PEORIA – Saturday was the perfect end to a successful month for Downers Grove North’s boys cross country team.
The Trojans finished a solid postseason with a second place finish at last weekend’s state meet at Detweiller Park.
Senior Zack Smith was third overall and junior Ryan Clevenger was seventh to lead the Trojans’ charge.
“We were fortunate that the team came together at the opportune time,” head coach John Sipple said. “This season, we ran our best seven guys in four races – conference, regionals, sectionals and state.”
Jeremy Craven and Jared Spilky, two seniors sidelined by injuries during the season, added some much-needed depth to the roster during the postseason. The duo finished 51st and 59th, respectively, at state.
“It was a big boost to get Jared and Jeremy back,” Sipple said. “Having their experience and senior leadership in our top seven was a big lift. But, we got an opportunity to run some juniors in a lot of big meets.”
Clevenger was one of those juniors. Easily the team’s most improved runner, he jumped from 88th at sectionals last season to second in this year’s sectional race. He also placed second overall at regionals and at state formed a solid 1-2 punch with Smith leading the way.
“Zack and Ryan have a very unique relationship,” Sipple said. “They train together, they study together and they push each other.”
An Illinois recruit, Smith paced the team all year, taking the top spot at conference, regionals and sectionals.
North’s Marc Mathy finished 34th and was followed by Zac Christensen (114th place) and Jack Diamond (184th). North tallied 144 team points, 55 points behind champion and Hinsdale Central.
Other state finishers
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Nick Dea (63rd place), Anthony Alessi (76th), Mitch Perrotta (141st), Tony Cordero (194th), Eric Peterson (204th), Tim Abbatacola (205th).
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
Downers Grove North
Grace Maletich (36th place), Kaitlyn Bonfield (127th), Emma Moravec (143rd), Angela Budach (156th), Katherine Portman (161st), Stephanie Urbancik (183rd), Meghan Bonfield (196th).
Downers Grove South
Amanda Thate (34th place), Haley Albers (41st), Meaghan Bosman (58th), Abby Kargol (93rd), Michaela Hackbarth (137th), Jill Boyle (158th), Meredith Robinson (190th).
Maggie Arndt (78th place), Annie Carlson (90th), Imogene Asa (133rd), Michelle Launi (169th), Brittany Eirmann (174th), Katie Muncie (187th), Victoria Thomas (205th)