Boys cross country races against tough field at Hinsdale


Dan Schalk, senior, runs at the Normal West Invitational. He and the rest of the Minooka boys team finished 6th at the Hornet/Red Devil Invite on Sept. 4.

Hayden Host, Sports Media class

Minnoka boys cross country went up to Katherine Legge Park in Hinsdale on Sept. 4. They were facing up against 15 other teams in a race of 169 other runners at the Hornet/Red Devil Invitational. 

This was going to be a rough race for everyone including, Minooka’s top runner Zack Balzer. Balzerran ran a 15:21 to get into 7th overall. and led Minooka to a sixth place finish with 183 points (16 teams). 

“I have high expectations for every single athlete on this team. Obviously, not everybody can win every race,” head coach Kevin Gummerson said. “However, I want them preparing properly, stepping to the line with confidence, taking chances when their mind is telling them to quit, and giving their best effort on that particular day.  I also knew this was going to be a meet with a ton of great teams, and I was expecting us to stick our neck out there and compete with the best.” 

Other finishers for Minooka included Dan Schalk in 17th (15:39.4), Emerson Fayman in 32nd (15:56), Cole Kics in 64th (16:29.2), Alex Forester in 71st ( 16:37.9) for Minooka’s top 5 in the varsity race. 

“I try to keep my mind clear honestly I like to get into the zone and just focus on staying calm,” Balzer said. 

Balzer set the pace for the rest of Minooka’s pack. 

“Going into the race, I was excited as always to get the chance to toe the line with my team,” Schalk, senior, said. 

The boys work together to build each other up.

“Passing around nugs to everyone never fails to give you the confidence needed,” Balzer, said. 

Going into the race they were all had high expectation for this big invite, 16 teams top three got award and top 10 individuals received a medal.  Unfortunately for the Minooka boys they fell short from being able to receive a team award. 

Hayden Host is a member of the Minooka boys cross country team.