Sophomores Finish 2nd at Race Car Rally

Wednesday, October 25 2023 - Buffalo Grove F/S Race Car Invite

The Buffalo Grove Race Car Rally is an extra meet after Conference in which the freshmen and sophomores get one last chance for the season to race their grade levels. It is a very competitive meet with many strong Illinois programs competing. 


In the freshman 2 mile race, Abel Reese and Madden Cohen got in good position together through the mile. Reese ended up finishing in 27th place in 12:11.4 to earn a Hot Wheels (the awards given out to the top 30 in each race). Cohen came across the line in 12:28.8, taking 33rd place. These two have worked hard to become the racing leaders of the freshmen team. 

The pack of Gabriel Jackson, Nate Goldberg, and Makena Duggan developed this season into a solid 3-5 pack for the Giants. As they have done often this season, the trio came through the mile together in 6:27. For all of them, this was significantly faster than their August timed mile! They stayed together to the end, finishing just 4 seconds apart. Jackson came through in 13:06.5 (55th), Goldberg was at 13:08.6 (56th), and Duggan finished with a time of 13:10.9 (59th). 

Another trio of HP runners worked well together throughout the race. Cameron Wiswald, Karl Bankson, and Addison Courtman-Simanek came through the mile in 6:55-6:58. They were able to push each other during the race and all finish just 5 seconds apart. Wiswald kicked his way to the front of the pack finishing in a personal best 13:49.8. Bankson was next, finishing in a personal best 13:52.50. Courtman-Simanek had a solid race to finish in 13:54.30. 

The trend of pack running continued with 4 more HP runners going through the mile together. Joaquin Rivera, Joaquin Martinez, Benny Obradovic, and Vasco Leite all came through the mile in 7:05. Rivera had the best race of the day for the freshmen with a huge personal best. He finished in 14:10.5 for 2 miles with a previous best time of 14:55.2! Martinez was next in at 14:16.6 for a solid race. Obradovic finished his season with a nice race, running 14:18.4. Leite was not able to stay with the pack but fought to stay under 15 minutes with a time of 14:57.4. 

Sam Waters missed a few meets during the season due to illness and injury. He was able to still run his best time of 15:36.5. Maksar Oyurskiy joined the team late, but made significant progress in his short time. He ran a personal best 16:55.9 for the 2 mile race. Russell Bleiman showed heart as he pushed himself to finish in 20:38.2 with the 2nd mile being significantly faster than the first mile of the race. 

This freshmen team has grown so much this season due to hard work and gutsy racing. The future is bright for this crew if they dedicate themselves to putting in the work in the summer next year to be ready for their sophomore season!

The sophomores continued their success from the Conference Meet with another strong team race. They too had some good pack running on display. 


Henry Gamson, Lucas Hoobler, and Josh Brown were together through the mile in 5:23-5:25. After the mile, Gamson started to pull away and move up in the race. He finished in 7th place with a time of 10:51.9 for 2 miles. Gamson has led the sophomores this season with great racing and also contributed to the varsity success as well. Hoobler finished in 10th place running 11:00.1 to complete a very successful first high school cross country season. Brown came across the line in 11:10.2 to get 16th place and finish off his season well after getting sick several weeks back. 

Logan Liu and Truman Evans were just 2 seconds apart at the mile. In the second mile, Liu pulled away to run 11:19.2 and came in 20th place. Evans ended up running 11:32.1 and finished in 28th place. These two HP runners helped round out a very strong top 5 for the sophomores this season.

Daniel Doyle had one of his best races of the season. He finished in 36th place and ran 11:54.8. He will continue to work to close the gap on the team’s top 5 sophomores. Lowell Redmond finished off a successful season with another strong race. He ran 12:17.3 for the 2 mile course showing significant improvement this season. David Miller added to the quality of the sophomore depth in his first high school cross country season. He ran a solid 12:34.8 for 2 miles.

Spencer Pedraza had a solid race as he just missed breaking 13 minutes. He ran 13:04.5 which is over 1 minute faster than his best 2 mile race last year. Joey Naftzger showed tremendous improvement this season. He finished off his first high school cross country season running 13:24.0.

The sophomores had a 1-5 gap of only 41 seconds. This helped the Giants earn 2nd place behind a very good Hersey team. The HP sophomores have improved so much since last season due to their hard work and dedication. Look for much more success to come for this class in the next two years.