Boys Cross Country: State berth for Plainfield South
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media October 27, 2012 9:00PM
Plainfield South's Dan Lathrop (left), Plainfield East's Joseph Suarez (center) and Sandburg's Pat McMahon (right) approach the finish line during the boys Marist Cross Country Sectional at Midlothian Meadow Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Midlothian. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 29, 2012 6:39AM
The meet was over, awards had been presented and most of the large crowd of runners and fans had packed up Saturday and left Midlothian Meadows after the Class 3A Marist Sectional.
Not Plainfield South. The Cougars were working out along part of the course, exhibiting the work ethic that helped them earn second place in the 21-team field and a spot in Saturday’s state meet.
In arguably the toughest sectional with six schools that ran at Detweiller Park in the state meet last year, Plainfield South scored 115 points to finish behind first-place Lyons (74) but ahead of third-place Neuqua Valley (118), which was third in the state last year.
“It’s a big step for our program,’’ Plainfield South coach Jason Crowe said. “I couldn’t be more proud of these guys today.
“Last year we were third at this tough sectional. This year we’re second. If you look at our times across the board, each guy is 10 to 15 seconds faster than last year.’’
Dan Lathrop led the way for Plainfield South, taking third in 14 minutes, 58 seconds.
“I hit the mark where there’s 800 meters left,’’ Lathrop said. “I saw (Plainfield East’s) Joe Suarez in front of me. I got to the straightaway and saw him right there so I wanted to pass him.’’
“His goal was to be top three,’’ Crowe said. “He did that and he broke 15 minutes. We wanted to keep our 1-5 split at 45 seconds — it ended up being 48 seconds. Frankie (Pasqua) stepping up as our fifth guy did a great job.’’
After Lathrop, it was Jake Fitzgerald (19th, 15:19), Cody Dyer (20th, 15:20), Misael Tobias (29th, 15:28) and Pasqua (44th, 15:47), who topped his previous best by 20 seconds.
“I tried to go out conservative and just go harder every mile,’’ Pasqua said. “It worked out. We try to peak at sectional and state.’’
Suarez finished fourth in 14:59, more than a minute faster than his second-place time at the Lockport Regional.
“I was looking to qualify by being in the top seven,’’ Suarez said. “I exceeded my expectations.’’
Lockport’s Will Giroux (11th, 15.13.7) also advanced as an individual.