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Fifth place in state a down year for Dukes

Published: Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013 2:30 p.m. CDT
(Douglas Cottle/PhotoNews - for Suburban Life Media)
York's Nathan Mroz runs past fans at the Class 3A state cross country meet Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Mroz was fifth for York's best solo finish since 2010 and the Dukes were fifth as a team.

PEORIA – Most programs would be thrilled to take fifth place in the state, but York boys cross country is not like most programs.

The Dukes have the most state titles of any team in any sport in the IHSA with 28, and they took top honors at state last year. Wins in the West Suburban Silver race and the regional gave York high expectations deeper in the postseason, but success didn’t quite materialize.

York took fifth at the Class 3A state meet on Saturday at Detweiller Park. Senior Nathan Mroz was fifth individually, York’s highest individual finish since 2010.

“We had some sickness and injury on the top seven and that kind of caused us to fall apart the last two weeks,” said junior Matt Plowman, whose 38th place finish was second on the team. “It didn’t turn out how we wanted it to. We’re kind of sad about that.”

The odd part about the state meet was that the Dukes finished behind three WSS teams: Champion Hinsdale Central, runner-up Downers Grove North and Lyons Township, which took fourth. In other words, York won the conference that had four of the top five teams at the 3A race, but left Peoria without a trophy.

Despite leaving empty handed, running at state still remains a fun experience and a highlight of the year.

“It’s a great experience,” Plowman said. “We have hundreds of fans that come down and cheer us on. To see them all, it’s awesome.”

As for other Elmhurst schools at state, Timothy Christian was represented by sophomore Hannah Bosman, who was 72nd in the Class 1A girls race. She ran a time of 19:26. Last year she took 46th at state.

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