By Brad Spencer
The OPRF boys cross-country team moved up three places from last season’s finish at the Class 3A State Meet held at Detweiller Park in Peoria on Saturday. The Huskies made it back-to-back Top 10 finishes by placing sixth overall this season with two runners finishing in the Top 5.
Jack Stapleton and Malachy Schrobilgen finished fourth and fifth, respectively, on a very fast course. Weather and course conditions nearly called for an all-time state record to be broken, but Craig Virgin’s 13:50.6 finish in 1972 remained intact as Sandburg’s Lukas Verzbicas, the defending Class 3A champ, won the race in 13:54, 13 seconds better than his finish the year before.
Stapleton, a senior, also had his best race of the season, finishing in 14:31, while Schrobilgen, OPRF’s consistent top runner all season, came in a second behind.
York took home its 27th state title by placing first as a team with a total score of 162. OPRF, which defeated York on the same course in mid-September, finished with a score of 232.
Other top finishers for the Huskies included seniors Peter Hogenson and Eunhwan Yoo. Hogenson finished 77th with a time of 15:14, while Yoo placed 84th in 15:18.
Michael Gardner, who along with Schrobilgen is a junior, also made a case for next season. Gardner finished 156th out of 208 runners with a time of 15:51. Senior Sam Fourman placed 191st in 16:15.
Fenwick freshman Briana Daley finished 33rd out of 208 runners at the Class 3A Girls Cross-country State Meet also held at Detweiller Park on Saturday. Daley finished with a time of 17:32. Fenwick sophomore Rebecca Steinmeyer finished 65th in 17:56.
OPRF freshman Erin Schrobilgen took 61st with a time of 17:53, accomplishing a personal goal of breaking the 18-minute mark. Schrobilgen finished the Niles West Sectional the week before in 18:19.
Both the Fenwick football team and St. Laurence scored all of their points in the first half of Saturday’s Catholic League Prep Bowl playoff game, but it was the Friars who held on for a 28-18 victory at Morton West High School in Berwyn.
Fenwick quarterback Pat Hart had one of his best games of the season, competing just 5 of 11 passes, but three of which were touchdown tosses in the first half. The sophomore also scored on a one-yard plunge in the opening half. Hart connected with Ricky Sorentino on a 39-yard touchdown pass and an 82-yarder that began as a screen pass. With two and a half minutes left in the first half, Hart hit Quinn Murphy for a 46-yard touchdown pass. The play put the Friars (6-5) up 28-11 before St. Laurence’s Dan Collins scored on a 10-yard run with 22 seconds left in the half.
The Friars are shooting for playing in the Catholic League’s Prep Bowl title game to be held at Toyota Park on Nov. 19.
Read more about the cross-country meet and the football game in the Nov. 10 print edition of Wednesday Journal.