Summing it up

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Senior Patrick Manglano leads the team in one final prayer before the state meet. Yes, the boys cut their hair crew cut Marine-style for their last race. Photo by Steven Bugarin.

This week the Ignatius athletics department was host for the 2013 fall sports banquet, which gave our fall sports athletes and their parents a great meal catered by DiLeo’s restaurant of Elmhurst.  The program then brings all the teams and parents together for 30-minutes of team by team highlights, followed by a separate celebration for each team.  Our team celebration concluded with a wonderful video produced by Caroline Vickrey, mother of freshman Lyndon Vickrey, which you can watch on Vimeo here.

I have not managed to conclude the cross country blog season with anything thoughtful.  But my head coach remarks at the fall awards assembly, for the entire sports community, should at least sum up the season for the record.

The Wolfpack 2013 boys cross country completed an historic season in November–but it was also a season of near misses.

In September the team opened the season sweeping the varsity, the junior varsity, and the frosh soph races at the ICOPS Invitational.  The team entered the state top 20 rankings for 3A teams with strong performances at two invitationals.  At the First to the Finish Invite on the state championship course at Detweiller Park in Peoria, the Wolfpack finished a best-ever 4th out of 40 teams.  At the Palatine Invite, the Wolfpack finished 5th against another group of the state’s top teams.

Then in October the team traveled to Washington, DC, where the varsity won the Georgetown Prep Classic and the junior varsity and freshman also brought home medals and trophy plaques.

But at the Patrick Savage Invite at Niles West the Wolfpack lost by one point to archrival Loyola.

The toughest near miss was a close second place finish—once again to Loyola–at the Chicago Catholic League Championships.  Winning at the two-mile mark, the Wolfpack could not hold off a strong finish by the Ramblers and lost, 35-38.  (Remember, the low score wins in cross country.)  Sophomore Dan Santino won the invididual championship, running an outstanding time of 15 minutes and 4 seconds on the three-mile course at Turtlehead Lake in Orland Park.   Senior co-captain Chris Korabik earned the Lawless Award as the top CCL senior with his third-place finish in 15:20.  Six Ignatius runners earned All Catholic League Conference honors:  Santino, Korabik, senior co-captain Taylor Dugas (7th), junor Kallin Khan (13th), senior Patrick Manglano (14th), and junior Andy Weber (19th).

In the post season, the team finished third at the IHSA 3A Lake Park Sectional to become just the fourth Ignatius team ever to qualify for the state finals.

At the state championships the Wolfpack finished in 16th place.  The near miss in Peoria:  Korabik finished in 27th place (15:03), just two spots out of the top 25 all-state list.

We should offer a thank you to all of our parents for their support—and for their pasta parties.

The team needs to offer a special thank you to assistant coach Steven Bugarin and to first-year coach Nate McPherson.

And finally, congratulations to team captains Taylor Dugas and Chris Korabik for leading one of the best teams in Ignatius history.

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