Wehner and Hatoum Once Again Earn Top 10 Finishes, While the Varsity Team Takes 4th at Hinsdale Red Devil Invite

Monday, September 11 2023 - Hinsdale Red Devil Invite

After a strong start to the season at the EIU Showdown, the Giants looked to continue that success with another extremely competitive meet. The team traveled to Hinsdale for the Red Devil Invite. The competition was strong, the course was challenging, and the weather was warming up. HP was up for the challenge and ready to compete against more of the top teams in the state.


In the varsity race, the team’s top 4 runners got out well. Seniors Nate Wehner and Barak Goldstein along with junior Brian Hatoum were in great position at the first 400. Junior Dylan Dominguez was right behind them. The remainder of the varsity squad did not get out very well and would have to work hard to move up. By the 2 mile, Wehner established himself with the chase pack not too far behind the lead trio. Hatoum had fallen off pace by several seconds and Goldstein was back several more behind him. Dominguez continued to race well and set himself up for a fast last mile. 

Wehner ended up taking 6th place in 15:15.0 while Hatoum had a fast finish to come back and finish in 8th place. His time was 15:17.6. This was the 4th and 5th fastest times ever run by HP runners on this course. Hatoum broke Wehner’s junior record with his performance. This was also faster by 2:04 compared to his time last year at this meet. Goldstein came in 23rd despite getting spiked and aggravating a foot injury. His time was 15:51.0 which is 1:10 faster than last year at this meet. This was the 14th fastest time ever run on this course by an HP runner. Dominguez crossed the line in 16:07.4 to take 36th place and run the 23rd fastest time ever on this course by an HP runner. 

Sophomore Henry Gamson moved up during the race to run a solid 17:00.4 to step up into the 5th position for the team. Senior Robert Oboza was the team’s 5th runner in the first meet, but was being held out to rest a calf issue. Next in was senior Luke Rhoads. He shows great toughness and racing instincts as a first time cross country runner. He ran 17:11.6 for the 3 mile course. Junior Usiel Rodriguez continues to improve after being hampered this summer by injury. He ran 17:26.7 as the team’s 7th runner. Senior Eli Neiman was just 2 seconds back in 17:28.6 to run 1:37 faster than last season on this course. Sophomore Lucas Hoobler ran an impressive race to move up on the team’s depth chart. He ran a 17:31.0 for 3 miles. Senior Nolan Schott had a 57 second improvement on his performance from 2022 at this invite. This year he ran 17:38.1. Senior Zach Coren did not have his best day, but still hung on to run 33 seconds faster than last season on this course with a 17:44.3. Sophomore Logan Liu was the next HP finisher. He ran 17:50.2 for the 3 mile course. 


The next 3 runners for the Giants were all seniors. These three packed up well and worked together throughout the race. The pack included Doug Anderson, Connor Edelstein (running 1:32 faster than last season on this course), and Yonatan Garfinkel. Their times were 18:06.7, 18:07.6, and 18:11.7.

Sophomores Josh Brown and Truman Evans are continuing to work on closing the gap to their teammates. Brown ran 18:26.3, while Evans crossed the line in 18:45.8. Juniors Quentin Kelly and Robby Mendoza worked with senior Andrew Kern through 2 miles before spreading out in the final mile. Kelley crossed the finish line in 19:30.0. Next in was Kern with a time of 20:18.8 with Mendoza coming in at 20:27.5.

The varsity ended up taking 4th place overall despite not having their regular number 5 runner. This was a nice measuring stick for the team before heading to Peoria next week for one of the toughest tests of the season. 

The meet organizers changed the format to include a frosh-soph 3 mile race instead of a sophomore 3 mile and a freshmen 1.93 mile race. HP had 9 runners competing in the race.


The squad was led by freshman Abel Reese. He has been showing great toughness as a racer and will continue to improve. At this meet in his first 3 mile race, Reese ran 19:52.8. Fellow freshman Madden Cohen ran 20:15.8 as he continues to put in the hard work and improve his pacing. The next 3 HP finishers were all sophomores. David Miller ran 20:21.70 for the 3 mile race. Lowell Redmond crossed the line in 20:39.0. Spencer Pedraza finished in 22:06.7. After these 3, the next trio of runners for the Giants were freshmen. Makena Duggan ran 22:32.7, followed by Joaquin Martinez in 23:00.4 and Addison Courtman-Simanek in 23:10.9. Sophomore Joey Naftzger ran the 3 mile race in 23:39.6. 

This crew of frosh-soph runners will continue to work hard to drop their times and develop into strong future varsity runners for the program.

The final race of the day for the boys was a 1.93 mile open race. The Giants had 7 competitors in this race as the temperature continued to rise. 


Junior Luke Byrnes led the way for HP with a 12:35.9. This was an incredible 4 minutes and 31 seconds faster compared to what he ran at this meet last year! The next 3 Giant runners to finish were all freshmen. Gabriel Jackson had a strong race to finish in 12:41.0. He was followed by Benny Obradovic in 14:25.4 for the 1.93 mile race. Vasco Leite was the next finisher in 14:27.9. Senior Logan Berghoff raced tough to finish in 14:35.3. Fellow senior Ryan Griffith came across the line in 16:38.7.  Freshmen Joaquin Rivera and Russell Bleiman were the next to HP runners to finish. Rivera ran 17:24.2 while Bleiman finished in 18:45.9. 

This crew raced well and will continue to grow in their ability to handle the training and racing at a high level. Much more to come for the Giants!