Deerfield Defeats Highland Park Despite Numerous Personal Bests

Thursday, October 8 2020 - Cross Country Meet vs. Deerfield

After winning the first three CSL North Dual Meets, Highland Park knew its toughest challenge was upon them as they faced a very good and deep Deerfield team. The Giants came to the meet ready to compete and give the Warriors a battle. 


In the 2 Mile Frosh-Soph Race, Highland Park had only 9 runners as a majority of the team’s young runners were racing 3 miles in either the Varsity or JV race. The smaller crew was led by 3 freshmen. Oliver Baterdene, running 22 seconds faster than the first meet on the same course, finished in 13:02.1. Connor Edelstein improved by 36 seconds as he crossed the line in 13:16.3. After taking a wrong turn last time on the DF course, Andrew Kern ran several minutes faster with a strong 13:35.7. Sophomore Finn Davis was the next HP finisher in 13:57.1. Sophomore Ramey Heimgartner continued to have an impressive season as he was over 2 minutes faster than earlier this season with a 14:38.9. Freshman Eli Neiman had an impressive race in his first of the season as he crossed the line in 14:39.9. Sophomore Santiago Pozo battled through shin pain to finish in 14:41.5. Freshmen Jack Marcus and Nate McDonagh had big breakthrough races as they both improved by approximately 2 minutes each. Jack ran 14:53.2 and Nate crossed the line in 15:51.3.  


The Varsity Race was going to be a tough battle for the Giants. Deerfield has been having a great season and the Giants knew they needed a flawless race to beat them. The battle up front between seniors Jason Polydoris and Deerfield’s Josh Puyear was tight for most of the race. On this day, Puyear ran an outstanding race and was able to beat Polydoris (15:06.0) by several seconds. The battle for the number two spot was also a crucial battle for the team. Freshman Nate Wehner again showed incredible focus and grit as he tried to stay with Deerfield’s very good number 2 runner. Wehner ended up taking 4th place despite a gutsy effort and personal best time of 15:39.5. The next 3 runners to cross the line were from Deerfield and that sealed the victory for them. Even with senior Erik Anderson’s strong race and personal best time, he was not able to break up DF’s top 5. Anderson had an aggressive start and held on to run 16:19.9. Junior Alex Brown was unable to get into position during the early part of the race and had to battle to get up to 10th place in 16:29.4. Sophomore Noah Jackson rounded out the team’s top 5 as he ran 16:51.0 to 14th place. The next pack of 4 runners to cross the line were all from Highland Park. Sophomore Angel Zeferino broke 17 for the first time with a 16:59.3. Sophomore Alex Bradshaw and freshman Barak Goldstein had big races as they nearly broke 17 minutes with times of 17:07.1 and 17:08.6. Senior Jason Werneth was next in with a 17:09.6. Senior Max Friedman ran 17:26.1 which was 16 seconds faster than what he ran on this course earlier in the season. Sophomore Noah Apley broke 18 minutes for the first time as he crossed the line in 17:57.0. Junior Alejandro Seiden ran 38 seconds faster than he did in the first meet on this course earlier in the season. The team knows it has to do a much better job with each of the close match-ups to have a chance to beat Deerfield at the Conference Meet. The Giants are up for the challenge and will be ready to give it their best efforts at the Championship Meet on October 17th!


The final race of the day was the JV 3 Mile Race. Junior Shane Horner was running in only his second race of the season, but looked like a seasoned racer out there. He ran a huge personal best 18:33.0 to take 5th place. He was over a minute faster than his first race. Senior Max Laky had a massive personal best as well. He crossed the line in 18:59.8 for 7th place. He had never broken 20 minutes before this race! Freshman Nolan Schott ran an impressive 19:03.5 which is a 38 second personal best! Senior Albert Klayman also ran a big personal best with a 19:21.1 right next to junior teammate Ted Zinox in 19:21.7 with a season best. Freshman Alex Rosen ran a personal best 19:40.2. Senior Alex Kelley came across the line in his best time of 20:44.9 while going under 21 minutes for the first time. Junior Eli Leshtz raced to a season best time by nearly 1 minute in 20:48.3. Junior Gabriel Ramos and sophomore Enrique Lipezker battled to the end with times of 22:07.0 and 22:09.9. Sophomore Andrew Arzac ran over a minute faster than the first time on this course earlier in the season with a 22:53.6. Junior Ethan Nicolaz-Davidson took a wrong turn but still finished with a 27:25.0.

The team got a first hand look at how good and deep the Deerfield program is right now. The Giants know that despite most guys getting personal bests, they need to step up even more to compete with the Warriors at the Conference Meet. HP also realizes that DF has many good young runners. The question is who will make the commitment to consistent training in the years to come so that the program can maintain a high level of excellence? If every runner on the team puts in the work over time, the results could be having some of the best teams in Highland Park High School history.