Maida, DeSantis, Hou Represent Eagles at State FinalsFriday, November 22 2019 - IHSA 3A State Cross Country Championships - Anthony Maida
After a brief hiatus, the Eagles returned to the IHSA State Cross Country Championships last weekend thanks to a trio of strong individual performances from seniors Anthony Maida, Ryan DeSantis and junior Aaron Hou. The group earned the trip back to Peoria, Ill. after a strong showing at the Lake Park Sectional where they secured three of the seven individual state-qualifying spots.
Competing in the Class 3A State Finals for the first time, all three runners recorded lifetime best performances in their debuts. Maida once again led the way, as he has all season, crossing the line less than one second shy of All-State honors, finishing in twenty-seventh place. The senior's time was, however, good enough to move him up to number three all-time in school history, as his 14:47.99 clocking was his first time under the fifteen minute barrier.
The next to finish for the Eagles was DeSantis, who was sixty-fourth overall, followed by Hou in 122nd place. DeSantis' time was also good enough to land on the top-ten list all-time, earning the senior the eighth spot.
While not competing at the State Finals, the rest of the team kicked off 'state weekend' on the Thursday prior in the Dick Pond/Nike City State Meet. Racing as a club team, Kettle T.C., numerous Eagles recorded personal best runs on the Montrose Harbor course.
Senior Ian Bacon led the team in a redemptive performance with a commanding move to take home the individual championship and also join the all-time list with the seventh fastest time in school history. Luke Benes was the other Jones runner to finish in the top-ten as the junior broke the sixteen minute barrier for the first time (15:51.56) to earn seventh place.
Two 'Eaglets' also etched their name among the all-time best freshmen in Jones annals as Danny Leonard and Jayden Reyes finished in 16:25.99 and 16:54.94 respectively, moving to sixth and tenth on the top-ten list.
Numerous other Eagles had 'PR' races as well, including first time 'Sub-17' performances from Alan Menninger and Drew Blackledge; first time 'Sub-18' performances from Michael Rizk and Alexis Pantoja; and first ever 'Sub-19' performances from Nikola Bilaver, Joshua Lazar and Ben Schawn. Christopher Robles and Matthew Ostry also joined the 'Sub-20' club.