Kilrea vs. Jacobs Is An Epic Matchup You Shouldn't Miss At States

This matchup next week might be the biggest head-to-head race we're going to see over the state championship season. 

And it will be the third such outing pitting Sandburg (IL) High senior Dylan Jacobs, ranked No. 3 in the Flo50 national rankings, versus Lyons Township (IL) High senior and No. 2 Danny Kilrea on the 2017 season. 

Both runners will meet in the Class 3A race on Nov. 5 at Detweiller Park in Peoria. 

It's squared off now, with Jacobs earning a win over Kilrea at the IHSA Class 3A Sectional at Hilsdale Central on Saturday. Kilrea raced past Jacobs at the Mike Kuharic Invitational on Sept. 3. 

Jacobs said his game plan on Saturday was to make his move in the second mile. 

"I had a little gap on Danny, so I knew at that point it was all about guts," he said. "That second mile is tough one. And honestly the finish, everyone can do. You just have to be able to push. It was really that second mile where I knew I had to make a move. That 1.5 to two mile mark I really had to push." 

Kilrea isn't worried, though. 

"I'm definitely excited for a lot of the postseason races," he said. "I know that all the work I've done previously will definitely have me prepared."

Over the course of the last two seasons, these two runners have split head-to-head, with each taking places and wins ahead of each other three times. Kilrea, though will be at his third state championship race, while Jacobs will be in his second. 

A year ago, it was Kilrea who finished second at state and Jacobs in third on the historic 3-mile course of Detweiller Park in Peoria. 

But Jacobs owns a personal best of 13:57.50 on the course this fall, earning a win at the Peoria Invitational on Sept. 30. It stands as the fifth-best time on the course all-time. 

Kilrea produced a best of 14:02.30 at the First to Finish Invitational on Sept. 9, locking in a No. 11 performance on the course. 

With the right conditions, both runners are eyeing up a win -- and possibly a course record that would need to surpass Craig Virgin's record of 13:50.60 in 1972. 

"It will be really tough to win next week between me and Dylan," Kilrea said. "I think there will be some good times thrown down next week in order to win."

Related Links: