By Wyatt Dojutrek, online sports editor
The Knights varsity boys’ cross country team was at the halfway point at the Nov. 5 IHSA state meet in Peoria. The team was at the back of the pack.
However, the Knights fought back and passed nearly 100 runners to take home 7th place in the state for the second consecutive season.
Head coach Mike Stokes thought that the team had to battle throughout the race to reclaim the seventh spot in Illinois.
“It was a really tough day and there were a lot of good and talented runners,” Stokes said. “Some of our guys had some trouble with the speed of the race, but they have an incredible work ethic and a huge amount of mental toughness.”
Junior Jack Terry finished 33rd in the state at 14:55, which was good enough for the 11th fastest time in Prospect’s school history. Terry was followed by seniors Sean Sanaghan and Jack O’Donnell who placed 63rd and 73rd respectively.
Stokes believes that the seniors on this seasons roster helped guide the team back from where it was a season ago.
“These seniors showed up to practice like businessmen,” Stokes said. “It was business as usual for them and they helped us get back to this point.”
One of the teams the Knights passed was Hersey, who defeated the team during the Oct. 15 conference meet. Hersey went on to finish 17th.
The Knights also tied the record for most consecutive state meet appearances in program history, with three straight appearances. Something that Stokes believes can turn into a fourth next season.
“The team next year and going forward looks really good on paper,” Stokes said. “We have a really good sophomore group, and some really talented freshmen. If things keep going the way they are going I don’t see why we won’t be back next season.”
Senior Brooke Wilson represented the varsity girls’ cross country team and placed fifth at the IHSA girls’ cross country state meet.
However, the path to her second straight top-five finish was not easy.
At the end of two miles, Wilson needed a strong third and final mile to place in the top five.
Wilson delivered and she thought that the beginning of the course helped her prepared for the final mile.
“It’s [Detweiller Park] a really challenging course for the first 400 meters,” Wilson said, “I think after the first couple miles I just needed to maintain my pace and finish strong.”
Wilson finishes her cross country career at Prospect with two top-five finishes at the state meet and five state medals.
Even though the entire girls cross country team did not make it the state meet, Wilson thinks that this season was a successful one.
“There were aspects that made this season really great like winning conference two years in a row,” Wilson said. “Not making it to state was obviously a disappointment but that’s bound to happen, not everything is going to happen perfectly. I think we did a great job being motivated from last season.”