After finishing 10th at the Class 3A St. Charles East Sectional with a time of 15:17.1, DeKalb senior Marc Dubrick had earned a coveted trip to the IHSA State Meet.
After winning a regional the week before, Dubrick took roughly nine seconds off his time at the sectional meet, qualifying to run at Detweiller Park in Peoria for the second consecutive season.
Dubrick took 93rd at state, finishing the race in 15:21 and became the first boys runner in Barbs coach Mike Wolf's 15 years of coaching to earn two trips to the state meet.
Because of his individual accomplishments, Dubrick is the Daily Chronicle Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. It's the second year in a row he's won the honor.
"The whole season, definitely, I was looking forward to state," Dubrick said. "It was a goal even before the season."
In 2011, Dubrick took 64th in Class 2A with a mark of 15:51. When talking about the difference between Dubrick's junior and senior seasons, Wolf said his top runner was just more consistent in 2012. Dubrick was fast early, got some confidence and carried the momentum all the way until the state meet.
"He just ran strong from the first meet on," Wolf said. "He just had a strong season throughout. He didn't have too many off days. That was true to his training, which led to him having stronger races."
With the goal of making state for the second straight season in mind, Dubrick ran 250 miles this summer. It was the same amount of mileage he ran prior to his junior season, but at a quicker pace.
One aspect of the training which helped Dubrick was the fact that he got in the pool as well. Dubrick, who will compete for the DeKalb-Sycamore co-op swimming team this winter, swam every day over the summer.
Being able to get in a solid workout without really using his legs much helped Dubrick on the cross country course.
He said his summer training made him stronger, but kept his legs fresh at the same time. All season, Dubrick was not only consistently running well, he was healthy the whole time.
"I was just stronger than I have been before. I just didn't have an injury," Dubrick said. "This whole season was just a pretty strong season."
With his cross-country career behind him, Dubrick has a lot of positive moments to look back on — such as winning a regional, taking second in the Northern Illinois Big 12 meet and making it to Peoria once again.
To Dubrick, the best part about the season was the Barbs' team success. DeKalb took third in the NI Big 12 meet, and finished in third place at the Wheaton North Regional as well.
"I definitely look back on how strong our team was. I loved having a strong year," Dubrick said. "Sectionals was a blast, regionals was a blast, competing well at some of our bigger invitationals was fun. That was probably the best part of the season was having a strong team."
DAILY CHRONICLE ALL-AREA BOYS CROSS COUNTRY TEAM
Marc Dubrick, sr., DeKalb
The 2012 Daily Chronicle Runner of the Year, Dubrick became the first Barbs runner to qualify for state twice in Mike Wolf's 15 seasons as DeKalb coach. Dubrick won a regional and took 10th in the sectional meet before finishing 93rd at the Class 3A State Meet with a time of 15:21.
Mark Stice, jr., Sycamore
Stice was Sycamore's top runner, taking 54th at the Class 2A State Meet with a time of 15:26. He finished fourth at the Kaneland Regional (16:32), before taking 12th in the Belvidere Sectional (15:39).
Conor Johnson, sr., Kaneland
Johnson had the area's best finish at the Class 2A State Meet, finishing with a time of 15:18. He was key for Kaneland's state-qualifying squad that took 13th in Peoria.
Kyle Carter, jr. Kaneland
Carter was Kaneland's No. 2 runner at state, where he was 48th with a time of 15:22. Carter led the Knights at the Northern Illinois Big 12 Meet and the Class 2A Belvidere Sectional.
Isaac Hietanen, jr., DeKalb
Like the rest of his DeKalb teammates, Hietanen had to wander through the tough waters of Class 3A, and missed out on state. Hietanen was the No. 2 runner for a Barbs team which advanced to sectionals. In his final meet of the season, he took 35th at the St. Charles East Sectional with a mark of 15:40.
Adam Millburg, so., Sycamore
John Meisenger, sr., Kaneland
Patrick Martin, sr., DeKalb
David Emmert, sr., Sycamore
Colin Martin, sr., DeKalb