“This was the best meet that the teams have had since I’ve been coach,” said Coach Patrick Irwin about the Cross Country team’s meet last weekend.
Last Saturday at the Forester Invitational in Vernon Hills, IL, the ladies’ team placed fourth out of ten teams led by senior Karen Brophy, who placed 25th overall. Brophy thought she could have done better personally but was proud of her team as a whole.
“I ran as fast as I could and my legs felt pretty tired when I ran, and ended up finishing two to three seconds slower than I did at this same meet last year,” Brophy said about her race.
But when referring to her team she said, “I think as a whole the team did great. I am very proud of them because everyone has been working so hard and it is showing. People are running so many personal bests and I think that is great and it helps the team’s score so much.”
The men’s team also did well, finishing in third place. First finisher for the men was junior Ryan Maniscalco, who placed 17th overall. “This was a great meet for us as a team. The men finished third out of eight teams, and we are really proud of that,” said Maniscalco. “We definitely left that meet feeling very good about ourselves. I think we left there with some serious confidence that will hopefully help us be competitive this season at Conference.”
Coach Irwin expected a lot from his team at this meet and they didn’t let him down. “They raced with a lot of confidence as they should,” said Irwin.
When asked who the standout runners were at the last meet, Coach Irwin mentioned two freshmen. For the men’s team, Irwin mentioned freshman Jordan Reifsteck, who was the eighth runner to come in for Knox and had a two to three minute improvement over his previous season best. For the ladies, the standout runner was freshman Laura Mills. Mills was the fifth runner to finish for the Prairie Fire.
“[Mills] had a significant season best that came out of nowhere. She really helped out the team,” said Coach Irwin on Mills’ performance at the meet.
The team is really improving and growing and everyone is expecting good things from them this season.
“My expectations for the team are to keep doing what they have been doing,” said Brophy. “Everyone has been doing something right because the team just keeps getting better and better…I see very good things happening for our team in the future.”
The team has their next meet, the Benedictine Eagle Invitational, on October 10 in Lisle, Ill. Maniscalco holds high hopes for what is to come.
“I think after Lake Forest, expectations are high. If we keep working hard I have no doubt we will have a great final three meets, we just need to keep the momentum from Lake Forest with us through this off week.”