- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—As race director for the 20th annual Mud Mountain 5K Classic, which was held Saturday at SIUE, George Patrylak had to focus on the big picture.

But Patrylak, the boys’ and girls’ cross country coach at Edwardsville High School, was also keeping an eye on the EHS runners who will compete for him this fall.

“We tried to encourage our kids to run, and we saw some of the Granite City kids as well,” Patrylak said. “It’s good to see some of the other schools come out and participate.”

For the Edwardsville runners, Mud Mountain is the final event before a “blackout week” that precedes the start of practice on Aug 12.

“It tells people that they’re being rewarded for what they’re doing, or it gives them a look in the mirror to say they need to start pushing it a little harder,” Patrylak said. “Either way, it’s going to carry the kids to keep working for the next week and a half before we see them again.”

Honor Dimick, who will be a sophomore at EHS, placed first in the women’s 14-15 age division.

“We’re supposed to run this as a workout, but I wanted to go really hard and see what I could do,” said Dimick, who ran for the Super Sisters team. “I ended up running a 21:40, which is really good. The last time I was here, I ran in the 25s and it wasn’t as good as I could do. Today, I kept passing people and it felt really good.

“Last season I had trouble keeping up with my conditioning during the summer, so I started out on the JV and I really didn’t like it. I had always run varsity for Lincoln (Middle School), so I worked really hard in the JV races to try to move myself up.

“I eventually got a varsity spot and I stayed there, and that made me feel so much better. This season, I feel like we’re a lot closer for the first five people, and there’s a lot of competition for the sixth and seventh spots. I want to get at least fourth varsity because I was fifth or sixth last year.”

Lorie Cashdollar, who will also be a sophomore, placed eighth in women’s 14-15 with a time of 23:35.

“We consider this the biggest workout of the summer and we’ve all been training for it,” said Cashdollar, who ran unattached. “We started workouts two or three weeks ago.

“It’s a time trial for us and we’re seeing where we’re at going into the season. I wanted to get somewhere in the 20s and I did. Last year my time (during summer practice) was in the 27s, so I’m definitely in better shape now.

“This is my first time at Mud Mountain since I moved here last year and it’s more fun because you have a lot more people to push you.”

Prior to the start of the race, Cashdollar sang the national anthem.

“I was at my house and (Patrylak) called and asked to sing,” Cashdollar said. “I used to do the talent show in middle school, but I stopped singing for a little while. I had never really sung in front of a big crowd before, so I was more nervous for the singing than I was for the running.”

Another Tigers sophomore-to-be, Kennison Adams, third in women’s 14-15 with time of 22:13.

“This season for summer conditioning, it’s been a little bit tougher,” said Adams, who ran for the Rad-ishes team. “We lost our No. 1 runner from last year, Lizzy Lynn, and our second runner, Julianna Determan, has been hurt most of the summer. We’ve all been trying to pack up and make sure we get our training in for this season.

“I’m not running any other races this summer, but I was happy with what I did today. It’s kind of a building block for the season.

“I like running with all the different ages of people. It gives us more competition and different scenarios that we can use to improve during the season. I like this race because it builds our confidence and gets us back into the racing mode.”

The EHS boys’ team had several Mud Mountain participants as well. Jacob Schoenthal, who will be junior, placed 15th in men’s 16-18 with a time of 20:46. His older brother Wes, a 2015 EHS graduate, was third in men’s 19-24 and fifth overall with a time of 16:49.

Schoenthal has been running Mud Mountain since sixth grade, although he skipped last year’s race.

“This year was not one of my best,” said Schoenthal, who hopes to crack the varsity lineup this fall. “I was a little bit injured, but it was still a great time and it was great to see all of our runners do well.

“As far as preparation for the season, it’s almost a test run of sorts. A lot of people don’t do great at it, but it’s not the end of the world because it’s just to get them into the proper mindset. Success or failure, it’s just a learning experience.”

Schoenthal did get some advice from his brother.

“He tells me that a good runner knows when to rest and when to recover,” said Schoenthal, who ran unattached. “That’s something I listen to a lot because a good runner has to run very far, but also needs to know when to slow down and not hurt themselves.”

Roland Prenzler, who will be a freshman, finished third in the men’s 14-15 with a time of 18:40.

“I raced here last year, but I’m not that experienced on this course as far as running a 5K,” said Prenzler, who ran unattached. “In the middle school, we had a few races here, so I’ve run the two-mile course about four times.

“I could have done a bit better, but I wasn’t sure how much I could give. But this was a huge leap for me and I’m satisfied with my time. It’s a personal record by 17 seconds, and my previous record was on a flat course. This course has a lot of grass and it’s hilly.

“This was a big confidence boost. It gives me the assurance that I can get a varsity spot on our team this year.”

Jonah Durbin, who will be a freshman, finished the race in 19:05 to place fourth in men’s 14-15.

“I started running Mud Mountain in sixth grade, so this is my fourth year and it’s been really fun,” said Durbin, who competed for the RunWell team. “It gives a good idea of how the season is going to be and what expectations we have. It shows who’s going to be at the top and where they fit (into the running order).

“Today was probably one of my best races here and I’m really happy about how I ran. My goal for the high school season is to be at or under 18 minutes. We had to put in a lot of this summer, but I feel really good.”


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