Pat Savage Invitational Preview


By Michael McKay, Staff Writer

The Niles West boys and girls cross country teams will be racing together in the biggest meet of their season, the Pat Savage Invitational, at Niles West this Saturday, Sept. 30.

The Pat Savage Invitational is an enormous meet, with just over 50 schools in attendance. An annual meet, the boys and girls of Niles West cross-country are ecstatic to line up at the starting line anxiously waiting for the starting gun to fire.

Senior, captain Patrick Holbrook is ready to take on his tough competition. Holbrook believes the competition is a prime motivator to do well in the races.

“[The Pat Savage Invitational] is definitely one of my favorite races. This meet is really special because we have schools coming from all over the state. There are so many athletes running at once that you’re guaranteed to have someone close to you, pushing you to do your best. There are great athletes which created competition that prepares the team for the championship races coming up after that,” Holbrook said.

Head boys cross-country coach Mike Grossman is especially excited to see Holbrook race, and has high hopes that the senior captain will win first place.

“Holbrook is going to be the first Niles West racer in over a decade to win the varsity boys race. He’s one of the best racers we’ve ever had, I know he’ll win,” said Grossman.

Grossman emphasizes the incredible size of the meet, and he is excited for the cross country teams to compete against the other schools.

“Imagine this: over 5,000 kids, 122 teams, all at Niles West to race against each other. It’s wild,” Grossman said. “Mainly I’m excited to see our guys race against the other schools that we might see again at the regional meets. Those are the teams that I think we really need to focus on.”

The Pat Savage Invitational is one of the cross-country programs favorite meets to race in, even though the size of the races could be slightly intimidating. Junior, Erin Kinaci emphasizes her love for the invite.

“Pat Savage is one of my favorite invites because it’s so big. I love big meets because they are really motivating. I think it can be intimidating at first, that’s how it mainly was even from my first year. But now I love running in the bigger races and I’m really hoping all the girls are motivated enough to set personal records,” Kinaci said.

Come out to support the boys and girls cross country teams this Saturday, Sept. 30 at 9:00 a.m. at Niles West for their biggest meet of the season.