Pritzker Boys Lead the Pack

Pritzker’s Ulises Bautista may have repeated as the Noble Athletic Conference Boys Individual Champion, but it was a comprehensive team approach that led the Jaguars to their second consecutive NAC Boys Cross Country title. 

A pack of Pritzker runners seized the moment at Humboldt Park, selflessly pushing a team victory over individual accolades.  According to Coach Kaellagh Cassidy, this was the core concept of the team all season.  “I think teamwork played a significant role in the overall victory.  Throughout the year runners tried to stay with Ulises and Angel (Barrera).  Our boys ran as a pack and both competed and cooperated with each other so that each runner would grow individually.  They also remained dedicated throughout the season.”

Teamwork and togetherness led to what eventually became a dominating Jaguar performance, as four Pritzker runners placed in the top 10.  Ulises Bautista was the individual champion, followed by Angel Barerra (3rd), Marcos Tapia (7th), and Salvador Medina (9th).  

Coach Cassidy saw this team approach throughout their daily workouts.  “We tried to foster a sense that our team could not survive by relying on one runner, but that everyone needed to work together and encourage each other.  We did many workouts where groups had to stay together for the first several miles, workouts with relay teams, etc.  In general we wanted even the workouts to be a team endeavor.”

Pritzker runners: Ulises Bautista (1st place - middle gold shirt), Angel Barrera (3rd place - second from right), Marcos Tapia (7th place - fourth from left), Salvador Medina (9th place - second from left)

Bautista, the team captain and leader, will graduate this spring, but the future is still bright as Barrera, Tapia, Medina, and a pack of other Jaguar runners return next fall for their senior campaign.

In other team results, Bulls Prep finished as the boys runner-up for the second straight year.  Speer Academy placed third.  Muchin and Noble Academy finshed fourth and fifth, respectively.

This marks the 2nd Noble Athletic Conference team title for Pritzker Boys Cross Country and the 20th NAC title for Pritzker athletics since the conference was formed in 2009.