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By Brad Spencer
After running to second place at a stocked Richard Spring Invitational held at Peoria's Detweiller Park the week before, nothing seems to be standing in the way of the OPRF boys cross-country team this season. On Saturday afternoon, on their home course at Schiller Park, nothing even came close to slowing down the Huskies as they easily ran off with first place at their own Gummerson Invitational.
Malachy Schrobilgen, who had finished second overall in Peoria, where he and the rest of the Huskies will contend for a state title in early November, led the Huskies and everyone else at the Gummerson invite. Schrobilgen won the race in 14:54.99, a new course record.
Still reeling from defeating conference rival and usual powerhouse York in Peoria — as well as nine other ranked teams in the state — the Huskies had a total of five runners finish in the top 10 at Gummerson. Along with Schrobilgen, Peter Hogenson, Eunhwan Yoo, Jack Stapleton and Brendan Donley all ran to favorable times. Hogenson (15:17.27), Yoo (15:19.11) and Stapleton (15:20.63) finished third through fifth, respectively. Donley finished eighth in 15:29.72.
Schrobilgen ran the course at Detweiller Park, home of the Class 3A State Meet, in 14:37.
"The boys ran a very controlled and thought-out race, running as a group and making their moves as planned," said OPRF head coach Jose Sosa of the second place finish in Peoria. "We (coaches) liked the way the boys controlled their emotions and ran their race. We are definitely looking forward to Nov. 6th, and the boys remain very focused on their goals."
OPRF won the Gummerson invite with a team score of 21, while Prospect finished a distant second with 74 and Buffalo Grove third with 118. Cross-town rival Fenwick finished fourth with a score of 127. Steve Blazer led the Friars by finishing sixth in 15:26. Fenwick's Ryan Clardy finished 11th with a time of 15:32.42.
The Huskies take on York again when they host the Dukes at Schiller Park on Thursday (4:30 p.m.). Sosa said he's hopeful Nicki Reyes will return for the meet. Reyes has been out the last couple of weeks due to an illness.
OPRF travels to Niles West on Saturday for an invitational.
OPRF girls cross-country
Erin Schrobilgen, the younger sister of Malachy, led the OPRF girls cross-country team to a fourth place finish in the girls race at Schiller Park on Saturday. Erin finished fifth overall in 18:24.36.
"It was a good meet for us, but we are not racing to potential yet," said OPRF girls head coach Sarah McCabe. "The improvement in times from our last meet on the course Sept. 16th against Hinsdale Central in a dual is encouraging. I know, though, that we have better competitive efforts in us. We'll keep working at it."
New Trier won the race with a score of 36. OPRF finished with a score of 140.