HP Shows the Strength of Running as a Pack at CSL Quad Meet

Thursday, September 28 2023 - CSL Quad vs. Vernon Hills, Maine West, and Niles North

Highland Park competed in the first of two CSL Quad Meets. This one was hosted by Vernon Hills High School at Deerpath Park. This is the first season that these weekday meets do not count towards the Conference Championship in October. This allows for teams to do what is best for their athletes during the week to be ready to race well at the end of the season. The main focus for most of the Giants at this meet was to run with their packs. 


The frosh-soph 2 mile race was first. HP only ran its freshmen in this race. The team was led by Madden Cohen. He ran a great race to take 2nd place in 11:27.82 well ahead of 3rd place. Cohen put in a lot of work this summer and it is starting to pay off. Next in for the Giants was Abel Reese, also in sub 12 minutes. Reese ran well as he crossed the line in 11:51.09 to take 7th place. 

HP then was able to have a pack of 4 runners that worked well together throughout the race. Gabriel Jackson led this pack with a 13:13.16 for 13th place. Just behind him was Makena Duggan in 13:15.39 to take 14th place. Addison Courtman-Simanek placed 15th while running a solid 13:15.71. Nate Goldberg fell off the pace of the pack a little after going out almost a minute faster than his timed mile for the first mile of the race. He was still able to run 13:25.51 and take 17th place. This was a fun pack to watch work together and push each other to run faster. 

Joaquin Martinez ran well for the 2 mile race. He crossed the line in 13:41.79. Not far behind him was Benny Obradovic. He ran 14:06.84. Vasco Leite started out with Obradovic, but was unable to stay with him. Leite ran 14:28.0 to finish just 2 places behind Obradovic. 


Joaquin Rivera went out at nearly his mile personal best time. He then came back with a very strong 2nd mile to finish in 16:15.13. Maksar Oyurskiy ran in his first race after joining the team late this season. He ran 18:02.30 for the 2 mile race. 


The HP freshmen beat Vernon Hills and Maine West, but they fell to Niles North. This group did a nice job trying to run together and put up some fast times. It is going to be fun to see this team continue to progress this season and in the years to come.

In the varsity 3 mile race, HP was without 2 of the team’s top runners. The remainder of the top varsity runners planned to go out conservatively and stick together through about 2 miles before getting after the final mile. 


Junior Brian Hatoum stuck with a runner from Vernon Hills for just over a mile before taking the lead. Hatoum pulled away for the easy win in a solid time of 15:28.04. Junior Dylan Dominguez and senior Robert Oboza stayed together until the final 400. Dominguez finished in 16:43.32 for 4th place while Oboza ran 16:48.23 to take 6th place. 

The team then had a pack of 14 guys go through the mile together in 5:51-5:55 with 2 more guys just 3 more seconds back. It was an impressive sight to see such a large pack racing together. 13 of those guys stayed within 4 seconds of each other at the 2 mile. That group basically split into 2 packs by the finish. The first group was led by strong kicks from senior Lukaas Nales and junior Usiel Rodriguez. They were 11th and 12th place in 17:21.71 and 17:22.14. The next 4 Giants were right behind them finishing in 13th-16th place. That included senior Eli Neiman (17:23.01), sophomore Henry Gamson (17:24.54), senior Zach Coren (17:25.36), and sophomore Lucas Hoobler (17:26.09). The next pack was led by seniors Doug Anderson in 17:39.29 and Nolan Schott in 17:40.89. Slightly behind them were sophomores Truman Evans and Logan Liu running 17:42.44 and 17:42.98. Senior Conner Edelstein ran 17:43.53 to be the next HP finisher. Senior Yonatan Garfinkel was a few seconds back in 17:47.33. Sophomore Josh Brown ran 17:59.69 to finish next for the Giants. That put 16 HP runners in the top 28 for the race and they were all sub 18 minutes. 

After trying to go out with the main pack, sophomore Daniel Doyle hung on to run 18:31.15. Junior Quentin Kelley tied his 3 mile time from the meet in Peoria running 18:37.85. Sophomore Lowell Redmond moved up well in the race to finish in 19:15.51. Senior Oliver Baterdene finished in 19:37.77 and was a few seconds ahead of junior Luke Byrnes in 19:43.72. Byrnes ran 14 seconds faster at this meet compared to his time at Peoria. Sophomore Spencer Pedraza also ran slightly faster than what he ran at Peoria with a 19:57.13. Sophomore David Miller was several seconds back in 20:05.64. Sophomore Gal Raviv ran 20:12.36 to give HP 24 guys running sub 21 minutes for 3 miles. 


Seniors Tyler Rosenthal and Ben Kerch had a great battle down the final stretch with Rosenthal running 21:45.94 and Kerch running 21:46.26. This was Kerch’s first high school cross country race. After running over 24 minutes in Peoria a few days earlier, sophomore Joey Naftzger ran 21:52.96 for a huge improvement. Juniors Logan Berghoff and Teddy Bloom raced to a 23:04.14 and 24:41.02 for 3 miles. This was Teddy's first race of the season as well. Junior Henry Suh ran a 24:58.63 while senior Ryan Griffith crossed the line in 28:15.87. 

HP beat Niles North and Maine West, but lost a close one to Vernon Hills on Varsity. The team accomplished what they set out to do by running together for 2 miles and pushing the 3rd mile. The team has had a busy start to the season. Now, they will have some time to focus more on training for a few weeks to prepare for the championship phase later in the season. The team will look to stay dedicated to the details and will be ready for more big accomplishments this season.