Riverside-Brookfield might have been the high school invitational host on Friday, Sept. 14, but Fenwick dominated the action with a first-place showing by the girls team and second-place finish by the boys squad.

“The invite went smoothly,” RBHS girls coach Larry Forberg said. “The weather was hot. We had a few athletes who were light-headed afterward, but thankfully our athletic trainer, Mr. Hidalgo, was there to help the athletes. He did an outstanding job.

“A handful of coaches mentioned they love running our course because it is an old fashion cross country course and not track on grass,” Forberg noted. “We have hills, paths through forests, grass and crushed limestone surfaces. We finish on a hill. It’s a rough but rewarding course.”

The Fenwick girls won in convincing fashion with a score of 34, well ahead of runner-up Lemont (56), host RBHS (91), Glenbard North (96) and Joliet Central (145) in the 11-team field. The Friars placed five of the top 11 runners and produced eight medalists in the three-mile trail at Sundown Meadows in Countryside.

Junior Marie O’Brien led the way with a time of 20 minutes, 06.8 seconds to earn fourth place. Senior Laura Durkin (20:08.8/5th), sophomore Maria Quinn (20:29.9/9th), senior Arlene Amaya (20:32/10th) and sophomore Katie Cahill (20:33.4/11th) also contributed impressive times for Fenwick. Freshman Mikaela Burns and sophomore Delaney Seligmann posted times of 21:20.9 and 21.45.1, respectively, good for 16th and 25th. Senior Mary Bridget Donahue came in 29th at 21:56.4.

Powered by seven all-conference runners in 2017, Fenwick finished second in its conference and regional. The Friars appear on track for similar success this fall.

Displaying program depth, the Fenwick junior varsity girls team scored 48 points, besting 13 other teams to win an RB Invite title as well. JV medalists included Alexa Haeflinger (5th), Mia Scharpf (8th), Ashley Bisaillon (10th), Emelia Elgeness (12th), Abbie Rogowski (13th), Camille Nourie (14th), Molly McCann (17th), Maggie O’Malley (18th), Amaya Gonzalez (24th) and Alex Pavalon (25th).

“I am glad with the first-place trophies we earned at each level,” Fenwick girls coach Kevin Roche said. “The girls competed well as a team by keeping their pack tight (under 30 second split for varsity). I am proud of how they work together. We are also seeing some runners on the JV side finding new limits. It is fun to watch them come along.”

While Trinity didn’t score as a team, individual entrants Alexis Cohn and Kate Foley scored very well for the Blazers. Cohn came in third with a time of 19:56.4, while Foley earned 12th with a time of 20:37.8.

On the boys side, Fenwick seniors Joe Wermes recorded a time of 16:55.9 to finish fifth and senior Owen Filbin finished in 17:01.3 for ninth.

The Friars came in second with a score of 59, trailing only Morton (19) which fielded the top three finishers. In addition to Wermes and Filbin, senior Jared Wermes (17:32/13th), senior Eric Janc (17:32.8/15th), junior Chris Brady (17:39/17th) and senior Tyler Cassaro (18:34/35th) scored well for Fenwick.

Led by junior Alfonso Acevedo (17:43.2/18th), OPRF notched seventh place with 198 points in the team standings. Junior Declan Collins (19:01.9/44th), senior Simon Petrick (19:05.1/48th) and junior Oliver Green (19:10.4/50th) finished among the top 50.

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Marty Farmer

The Illinois Press Association recently honored Marty with the 1st & 2nd Place Awards for Best Sports Feature for his article He's in an Oak Park state of mind: Former OPRF star Iman Shumpert returns...