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Cross Country Athletes Compete at the Nike Midwest Regional
Posted 11/20/2018 03:47PM
On Nov. 11, 2018, Montini Catholic's Boys Cross Country Team made history as the first Boys Cross Country team to compete at the Nike Midwest Regional (NXR) race in Terra Haute, Indiana.

NXR is sponsored by Nike and is run on the Championship Course for Division I Meets. Laverne Gibson Championship Park is the location of the 5,000 meter race and is packed with rolling hills and long straightaways. Representatives describe the park as one "that will have your legs fighting for ground every step of the way." Participants compete against some of the most talented runners from the Midwest.

In addition to teams from Illinois, other states participating at NXR included Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Missouri with each race featuring close to 600 runners.

"Teams are not allowed to be coached by their high school cross country coach nor are they allowed to wear their high school uniforms," said Mrs. Dina Kwit, representing Montini at the event and whose son, Ian competed in the race. "Our boys ran under the name of Track Club VI in honor of Saint Pope St. Paul VI. Montini Catholic is named after Saint Pope Paul VI (he was recently canonized a Saint on October 14).

After a long bus ride and overnight stay, the harriers toed up to the line and ran the open race with their cross country peers. Bronco senior Ian Kwit said, "For us seniors it felt like we had one last opportunity to race hard and, like Nike says, 'Finish On Empty'. It was an amazing way to end our high school cross country careers - I'm so glad we got to compete."

The Track Club VI team representing Montini consisted of 12 runners, seniors: Jayden Gertsen, Ian Kwit, Andrew Bolisay, Nathan Hoeflich, and Liam Casey; sophomores Nick Fisch, and Trevor Bolisay; and freshmen Justin Gergen, Tommy May, Ned Kalata, Michael Flannery and Guadalupe Herrmann.

"A race like this shows how close and bonded you become with your teammates. This was a special time for us, a memory that will last a lifetime," said Liam Casey

Freshman, Tommy May agreed that the experience was a wonderful one. "I like the fact that we had a chance to meet other runners from other schools and talk with them," he said. "It didn't matter if you were one of the elite runners or not, everyone was there to race hard and enjoy the moment." Tommy is looking forward to returning and representing Montini Catholic next year.
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