The years of 2000 – 2009 brought us a talented group of runners from
Allen Bader (pictured with coach Frank Russo)
Allen was a 4-time state qualifier and two-time state division 1 champion. He started the decade out by winning in 2000 with a time of 15:21. In that same year, Bader finished 9th at the Footlocker Midwest Regional. However, in 2000, only the top 8 runners qualified for nationals. He then went on to repeat as champion in 2001 by narrowly defeating Wesley Smith with a time of 15:07. His time of 15:07 was the fastest time recorded at the state meet for this decade. Finally in 2001, Allen went on to finish 3rd at Footlocker Midwest Regional and 15th at the Footlocker Nationals.
Wesley was also a 4-time state qualifier. Although he was only state champion once, Wesley was twice the runner up to Allen Bader. In 2000, Wesley was 2nd with a time of 15:33. The following year in 2001 Welsey again finished second with a time of 15:07.20. Finally in his senior season, Wesley won the state meet with a time of 15:15. Smith continued his success in 2002 after the state meet. He placed 3rd at Footlocker Midwest Regional, and Wesley went on to finish runner-up at Footlocker Nationals with a time of 15:01.
Jeff was one of the most successful runners in
Matt was arguably the top division 2 runner during the span of 2000-2009. Matt was a 4-time qualifier who placed no worse than 10th during his 4 years. His freshman year, Matt finished 10th, with a time of 16:00. He followed this up with a 4th place finish his sophomore year in 15:52. In 2002 during his junior year, Matt was Division 2 state champion with a time of 15:54 and winning by 18 seconds. Matt repeated as champion his senior year with a time of 16:07 but winning by an incredible 20 seconds. Matt ran twice at Footlocker Midwest Regional with mixed results. In 2002, Buzek placed 24th. He followed it up with a 12th place finish in 2003 nearly qualifying for Nationals.
Aaron also was a highly successful division 2 runner. Like the others, Aaron was a 4 – time state qualifier. In 2004 during his sophomore season, Aaron placed 7th with a time of 16:18. In his junior and senior seasons, Aaron was Division 2 state champion. In 2005, Aaron won with a time of 15:41. The following year he won with a time of 15:22 winning by 24 seconds! Aaron also ran at the Footlocker Midwest Regional in 2005 and 2006. Melhorn finished in 30th in 2005 and 11th in 2006 just missing qualifying for nationals.
Donny was also a 4 – time state qualifier and placed no worse than 15th. In his freshman campaign (2005), Donny finished in 15th place with a time of 16:04. The following year, Donny placed 8th with a time of 15:46. Then in his junior season, Donny capped the year off with a 1st place finish and a time of 15:21. Finally in his senior season, Donny finished a respectful 6th place with a time of 15:47.
Zach is the only runner of the bunch that has not qualified for 4 state meets, but that’s because he still has one season to go. At this point, Zach is the most successful runner of the seven runners mentioned. During his freshman year, Zach finished 4th place with a time of 15:32. His sophomore year, Zach was state champion with a great time of 15:15. This past year Zach repeated as champion with a time of 15:45. If Zach can again repeat as champion in 2010, he will be the 1st division one runner to be a 3-time state champion and the first runner to 3-peat since Brian Hesson in 1990 – 1992. This past year Wills won the Nike Midwest Regional by dominating from the gun. Wills then went on to finish 5th at Nike Nationals in a time of 15:18.5.
Other athletes in Cosideration: