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Warriors Take 3rd at 3A Regional

At a time of year when teams need to be at their best, the Deerfield Warriors put their best TEAM race together at the IHSA 3A Regional hosted by Grant High School.  The course is located at the Bulldog Athletic Complex and features a variety of hilly terrain.  DFDG raced there earlier in the year against many of the same teams at the Regional.

11 teams were competing, with the top 6 earning a spot in next week's Sectional competition.  Even coming off a less than stellar performance at the CSL Championship, Deerfield was armed with the confidence that if they ran to their capabilities, they would be one of the advancing teams.  The Warriors more than delivered on that potential.  When final scores were tallied, Deerfield sat in 3rd place, far exceeding expectations of the so-called "expert" sites and their predictions.

Going into the race, the numbers showed 140 points would secure advancement, but 150 might not.  Putting our 7 in the top 30 (an average of 28th place) was the minimum of what we were shooting for.  The course features a steep hill less than 200 meters into the race.  It threatens to put runners into oxygen debt early on, but the mindset was to regroup at the top of the hill and get the herd together.  The runners then head into the back wooded section where spectating/coaching is difficult.  Before they disappeared, Olivia and Audrey were setting the tone sitting in about 25th place.  The pack of 4 Warriors were just behind taking up spots between 35 - 40.  This team has a habit of moving up throughout the race, and that would need to be the case again.

Upon emerging from the woods, it already looked like this would be a great day for the Warriors.  6 were now packed in tight around 30th place and confidently looking to move up.  As the coaches were moving to various parts of the course, that pack was progressively improving its place.  Top 30 by the mile mark; top 25 1200 meters later, and still together at the 2-mile.  There was some separation at that point, as they emerged from the woods with 400 meters to go, 4 from Deerfield were in the top 20.  Maddie, Mira, Azalea, and Audrey finished in 16, 17, 19, and 20.  Mira finished out our scoring in 30th place for a total of 102.

It's been said numerous times in this space, that the strength of this team lies in how close our #5 is to our #1.  The split this week was a mere 26 seconds, best for the season and best at this meet.  Deerfield was moved up to 3A this year - the highest classification for cross country - yet they proved they are capable of being highly competitive despite being the third smallest school in the class.  Deerfield competes next week in the Sectional Meet at Busse Woods.