Boys Cross Country: Plainfield South records first-ever Top 10 finish in Class 3AThe Yorkville boys cross country team takes off out of the start box on the way to a third-place finish at the Class 2A cross country state finals on Saturday, November 3, 2012, in Peoria. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 3, 2012 9:42PM
With Dan Lathrop leading the pack as usual and Gabe Calvillo coming through in the No. 5 spot, Plainfield South cracked the top 10 for the first time at the Class 3A state final.
Plainfield South finished sixth Saturday in the 25-team meet won by York at Detweiller Park in Peoria. O’Fallon was runner-up for the second year in a row and Lyons finished third.
“It’s a huge accomplishment,’’ Lathrop said of the top 10 finish. “It’s amazing. We did really well today, kept our split to 35 seconds.’’
“It’s definitely a step in the right direction for Plainfield South,’’ coach Jason Crowe said. “We’re happy with today’s results. Our times across the board — five out of our seven guys ran personal bests today. Obviously, they saved their best for last.’’
Lathrop, a junior, led Plainfield South by finishing 28th in 14 minutes, 51 seconds, a personal best by three seconds.
“I think I did pretty well in the third mile, moving up I got three or four guys right at the end, just short of All-State,’’ Lathrop said of missing All-State status by just three places.
“Dan’s a silent leader,’’ Crowe said. “He leads by example but at the same time he quietly encourages the other guys. He’s always supportive of everybody and their results.’’
Lathrop was followed by Jake Fitzgerald (44th, 15:02), Misael Tobias (76th, 15:14), Cody Dyer (85th, 15:18) and Calvillo (107th, 15:27).
“I stuck with my teammates the whole time and we worked together,’’ Calvillo said. “I fell behind a little bit. I could see my teammates a couple seconds in front of me. I kind of worked toward them. The second mile I was right with them. I kicked at the end and passed a couple people.’’
Minooka’s Joey Santillo earned All-State recognition for the second straight season by taking 14th in 14:41 to lead the Indians to 16th place.
“I ran a good race. It wasn’t quite how I wanted it to go down,’’ said Santillo, 16th last year in 14:48. “It was the most competitive race I’ve ever been a part of. Today was a good day for cross country.
“I started off a lot faster than I would normally do. Our box, we had people closing in on us, so I had to get out to make sure I wouldn’t have to fight back.’’
The rest of Minooka’s top five were Alex Pierce (26th), Cam Knudsen (74th), Cheyne Robinson (183rd) and Erick Brick (202nd).
“We actually shocked a lot of people,’’ Santillo said. “We were seeded 25th coming in. We fought. It was awesome, all the heart of the guys.’’
Plainfield East’s Joseph Suarez also made All-State by finishing 19th in 14:44. Suarez was 105th last year as a freshman.
“I think I went out a little too fast and I started to fade coming up through the mile,’’ Suarez said. “At the two-mile mark I was completely dead. The last mile was the most painful mile I ever had in my life. But I had to get All-State. I kept thinking that in my head.’’