IHSA Regionals 2022
DEERFIELD ADVANCES WITH SECOND PLACE FINISH AT REGIONALS BEHIND COHEN AND BROWN'S 2-3 FINISH
Deerfield started the 2022 IHSA State Series on the right foot. The Warriors entered this postseason ranked #12 in the state for the 2A class, and they successfully backed up their ranking at Regionals 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.
Lakes Community High School hosted the Regional at their beautiful Eagle Acres cross country course. #1 Grayslake Central was the favorite, and Deerfield was the next highest ranked team. However, a number of Warriors have been battling injuries, so the team dipped into its excellent depth to allow some runners to rest.
Dylan Cohen and Dane Brown, Deerfield’s top two runners all year, went to the front. They spent most of the race battling with Niles Notre Dame’s top runner Luke Davey for third place with two Grayslake Central runners far ahead. In the second mile, the group reeled in and passed one of the Grayslake Central runners. But also, Cohen started to fall off in that second mile. However he got a second wind in the third mile, caught up to Brown and Davey, and then put a gap on them. Brown also put a gap on Davey as the Deerfield pair charged ahead to finish in second and third place. Both Cohen and Brown earned All-Regional honors by finishing in the top five. Cohen also earned a two-second PR of 15:44 despite the slow overall conditions.
In the thick of the race, Vernon Hills’ entire team got off to a very fast start and had all seven runners in front of Deerfield’s #3 immediately. That Deerfield #3 was freshman Jamie Chandler, who picked off the Vernon Hills runners one-by-one, while also passing other runners, ultimately moving past Vernon Hill’s #3. Chandler placed 14th overall. And slightly further back was a strong pack of Andrew Firestone, Drew Spiegel, Nick Dowell, and Jeremy Lamm. The pack of four got out at a smart pace and moved up dozens of places over the course of the race. It was Dowell leading the pack in the early going, Spiegel taking the middle, and Firestone closing. The group finished in 22nd, 24th, and 25th place. Lamm ultimately fell off the pace but hung on strong for 33rd.
With a strong 2-3 finish up front and the rest of the scorers in the top 24, Deerfield finished in second place behind Grayslake Central, with third place Vernon Hills a distant 19 points back.
With this result, Deerfield advanced to Sectionals and established themselves as a favorite to qualify for the State Championships, especially if their injured runners return to health. Sectionals will be hosted by Deerfield and will feature the top teams from three different Regionals in a battle for seven State-qualifying spots.