Regular Season Concludes with Two Top-Five Team Finishes at Naperville TwilightThursday, October 11 2018 - Naperville Running Company Twilight XC Invite - Anthony Maida
Putting their finishing touches on things before the start of the post-season, the Eagles marked an end to their regular season competition calendar with an exclamation point at the Naperville Running Company/New Balance Twilight Invitational last Wednesday. It was the veterans turn to lead the way this time as both the varsity and junior varsity teams took home top-five finishes in the very competitive field.
Amidst very windy, as well as unseasonably hot and humid conditions, Senior Jeremy Yakes led the JV team once again as the highest individual finisher of the evening for Jones in twenty-first, helping secure a fifth place team placing. Junior Antony Rizk also put together his most successful race of the season finishing in the two spot, while juniors Eddie DeKoven, Colin Greiner and Leor Weber rounded out the scoring.
Jones, who entered the night as the 21st-ranked team in the state, squared off in the varsity race against eight other 'Top-25' teams, including the No. 4, No. 7, No. 8, No. 14, and No. 15 squads. Demonstrating the strength of their pack, however, the Eagles employed a tight twenty second split across their top-five to take home an impressive fourth place team finish.
Former elementary school teammates and current juniors Anthony Maida and Ryan DeSantis led the way in twenty-sixth and twenty-eighth place, respectively, while senior captain A.J. Fundator followed shortly behind in thirty-fifth place. Rounding out the scoring was sophomore Aaron Hou and junior Ian Bacon, while senior Michael Villa finished in the sixth spot and junior Baito Sarkiss made his varsity debut as the seventh man for the Eagles.
At the frosh-soph level, the trio of sophomores Michael Sommese, Luke Benes and Drew Blackledge once again led their team finishing thirty-first, forty-first and forty-fifth, respectively. Sophomore Ned Wojcik also continued his breakout season in the fourth scoring spot, while freshman Leo Necheles was once again the first Eaglet across the line to nab the fifth and final scoring position for Jones. Sophomore Ryan San Juan and freshman Alan Menninger completed the top-seven.
Starting the day in toughest conditions of the meet, junior Alexis Pantoja led the Eagles with his seventy-ninth place finish, with teammates Sebastian Bernal, Freddy Rodriguez, Andrew Soman Cwik and Michael Tam filing in behind him in respective order, while Junior Jacob Dunn finished things off in the sixth spot.
The No. 15 Eagles now turn their attention to the post-season as everyone will be back in action on Saturday, October 13 for the Chicago Public League Championships held at Washington Park in Chicago, Ill. The meet begins at 9:00 a.m. when Jones will look to add their ninth consecutive freshmen title in a row and seventh consecutive JV championship. The varsity team will also look to recapture the City Championship for the first time since 2015, while the sophomore team will look to reclaim the championship plaque after losing it last year for the first time in seven seasons.