Fifteen minutes can seem like a long time, depending on the situation. When you are near the end of a shift at work, or waiting for the end of the last class of the day, a quarter hour can tick off the clock very slowly.
I am here to tell you that 15 minutes is not nearly enough time to run three miles, certainly not when it is over a cross country course with hills and whatnot.
But there are 1,044 people who have done that -- or better -- at the state finals course in Peoria over the past 36 years. There have been 36 runners from the Naperville area that are on that list, including eight last year.
Four of those eight were on Neuqua Valley's state championship team with individual champion Chris Derrick leading the way with the second-fastest time of all-time at Detweiller of 13:51.
Teammates Danny Pawola, Kevin Grady and Aaron Beattie also crossed in 15 minutes or less. Pawola, who is a senior this year, participated in a Q&A with dyestat.com recently.
I was actually feeling very relaxed the night before state. I don't tend to get too worked up about races until the day of the race. Saturday morning was quite different. I'd go through short phases of feeling very anxious and uneasy, and short phases of feeling completely relaxed and composed.
Derrick is one of seven area runners who have broken 15 minutes twice at Detweiller, along with Naperville North's Kyle Gibson (2006 and 2007), North's Brian Rae (1999 and 2000), North's Mark Pilja, North's Nick Thiel (1989 and 1990), Naperville Central's Andy Janssen (1997 and 1998) and Waubonsie Valley's Mark Schumacher (2006 and 2007).
Two runners from Central Dan Nolan (1987-89) and Ryan Tiesing (1997-99) pulled the trick three times a decade apart.
I couldn't even do this post in 15 minutes.