XC teams exceed high expectations at state meet


Courtesy of Paul Proteau

The boys team prior to leaving for the state meet.

Ciaran Mathews, Editor

The Riverside-Brookfield cross-country teams had very successful performances at the State Championship meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria over the weekend.  The boys team was expected to bring home a top ten performance and exceeded those high expectations with a 5th place finish.

“As a team, I think we did very well and almost did as well as we could have, and me personally I think I did very good because I got a personal record by a little over 10 seconds.” said sophomore William Kallas

Even though the state meet lasts only one day, the entire season, and offseason are spent by athletes preparing to compete for their best. They started preparing for their season in late June, and now almost 4 months later the results of all their hard work is clear.

“As we got closer to the State Tournament our practices got easier because we needed more rest to prepare ourselves to do well in the tournament,” Kallas said

The team left the Friday before the meet and was able to run the course the day before to prepare themselves for what they should expect.

“We also went to the course on Friday so we could run it and get used to it for when we actually raced.” said Kallas

On an individual level, senior Paul Proteau led the team, claiming 3rd in State with a personal best time of 14:44.54. Sophomore Cooper Marrs finished in 22nd place (15:18.01). Both Proteau and Marrs claimed individual All-State titles. Sophomore Jack O’Brien also placed in the top 30, finishing in 30th place with a time of 15:35.90.  Other Bulldog runners were sophomore Hayden Marrs (16:26.29, 139th), sophomore William Kallas (16:26.83, 142nd), Junior Zack Gaynor (16:41.39, 158th), and sophomore Brennan Lester (17:00.70, 195th).

“I think we performed really well both as a team and individually” said Junior Zack Gaynor

Although the girls’ team as a whole was eliminated in sectionals, they still had members who were able to participate in the State meet.

“I think our whole team did really well and everyone ran their best,” Gaynor said

Competing individually on the girls’ team, Junior Bryce Pacourek finished in 72nd place with a time of 18:58.33, while Freshman Gianna Gelb finished in 151st place with a time of 19:45.42.

Even though the team has some of it’s best members leaving after this year, the bulk of its team are juniors and sophomores and RB will likely have a lot more chances to claim the State Title in the coming years.

“I think because a lot of our team is still underclassmen or Juniors that we should be able to make it to State again within the next few years, and hopefully we will be able to do even better then because we will be a lot more experienced and we’ll know what to expect,” Kallas said