Great distance races highlight the MSL Invitational

After running 4:23.46 to win the 1600 Meter Run at the York Invitational at the beginning of the month, it looked like Tyler Schneider of Conant HS could have switched into another gear. As he was walking out of the fieldhouse, he told his coach John Powers, “I have too much left. I could have run 4:18.”

In preparation for Saturday’s MSL Invitational, Powers had Schneider paced for 4:15. There was to be no ifs ands or buts in this race. “Before the race, I told him there was two things that could happen,” Powers said. “Either you are going to run 4:15 and win the race, or someone will be faster than you running 4:15.” Schnedier responded to the game plan by winning the 1600 Meter Run in a state leading 4:14.34. That time is currently #5 in the nation.

“We had a couple of tough workouts this week where we were targeting the pace to go out fast,” Schneider said after his race. We don’t have a kick so I knew if I went out fast I would drop my time a lot.”

The pace was break neck from the start. Schneider immediately took the lead as they passed the first 400 in a quick 61 seconds. When he covered the next 200 in 32 seconds, the people at the Al B. Carius Track knew that this race was going to be a fast one.

Dan Roe of Buffalo Grove sat on the shoulder of Schneider for the first half of the race. Schneider and Roe had a gap between them and the pack as they passed the 800 in 2:06. Roe started to push the pace trying to break free of Schneider. Schneider was content to let his future U of Missouri teammate take the pace.

When they went by the 1200 in 3:11, it was time for Schneider to go. Roe tried to stay with, but it was not in the cards on this day. Roe finished 2nd in 4:17.61. That time is a 14 second PR for the Buffalo Grove runner.

Watch the entire 1600 Meter race here.

Watch the interview with Schneider & Roe here.

Ten minutes earlier, Tess Wasowicz of Palatine raised the excitement level to a 10 during the Girls 1600 Meter Run. Brooke Wolfe of Prospect pushed the pace building close to a 10 meter gap on Wasowicz halfway through the race. Wasowicz 45 minutes earlier had won the 800 Meter Run with a state leading 2:15.46. The question would be whether she would have enough strength left.

“I was not prepared to go. Brooke made a great move,” she said afterwards. “She kept me working.” Wasowicz did have the confidence to finish this double. The week before at a meet at York, she ran a 2:14 split in the 4x8 and then came back in the 1600 to run 5:05.

Watch the interview with Tess Wasowicz here.

Wolfe continued to put the pressure on her Palatine rival. With 200 meters to go, Wolfe looked like she would be untouchable with the distance still close to 10 meters between the two. With 100 meters to go, Wasowicz put her head down going around the curve in a final effort to get Wolfe. She did…in the last meter. Wasowicz lunged along with Wolfe at the finish line. On this day, Wasowicz was the victor by 2 thousandths of a second. She finished off her day anchoring her school’s 4 x 400 meter relay with a 59.8 anchor split to capture the win for the Lady Pirates.

Watch the Girls 1600 Run here.

You got the feeling that Section 2 would be a fast race after watching Andrew LeTourneau of Rolling Meadows win Section 1 in 9:38.54. It failed to disappoint.

Jereme Atchison of Buffalo Grove took the pace out in a brisk 3:28 for the first 1200. The next 400 slowed to a 72 as they passed in 4:40. Erik Peterson of Barrington took over the lead at that point with only Anthony Gregorio of Palatine sticking with him.

With 4 laps to go, Peterson and Gregorio were still clicking off 70’s effortlessly. Gregorio decided to make his move and pass Peterson. In the past, the key in trying to defeat the Barrington senior was to stretch out his kick as early as possible. This track season, it’s a different Peterson.

He refused to let Gregorio past. The Palatine ace continued making moves to get past but Peterson refused to give up the lead. Finally with 2 to go, Peterson stretched out his lead. A 65 second last 400 finished him in 9:17, a PR by 3 seconds. Gregorio was 4 seconds back. With 7 runners under 9:35, it seemed like these efforts would be of that of the outdoor conference meet.

See an interview with Erik Peterson here.

Watch the entire 3200 Meter Race Here.

Palatine Boy’s 4 x800 Meter Relay squad was not challenged after Kendric Cornelius handed off to Tim Meincke. Midway through the second leg, Meincke made a surge. After that it was a race against the clock. Tim Johnson extended the lead and Junior Andrew Clingerman ran a 1:58.3 anchor for a 8:00.65 win, the fastest time in the state this year.

See the interview with the Palatine quartet here.

Watch the entire race here.

Other highlights:

  • It turned out to be a physical affair in the Boys 800. In the end, Brendan Thielsen of Rolling Meadows edged by Fremd’s Nicholas Vucovich winning in 1:58.57, the #5 time in the state this year. Rolling Meadows had two other winners, Ryan Gundersenwinning the 400 Meter Dash by over a second, and Kody Cagwin in the Pole Vault

  • Mark Balmes of Hersey moved back into the #2 position in the state in the Shot Put by dominating the event winning by almost 7 feet with a put of 55’ 6”

  • Ben Bowers of Conant was a double winner winning the 55m High Hurdles (7.85) and the High Jump (6’ 4”).

  • Angela Hermann of Conant was a double winner in the sprints winning the 55m (7.23) and the 200m (25.87).

  • Meg Jump of Palatine was the queen of the horizontal jumps on Saturday. She won the Long Jump (17’ 4 ½”) along with the Triple Jump (35’ 2”).