Story of 3A Finals:Palatine's 1st State Championship or Buffalo Grove's 5th to 5th?


Another historic meet in the making.

Palatine finally won a state meet championship after a storied history that rivaled York the past decade or so with so many 2nd place finishes, and other accomplishments like Steve Finley’s insanely epic sprint to the finish to defeat Ryan Craven, in one of the most if most important photo ever in Illinois HS XC and stacked race in state history. And the countless amount of all-staters, blowing away the rest of the other teams in the MSL, the most competitive confernce in Illinois.


Buffalo Grove took 5th in state after almost barely not qualifying to state in what would’ve been typical let down fashion in their school’s history. Today, Buffalo Grove took 5th, coming off an incredibly nerve racking wait for the results at the Schaumburg sectional. Buffalo Grove acheieved after 40 some odd years of qualifying for the state meet, one of the last MSL teams to do so, and considering Buffalo Grove’s feeder school, James Fenimore Cooper, is the York of middle school XC, for years and decades underacheiving(an understatement) and never amounting to anything in high school (a good example would be comparing York runners after they graduate and head off to college, the same arguement). Jamie Klotz taking over a decade or so ago as the head coach, started off with 12th out of 12, 11th place, 9 place, 10th place, 11th place, and only to start to move up in conference rankings to 3rd-7th the past 7-8 years.

This may seem irrelevant or very unknown news to all the other runners in the many many other conferences from the border of wisconsin down to the southern edwardsville conferences. It is no suprise Buffalo Grove and their results are an embarassing unknown team in the best conference in state, the MSL.

I do not want to take away what Palatine did today. I like most of you am a huge running nerd, when I graduated 5 years ago, throughout my high school career, I didn’t meet anybody who knew more than illinois XC than myself, other than coaches. Even after, and sometimes I didn’t keep the greatest contact with results and life after running was inescapable, I still followed almost religiously, but it gets harder once you move on, graduate and running becomes not even close to your priorities, let alone keeping up with a high school sport, as it seems almost juvenille. But many people, football players, not like it is in Texas, but still keep up and are in the know with what is happening with Illinois HS XC.

That last paragraph, kind of a rant, but I am trying to get at is with keeping up pretty well, knowing my stuff. I think I do have a valid arguement to say: what Buffalo Grove acheived today was the most important result and biggest story of the day in the entire state meet. We were the laughingstock of the MSL the past decade, incredible underacheivers, track was a different story, but runners from BG have been incredibly overwhelmed by all the other schools and it was unthinkable to us ex runners and current runners to think we could acheieve what happened today. I think what my alma matter did (and yes, I am completly aware of my bias, but I think I have a valid arguement) slightly overshadowed another completly historic day for another team. An inspiring story to all the schools who move up the past few years in the conference and inspiring to the rest. Go Bison and congrats to coach Jamie Klotz, one of the most intense coaches in the state of Illinois


I don’t even remotely think these are the only two options for best thing that happened…

Edit: To clarify, I do think both are super impressive results. I just think there are a lot of other things equally or more impressive


I would put Amanda Fox’s dismantling of the field in the 3A on the list as well.


Schroeder in 1A was also pretty big. Huge upset over Nykaza in the =#4 time of the day from a guy who isn’t very well known outside of 1A.




Of the two in the poll, I personally would pick Buffalo Grove. My reasoning is this: Palatine came in even during pre-season as a state championship contender, and they won it. Buffalo Grove scraped tooth and nail to pay Detweiller Park a state final visit, and they made the most of it and finished fifth.

That is more impressive to me, because that shows a huge rebound from the previous week and says a lot about their team, especially since this was their first-ever trip to state. But Palatine finally breaking down the door and claiming the championship spot is impressive as well.

That said however, there are plenty of impressive story lines, all of them equally deserving IMO. It’s the state finals, and it doesn’t matter which class it’s in to me. And I’m not just saying that because I know a little more about Class 1A since most of the discussion about XC on here is 2A/3A.

Just some of the craziness that went down yesterday at Detweiller that pops into my mind, in no particular order:

-Amanda Fox nearly breaks the year-old girls’ course record by blasting 16:24 to win 3A girls
-O’Fallon nearly upsets the entire 3A field, led by Riba’s surprise 2nd place finish to Later
-Schroeder upset win in 1A 14:28 over Nykaza 14:37
-Neuqua Valley boys earn fourth state trophy in five years
-Decatur (St. Teresa) annihilates Class 1A girls field by 132 points over runner-up Westmont; they almost broke 18 minutes (18:00.96) average team time as well
-Yorkville girls finally break through and get the elusive state championship after two bridesmaid finishes in a row
-York boys do not get state trophy for first time since 2001
-Clevenger defends 2A title 14:24 to 14:32 for Yunk
-Mt. Zion boys win 1A title after beating Monticello at Regional, then getting beat by Tolono (Unity) at Sectional
-Freshman Sami Staples wins 2A girls
-Belvidere North boys manage to make it three in a row despite waiting about two weeks for their #5 guy to finally come in
-The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th place teams in Class 1A boys all were out of the Decatur (St. Teresa) Sectional
-Glenbard South boys take 2nd in state for their retiring coach

Those are just the highlights for some individuals and winners. And I’m sure each and every runner, coach, and fan that converged on Detweiller Park yesterday morning and afternoon had their own personal highlights (or, maybe unfortunately, lowlights), which are just as important as the trophy winners or All-State medalists, even if they won’t be shared on here, in the newspapers, or on DyeStat.

And knowing Illinois… something completely unexpected happens again on Sunday at NXN-MW.


I would vote on this poll…

Personally, having watched the race. I thought Alex Riba’s last mile was the most impressive thing that happened yesterday. That was fun to watch


We’ve come to take the excellence for granted, but yesterday was York’s 50th top ten finish in the last 51 years. Only 7 of those at 4th or lower, and no finishes lower than 5th since 1971. I hope Coach Newton stays healthy and in his job for another 20 years, if for nothing else than to keep setting the bar high for everyone else.


As a close follower of Class A, I did not find Schroeder’s win that surprising. I did think Nykaza would win the race in a closer finish than his 15 second win at Woodruff. While Nykaza competed against better competition in some of his races during the year, Schroeder was quietly preparing for the finals race. Remember, Schroeder finished only 1 place behind (15:02 for both) in the 2010 meet. As the race unfolded, I was often reminded of the 2010 matchup between Coffey and Rehfeldt. Both athletes ran great races and are to be congratulated. I truly enjoyed their battle.