HINSDALE – Wheaton Warrenville South senior Billy Hauenstein had an exhilarating finish to his first invitational of the boys cross country season Saturday.
Hauenstein passed Neuqua Valley junior Nicolas Dovalovsky just before the finish and won the Hornet-Red Devil Invitational at Katherine Legge Memorial Park in Hinsdale by only .3.
“I’d put it in one of the top (personal victories), but nothing can top what we did at state last year. It was an amazing lifting that trophy with my teammates,” Hauenstein said.
The 2018 Tigers captured the program’s first state championship. They look ready to contend for another 3A title after easily winning the 17-team invite with 46 points.
Hauenstein (14 minutes, 55.5 seconds for 3.0 miles) was joined by seniors David Zeller (eighth, 15:21.3) and Jared Peaslee (ninth, 15:24.8) in the top 10. Seniors Ethan Seng (13th, 15:33.0) and Jacob Kluckhorn (15th, 15:43.6) also earned top-25 medals.
In the girls race, Glenbard West senior and three-time defending 3A state champion Katelynne Hart won by a minute with a course-record 16:28.7 after another course record (16:57 for 2.99 miles) in the Sept. 3 season opener at Greene Valley Forest Preserve.
Hinsdale Central (78) and WW South (102) finished first and second and Glenbard West (180) seventh.
Hart’s KLM performance broke the 16:35 by Glenbard West’s Lindsay Graham in 2014 – even with Hart falling while clearing the creek during the second mile and missing a turn as she neared the finish.
“For the (following) boys race, people were doing strides. Where I should have turned was blocked and nobody was there (to direct). I made the decision to turn around,” Hart said.
“I’m glad that (the record is) still in the Glenbard West name. My sophomore year (at KLM) was 16:42 so I definitely knew that was something I wanted to go after.”
WW South’s top-five boys finishers return from last year’s state lineup with Hauenstein (eighth) and Kluckhorn (15th) individual all-staters. The Tigers graduated twins Scott (all-state 13th) and Sean Maison.
“Honestly, the mentality hasn’t changed too much (from 2018). We want to win state again, but we want to win it as a team,” Peaslee said.
The Tigers’ top-five finishers spent the early part of the race running as a pack and finished in a 48-second split. Their split at state was 38 seconds.
“We always want to make sure we’re all there,” Zeller said. “Half of the race, I was looking over my shoulder, making sure the guys were with me, and looking up trying to catch up with Billy.”
Hinsdale Central (174) was fifth with senior medalist Carter McCarroll 23rd (15:55.0).
In the girls race, WW South junior Sam Poglitsch (18:10.4), Hinsdale Central seniors Emma Watcke (18:15.1) and McKenna Revord (18:17.9) and Glenbard West sophomore Delaney Engel (18:20.2) and Hinsdale Central freshman Catie McCabe (18:29.1) finished third through seventh and WW South senior Kaitlyn Nenninger (18:40.5) was ninth. WW South senior Haley Ansiel (16th, 19:11.9) and Hinsdale Central senior Taylor Wagner (18th, 19:13.1) also earned medals.
Poglitsch (seventh) and Revord (14th) were 3A all-state in 2018. Watcke, a mid-year transfer junior year, was the 2017 Ohio state champion in the smallest- school division and second last season by 1.7 seconds.
The Tigers return five from their sixth-place state lineup.
“That’s what I’m most excited about. Last year, we were a developing team. This year, we’re ready to bring the thunder,” Poglitsch said.
“It was a really good race for me. I’m glad I could come here, go out fast with people I know I’m good racing with and just kind of build up my confidence.”