Ryans runs amok at Detweiller
(From left to right) Morton's Omero Montalvo, Lyons' Michael Matusiak, and Lyons' Ryan Speir compete in the 3A state meet. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 9, 2012 6:43AM
PEORIA — The Ryan family of Western Springs traveled to Peoria Saturday, where everyone planned to picnic and celebrate at the Class 3A state meet.
With three family members competing for three different schools in two races, there was plenty of entertainment.
One them ready to join the party was James Ryan, who placed 66th and was the final scorer for Lyons’ third place boys team (125 points).
Lyons finished behind West Suburban Silver rival York and runner-up O’Fallon to claim its eighth state boys cross country trophy and its first since taking second in Class AA in 2003.
James Ryan said he knew Lyons would do well after coach Michael Danner took the team for three days over the summer to run in a forest preserve in Indiana. The runners stayed in a cabin and practiced two to three times a day.
“I think we meshed as a team,” James Ryan said. “That was a great job. Our goals for the season were set at the beginning of the summer.”
It was the second time he ran at state with his sister, Olivia, a sophomore at Fenwick.
Olivia Ryan, who placed 16th last year, finished fifth (16 minutes, 43 seconds) on Saturday to become the top girls cross country finisher in school history. Her cousin, junior Claire Costelloe, placed 94th for Neuqua Valley in her first appearance in the state meet. Ryan’s teammate, junior Briana Daley, placed 49th Saturday after finishing 22nd a year ago.
Olivia Ryan’s first trip to state last season was in the Class 2A race, where she clocked 17:47. The pace was much quicker in Class 3A. Much of that was due to Glenbard West junior Madeline Perez (16:02), who posted the fastest time in IHSA girls cross country history.
“I was surprised how fast everyone was going,” Olivia said. “They never slowed down.”
Olivia Ryan and Costelloe ran against each other for the second time this season after both competed at the Joliet Central Invitational Sept. 8 at Channahon Park.
“A lot of people came down there (to Peoria),” Olivia said. “We had cousins, parents, grandparents and friends.”
James and Olivia Ryan both attended St. John of the Cross for middle school, then went separate ways for high school.
The Ryans and Costelloe come from a running family. They are second cousins to Irish runner Sonia O’Sullivan, a silver medalist in the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics in the 5,000 meters.
Lyons’ boys medalist was senior Michael Matusiak of La Grange, who placed 11th (14:38). Senior Ryan Speir (14:43) was 17th. They are the first Lyons teammates to medal (top 25) in the same race since Ryan Kuphall (8th) and Tim Maier (9th) in 2004.
“Everything went perfect for us,” Matusiak said. “We did everything exactly what we wanted to do when we went down there.”
Dan Lupano (39th, 14:58) and Mike Accettura (54th, 15:07) rounded out the scoring; junior Henry Hostettler (52nd, 15:14) and senior Cody Riesterer (75th, 15:24) also competed for the Lions.
Matusiak said nearly every Lyons runner eclipsed personal-best times by about 20 seconds. Matusiak, the most experienced runner, led a team chant before each race inspired by a video from a Brigham Young University cross country practice.
Matusiak yells: “What are we?”
His teammates respond: “One.”
Matusiak: “What will we be?”
The team: “One.”
Matusiak said the highlight was the post-race awards ceremony when the team received its medals.
“I will always remember that we got up on that stage. Looking at everyone, I thought, ‘Wow. We actually did it as a team,’ ” Matusiak said.