While the Riverside-Brookfield High School boys track and field team garnered most of the local attention this season due to outstanding performances in conference and sectional competition, several other high school runners from Riverside made headlines at the IHSA state finals at O’Brien Stadium on the Eastern Illinois University campus in Charleston over the weekend.
Chris Korabik and Conor Dunham, a pair of St. Ignatius seniors from Riverside, powered the Wolfpack to an impressive seventh-place finish in the team standings of the Class 3A state finals.
Dunham won the state title in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 36.90 seconds and also earned fifth place in the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.49.
Korabik, who has committed to DePaul, took second in the 1,600 meters, clocking a time of 4:11.20, trailing only state champion Patrick Perrier of O’Fallon (4:10.34).
“I was really hoping to win the state title but I was pleased with my race, a personal record by three seconds,” Korabik said. “I think competing in the state finals in past years really helped me remain focused and calm this time. Conor was great and I thought we did very well as a team.”
Korabik, co-captain of the St. Ignatius cross-country and track teams this year, also garnered a ninth-place medal winner at the state finals track meet in 2013 as part of the Ignatius 3,200 relay team. He was Chicago Catholic League champion in the 3,200-meter run in 2013 as well.
During the fall, Korabik was the Lawless Award winner in cross country as the top senior at the Chicago Catholic League championship, and he finished 27th at the state 3A cross-country championships. His state meet time of 15 minutes, 3 seconds for three miles on the historic Detweiler Park state course makes him the fourth fastest St. Ignatius runner in state meet history.
“I’ve really loved St. Ignatius and I’m looking forward to DePaul,” Korabik said.
Fenwick also benefitted from the contributions of a Riverside running star at the state finals over the weekend. Junior Sal Flight placed fourth in the 1,600 with a time of 4:22.88 at the Class 2A state finals. Teammate Brixton Rill (10:.09.58) came in 24th in the 3,200 run.
During the fall, Flight placed 139th with a time of 15 minutes, 16.9 seconds in the Class 3A state final at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Flight earned his first state meet appearance by finishing ninth (15:10) at the Lake Park Sectional.
In preparation for his senior year, Flight estimates that he will train this summer by running about 70 to 80 miles a week. Needless to say, a state title in the 1,600 next spring for Flight is plausible.
“Others don’t make a champion out of you,” Flight said earlier this season. “It’s what you do that defines who you are. I thought of it myself one day and applied it.