Richtman engaged in one last memorable 3,200 duel with Sterling’s Jacob Gebhardt. The two friendly rivals since the eighth grade were neck-and-neck through seven laps.
Gebhardt, an Indiana recruit, surged ahead to start the bell lap.
But it was Richtman who had the final burst in the final 200, winning in 9 minutes, 28.10 seconds.
“I love racing against these guys,” Richtman said. “It was a really fun race, being that close together. I needed a lot of mental toughness to stay in there. It’s definitely a high point of my season so far.”
Richtman and Gebhardt hooked up again later in the 1,600 race, but Sycamore senior Stephen Poorten stole the show.
With fresh legs, running his only event of the night, Poorten grabbed the lead in the third of four laps and coasted home in 4:28.68.
“I felt really fresh, Matthew and Jake were both coming off the 2-mile, that’s a daunting double, so I knew their legs would be a little bit heavy – they’re both great runners,” Poorten said. “I knew if I pushed in the middle two laps I could get away from them.”
Poorten, in doing so, realized the conference distance triple crown. Poorten, who will run collegiately at Marquette, has previously won the conference 3,200 and cross country titles.
“It’s a great feeling, especially this being the last time the three of us will ever run together,” Poorten said.