The best 140 male and female cross country runners from 20 high school teams in the city and suburbs—including 14 Geneva athletes—competed Sunday on the Chicago Bank of America Marathon course in the Northside Southside Challenge.
Usually these high school students are caught up in local rivalries. But for one race they are united by one goal: winning bragging rights for one year for the North Side or the South Side. The runners were picked by their high coaches to run, and runners are divided into teams based on where their school is located geographically, north or south.
It’s a cross country meet on the same course, on the same day at the same time as the Chicago Bank of America Marathon. But these teens run just one-tenth of the marathon distance: 2.62 miles.
Instead of 45,000 runners going for a personal best, the challenge is about hundreds of kids representing their school, their neighborhood and their side of town.
Nike started the Northside Southside Challenge in 2009. The company provides each student with a special uniform and new sneakers.
The meet is designed to get kids excited about running and allow them an up-close-and-personal look at the sport of running at its highest level. The top three high school teams in each race get a trophy, the top 10 boys/girls finishers receive an award and all finishers receive a Northside/Southside medal.
The Northside won the the race this year. The Geneva girls team won first place for the second year in a row and the boys team took fifth place.
Kathryn Adelman took third place in the girls event, while Mike Bianchina took fourth place, Nate Went 12th place and Dan Herrera 16th place.
Geneva Girls Who Competed
- Kathryn Adelman
- McKenzie Altmayer
- Sydney Geils
- Marin Leone
- Brooke Nusser
- Ana Samples
- Mackenzie Williams
Genva Boys Who Competed
- Blaine Bartel
- Michael Bianchina
- Dan Dudman
- Dan Herrera
- Jordan Midgley
- Ryan Rasmussen
- Nate Wendt
Thanks to Bob Herrera for submitting this article and photo.