Liam Newhart (Courtesy of

Oak Park and River Forest High School senior boys cross country runner Liam Newhart turned a tight race into a comfortable and exciting victory on Oct. 5.

Newhart won Naperville North’s Twilight Invitational in a personal-best 14 minutes, 35.1 seconds for 3.0 miles over Plainfield North senior Oliver Burns by 11.4 seconds.

“This is definitely the best [race for me],” Newhart said. “Winning’s always fun, to run a personal best. I really couldn’t ask for anything more.”

The Huskies (86 points), ranked No. 4 by, also excelled in finishing second to No. 3 Downers Grove North (75).

Fourth-place junior Michael Michelotti (14:50.0) was just 0.7 seconds from third place, and senior Nick Parrell (10th, 14:58.4) was also a top-20 individual medal winner, followed by senior Owen Augustine (23rd, 15:25.0), junior Lewis O’Connor (53rd, 15:54.6) and seniors Roan Egan (70th, 16:06.0) and Paul Delignon (86th, 16:16.8). Downers North’s top five finished 8-9-14-24-25.

Newhart bested his previous best of a third-place 14:42.5 on Sept. 17 in Peoria with a strong final mile.

At two miles, Newhart was second, 0.5 seconds behind Burns, with the top five runners bunched between 9:49.9 and 9:51.9.

“With like half a mile to go, it was neck and neck with [Burns],” Newhart said. “I kind of made a move and I don’t even know what happened, but I looked back maybe a quarter mile later and couldn’t see anybody. I thought it was dark and I was missing something, so I did a double take. But it was awesome.”

The Huskies compete at the West Suburban Conference’s Silver Division meet on Oct. 15 at Hinsdale’s Katherine Legge Memorial Park.

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