CHICAGO — Alone at the front for almost the entire race, Fenwick’s Olivia Ryan had no one to chase down, so she turned to her watch.
With the IHSA now allowing runners to wear watches during meets, Ryan used hers wisely as she raced to first place in a time of 18 minutes, 5.09 seconds at the Roy Gummerson Invitational Saturday at Schiller Woods.
“Now that we can run with watches, it helps a lot,” Ryan said. “I even know my half-mile times and that helps with pacing. Being alone, I just tell myself I have to keep going and that I can’t let up even if I know the next person might not be right behind me.”
Ryan was 24 seconds ahead of the next finisher, Niles West’s Christine Mujica (18:29.4). Ryan’s all-time personal record is 16:43, but no one was setting PR’s at Schiller Woods, which features a massive hill the runners have to climb three times.
“I knew the hill was going to be hard so I just had to power up it,” said Ryan, who dropped four seconds from last year’s meet. “Then I tried to use the downhill to my advantage. My goal was to break 18 minutes and I ran an 18:05 so I came close, which is nice.”
Fenwick won the team title with 52 points, while Oak Park-River Forest was second with 57. The Friars’ Annie Mannion was third overall (18:46.7) while the Huskies were led by Hannah Gorin (5th, 19:04.9) and Hallie Voss (6th, 19:08.5).
A scoring error prevented official results from being released for the boys race, but Buffalo Grove beat out Warren for first by a comfortable margin. The top area finisher was OPRF’s Jordan Vear (8th, 16:14.8).
“We had a good pack in the beginning and I caught up to them about halfway through the race and I just felt the need to go,” Vear said. “I accelerated and just tried to lead the pack in. My PR is 16:04 but this course is a little tougher than all the other ones.”
Martin Pimental (16:20.8) and Nicholas Martire (16:30.8) were the Huskies’ Nos. 2 and 3 runners, respectively. Fenwick was led by Anthony Rizzi (16:27.9). All three runners finished between 10th and 18th, but exact places were yet to be determined.