CRYSTAL LAKE – Huntley senior Ian Geisler did not think too much strategically about the boys race at Saturday’s McHenry County Cross Country Meet.
Geisler pretty much just let it fly.
“Basically [I made my move] right away,” Geisler said. “I wanted to get out as hard as I can and try to make as much separation as quickly as possible.”
Geisler led all the way, finishing in 16:30 to take the title, 18 seconds ahead of Cary-Grove’s Maxum Caesar. Marian Central’s Ryan Jones and Peter Walsdorf finished third and fourth in the 3.1-mile race at Veteran Acres Park.
Geisler kept a little distance on Caesar throughout the race, who also kept a lead on the Marian runners.
Although team scores were not officially kept, McHenry would have won with 52 points, followed by Huntley (73) and Jacobs (106) next in line. McHenry’s Carlos Montes and Jessi Garcia were fifth and sixth, leading five Warriors’ runners in the top 16.
Geisler was the 2018 Northwest Herald Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year after finishing 17th in the Class 3A State Meet. He appeared ready to take up where he left off last season.
“My plan was just to get out strong and see where I could go from there, and go for the win,” Geisler said. “This will definitely help my confidence in future meets knowing I can push that long and that hard.”
Caesar, who finished in 16:48, was excited about being as close to Geisler as he was.
“I felt really good,” Caesar said. “I wanted to prove I could stay up there in the top five. I haven’t been able to do that in the past. I’ve been working really hard, increasing my mileage and paces on all my runs. I’m really prepared for the season.”
Jones and Walsdorf were two of the top runners in the East Suburban Catholic Conference last season and likely will be again. They ran in their own two-person group behind Geisler and Caesar.
“We went out really quick and from there it was who could tough it out to the finish,” Jones said. “It was really nice during the race. It’s so spread out, and me and Peter had each other and it really benefited both of our times.”
Jones finished at 17:00, Walsdorf was at 17:02.
“It went really well,” Walsdorf said. “There was not much of a pack at the beginning. It kind of encouraged us to stay with the top guys. It’s awesome having [a teammate] to run with. At another school, I might not have someone as high a caliber as Ryan to run with and pace with during a race. Here at Marian, I have someone to do that.”
McHenry County Meet
Top 20 individuals: 1. Ian Geisler (Huntley) 16:30, 2. Maxum Caesar (Cary-Grove) 16:48, 3. Ryan Jones (Marian Central) 17:00, 4. Peter Walsdorf (MC) 17:02, 5. Carlos Montes (McHenry) 17:12, 6. Jessi Garcia (McH) 17:22, 7. Austin May (CL Central) 17:28, 8. Ian Barnes (CG) 17:29, 9. Andrew Doetsch (Jac) 17:30, 10. Alex Picchi (CL South) 17:32, 11. Ian Knebl (McH) 17:35, 12. Jimmy Ozzauto (Hunt) 17:37, 13. Daniel Sanders (Jac) 17:38, 14. Enrique Robles (McH) 17:41, 15. Matt Brown (CLS) 17:45, 16. Caleb Schopen (McH) 17:52, 17. Christopher Davis (CLS) 17:56, 18. Charlie Kucz (Hunt) 17:56, 19. Ryan Besch (Hunt) 18:04, 20. Luke Chaffin (Marengo) 18:05.
(No official team scores are kept)
1. McHenry 52, 2. Huntley 73, 3. Jacobs 106, 4. CL South 125, 5. CL Central 153, 6. Cary-Grove 155, 7. Woodstock 199, 8. Marian Central 203, 9. Woodstock North 214, 10. Marengo 215, 11. Prairie Ridge 258.