Boys cross country: Hobart wins Bob Thomas Invite
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent September 9, 2012 12:18AM
Hobart's John Petroskey sprints to the finish line in the Men's Varsity division during the Bob Thomas Invite boys and girls cross country races at Lowell High School on Saturday September 8, 2012. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 10, 2012 6:42AM
LOWELL — Other than Tuesday’s dual meet against Lowell, Hobart’s runners hadn’t had a chance to display their skills for two weeks, heading into Saturday’s Bob Thomas Invitational at Lowell High School. And Hobart responded with a first-place score of 56 points, topping Munster (70) and Lake Central (76).
“I had to keep explaining to them that they just hadn’t had the opportunity to run fast yet,” Hobart coach Ty Artherhults said.
“Today was our first chance. It was good, but there’s definitely room for improvement.”
Hobart’s John Petroskey, who was the top Hobart runner across the finish line in seventh place, knew this was the Brickies chance to shine.
“Today feels good, after we had that time off,” he said. “We were hungry to get back and show other teams to not forget about us. This was the first big test of our fitness this year.”
The Brickies’ pack mentality paid off, as Hobart’s top five runners finished within nine spots of each other — seventh, ninth, 12th, 13th and 15th.
“Our pack is key,” said Zach Spain, who was the 13th-place finisher in the race with a time of 17:02. “We don’t have that one runner who’s going to go out and win every race. When we have that pack, though, it’s tough to beat.”
Artherhults said he’ll be looking for that pack to start matriculating up the standings in each upcoming race as the season progresses along.
“I think our top three need to try and mess with this group a bit more,” he said, pointing to the names at the top of the results sheet.
“They can’t be that high ahead of our pack.”
One of those runners that Hobart will be chasing is Munster’s Tom Bolanowski, who won the race with a time of 16:11.
“For the first part of the race I just wanted to stay with the lead back,” said Bolanowski, explaining his successful race strategy. “Around the 1.5-mile mark I decided to sprint pass them and go on my own.”
LaPorte’s Anthony Didion (16:20, 2nd place) and Wheeler’s Joel O’Shea (16:24, 3rd place) rounded out the top three.