regional Champions. They beat second place Grayslake Central 27 to 71. The Warriors have won a Regional championship all five years they have been in the 2A class. Cole Bernstein and Moskovitz earned All-Regional honors for their top five individual finishes.
This was an excellent start for these Warriors who have high expectations for the IHSA State Series, but the hardest part hasn’t yet begun. Next week, Deerfield will travel to Woodstock for IHSA Sectionals where the course is very difficult and the competition will be tougher. The top seven teams from the Sectional will advance to the IHSA State Championships.