Photo by OrangeCat Pictures
Kevin Havel established himself as one to watch during his days at Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, where he routinely notched top five finishes at state cross country and track championship meets, including a second place finish in the state cross country meet in 2006 and a first place finish in the 3200 in the state track and field meet in 2008. After running for Stanford’s track and cross country teams, Havel returned to Chicago, where he now trains with the New Balance Chicago team and coach Michael Lucchesi.
Havel took sixth place at this year’s Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K and seventh at the Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis before both winning and setting a new course record at the North Shore Classic in May with a time of 1:05:54, just 55 seconds away from the Olympic Trials qualifying standard for the marathon. He plans to run a few more half marathons this year, but his primary focus is on the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October.
A former ballet dancer, Lauren Kersjes has found her niche in competitive running. She picked up the sport her junior year of high school, walked onto Syracuse University’s cross country and track teams and took second place in her first half marathon ever in March of 2014. This past March, she began working with Rick Wemple and went on to win the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the Soldier Field 10 Mile along with a second place finish and PR at the North Shore Classic on May 31.
Kersjes, a dental student at Midwestern University in Downers Grove, plans to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon this month and will tackle her first marathon in October at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.