Liam Newhart (Courtesy of runnerspace.com)

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 ILXCTF.com, 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.

Join the discussion on social media!