Boys cross country: Hinsdale Central’s Ryan Somerfield makes big plans before riding into sunset
Hinsdale Central's Ryan Somerfield tries to catch his breath after finishing the Class 3A state meet in Peoria. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
1. Mike Matusiak
Lyons Township: Expectations are high this season for the Lions, who return six key runners from last year’s team that placed 15th at State. The senior is a big reason for the lofty goals. He led Lyons Township in most major races before placing 91st at state.
2. Ed McCarter
Lyons Township: McCarter was Lyons Township’s No. 2 runner for most of the season, but peaked at the end. As a sophomore, he finished 57th at state with a time of 15:19.
3. Kevin Huang
Hinsdale Central: The junior figures to push Ryan Somerfield as the team’s top runner. He placed 134th at state last year, but should move up considerably this time around.
4. Pat Yerkes
Fenwick: Yerkes is hoping to carry over a successful track season into his final fall campaign. He is expected to be one of the top runners in the Chicago Catholic League.
5. Pierce Sheehan
Oak Park-River Forest: Sheehan is the front-runner for the impossible task of replacing graduate Malachy Schrobligen as the team’s No. 1 runner. Schrobligen took third at State last season and won the 3,200-meter run during the track season. The junior appears ready to step up during what is expected to be a rebuilding year for the Huskies.
Updated: October 1, 2012 4:07PM
Hinsdale Central senior Ryan Somerfield has genes in his favor.
Each of his siblings has enjoyed success at Hinsdale Central in cross country and track and he’s lived up to the family standards during his own career.
“He comes from a long lineage of Somerfields,” Hinsdale Central cross country coach Jim Westphal said. “There have been a lot of Somerfields come through here with his brothers Kyle, Jeff and Brad and sister Danielle. Ryan has developed into a strong runner. He had a nice track season and a great, uninterrupted summer. He’s excited about being one of the top kids in the (West Suburban Silver) and seeing what he can do when the state tournament comes around.”
Somerfield placed 69th at state last season as a junior in his first varsity season.
He gives an assist to his family for his success.
“Having older brothers and sisters, it gets competitive, which is good,” Somerfield said. “We’re always trying to one-up what the others have done in high school. It just motivates you and pushes you hard to help achieve your goals.
“It’s a great feeling knowing I have the support of my family. Both of my parents come to my meets on a regular basis and Kyle and Danielle make appearances. Kyle has become a role model for me.”
Somerfield now appears poised to make a splash downstate this year after a strong track season and summer.
“As a freshman, Ryan was one of the top three freshmen, but he didn’t really stand out,” Westphal said. “You didn’t see him taking the reins a couple years later and leading the team, but he’s ready to do that now. He had a decent sophomore year on the sophomore team and then really developed and came into his own as a junior when he was our three or four guy and got big-meet experience. He’s really progressed well in the last two seasons.”
Somerfield will be key if the Red Devils are to have similar or better success than last year when they placed 16th at the Class 3A meet.
“Coming into the season I want to be the guy that leads by example and show the younger guys how to carry themselves at practice,” Somerfield said. “As far as racing, I want to be the No. 1 man and get the team off to a good strong lead and hopefully score some low points to help the team.
“On the bus ride home from state last year, I had a conversation with my coaches and it was then and there that I set a goal that I wanted to be all-state this year. The entire year, including the track season, has been building up to this season. I want to get downstate with the team and finish in the top 25. That’s a huge goal of mind.”
Junior Kevin Huang will challenge Somerfield at the top of the lineup, while senior Dylan Palo also figures to make a difference.
York is the favorite in the West Suburban Silver, but Lyons Township and Hinsdale Central are looking to finish in the top three.
“We lost five of our seven runners to graduation, which is tough for any program, but we’ve got a nice mix coming back with state experience,” Westphal said. “The goal of our program is to always finish in the top two or three in our conference and qualify for the state meet and finish in the top 10. We have high expectations each year. The new group is excited about working hard to have those goals come to fruition.”
Hinsdale Central opens the season Saturday with the Hornet Red Devil Invitational at Katherine Legge Park. ~.