IHSA Sectionals 2022
DEERFIELD QUALIFIES FOR STATE! WARRIORS PLACE SECOND AT SECTIONALS, COHEN AND BROWN ALL-SECTIONAL
After placing second at the State Championships last year with just seniors, 2022 figured to be a rebuilding year. But these Warriors look like they’re already rebuilt. Seven fresh faces will be bringing the Deerfield uniform back to the starting line at Detweiller Park. And if Sectionals is any indication, they look poised to finish near the top.
For the first time ever, Deerfield hosted an IHSA Sectional. As one of just four Sectionals across the state, the Deerfield Sectional hosted the top six teams from each of three feeder Regionals, and there were only seven State-qualifying spots up for grabs.
The early pace was very slow for the runners at the front. The leaders passed through the mile mark at 5:15. Dylan Cohen and Dane Brown were right there. As the pace picked up and the race broke open, Cohen and Brown hung strong while others started to fall back. Ultimately, as they headed into the Back 40 with just over a half-mile to go, the pair of Warriors found themselves in second and third place. They ran strong around the perimeter of the Back 40 but got passed by a couple runners and finished in third and fifth. Despite getting out-kicked late, this was a monumental effort and result for Cohen and Brown who pushed the middle of the race and found themselves further up than they would otherwise be. Both Cohen and Brown earned All-Sectional honors for their top ten finish. They also earned big PRs of 15:22 and 15:25, thanks to the favorable racing conditions.
Brown and Cohen provided two low sticks for the Warriors, but it was up to the pack to close out the team score and get the team to State. Jamie Chandler and Jon Wool were running strong in the early going with Andrew Firestone trying to hang on. Further back, Ryan Jones and Drew Spiegel had gotten off to a very conservative start and were working their way up. As the race proceeded, Jones and Spiegel made their way from the back all the way up to their teammates, and they worked together as one big pack. Wool, who is just returning from an injury, started falling off. But Chandler, Firestone, Jones, and Spiegel pressed on and passed people as a group. All four runners finished within five seconds of each other. Chandler finished in 25th with Spiegel next in 26th, Jones in 28th, and Firestone in 30th. Wool fought hard and finished in 59th.
This was a great performance by Deerfield, who firmly secured second place behind #1 Grayslake Central. The Warriors finished in front of Payton and Mather who were both ranked ahead of Deerfield.
The Sectional was successful, both as competitors and hosts, but there is one last test. The Warriors have a date at the IHSA State Championships next week. After beating a few top 10 ranked teams at Sectionals, this rebuilt Warrior squad hopes to prove that even full varsity turnover can’t prevent Deerfield from being found near the top of the State Championship results.