August 19th – Preseason Semi-State Preview
New Prairie Girls:
By: Charles Heimberg
As summer comes to a close the thoughts of the high school distance running community understandably turn to cross country. In Northwest Indiana that means the road to the New Prairie Semi State and an opportunity to earn a trip to the State Finals. While many things will change from last season, others will remain the same. Elena Lancioni is off to start her college career at Bowling Green University, leaving the door open for a new individual champion. In contrast, West Lafayette looks to be just as dominate as last season, leaving little room for any other team to legitimately dream of being the last team to the podium. Here is a look at what we can expect to see come October 25th.
The team race should once again be all West Lafayette.
They have the first three returning runners in the race. Just let that sink in for a moment. These three are followed by two more who should be sub 19:00. This is a team that is hungry for a state title, after getting a taste in the 4 x 800 at state this past spring. I would not be surprised at all to see a new record for low team score from these five ladies.
At the next tier I see Portage, Warsaw and Lake Central. Portage has the potential to be as good, or better, then last year, as they only lose one of their top seven. They should also be helped by the return to form of Kyra Ball, who ran 5:09 at the state meet this spring. She will be backed up with six more girls who have the ability to run sub 20:00, giving them the most depth outside of West Lafayette. Warsaw also possesses a strong front runner in Allison Miller, and a trio of juniors who ran 20:10, 20:10 and 20:13 at last years semi state. I had the opportunity to see the girls working hard a few weeks ago a Chain O’ Lakes State Park, and it sounds like the coaching staff is excited with what 2:21 800 runner Anna Craig brings to the table. In my experience a 2:21 800 points to a 5k in the range of 19:30 or so, which will put the Lady Tigers right in the mix with Portage. My third team in this group, Lake Central, could be very dangerous if they can return to the form they showed at last years Lafayette Harrison Invitational. On that day they were the class of the DAC, but subsequent injuries kept them from that level of performance the rest of the season. A look at last spring’s track results doesn’t inspire confidence, but there are many teams who have had average track seasons, only to shine in the fall.
At the next level are Twin Lakes, Crown Point, Valparaiso, and Chesterton. Of these four Twin Lakes and Valparaiso are most similar, as they possess number one runners with the ability to be top ten scorers, while Crown Point and Chesterton mirror each other with close packs who have been just a bit too far back to challenge the previous tier of teams like Portage. I am also hearing that Chesterton lost their third returning runner to a family relocation, which will make their road to state that much tougher.
I will round out my thoughts with two dark horse teams, Eastern and Western. Eastern has three very good runners, and if they can find just a little bit of help (and get them all across the finish line) they could surprise a lot of teams. Western has the benefit of returning all seven of their runners from last years 15th place team, but will need solid improvements from everyone to have a chance to make some noise in October.
Another interesting thing to watch for is if the DAC’s change to eliminating their Tuesday dual meets has the effect the coaches are hoping for. I see, at a minimum, half of the state spots going to DAC schools, but can see as many as five teams getting out if this format change pays off.
On the individual side of things Lauren Johnson appears to be the favorite, as she is the top returning runner. Her fine third place finish in the 3200 this spring shows me that she is still improving and will be tough to beat. Fortunately for Coach Lewark, the two girls with the best chance of beating her may be her teammates, Kristen Johnson and Delaney Barber. If these girls can pull off a 1-2-3 finish it is going to be amazing to watch, no matter what team or runner you are cheering for. Looking to break up this medal sweep will be Madeline Lilly of Twin Lakes, our 4th returner. I see runners like Kailee Schoof of LaPorte, Kyra Ball of Portage, Allison Mundell of Valparaiso, Olivia Johnson of Harrison, Rachel Bales of West Lafayette, and small school standouts Mickayla Wenzel of West Central and Kyleigh Werner of South Central battling it out for the rest of the top ten positions. And since this is girls cross country, lets not forget the potential for a freshman to break out and do something special on the New Prairie course.
There is a lot to look forward to this season in the New Prairie semi state and it should be a fun ride getting there. I look forward to following the progress of all of the teams and individuals in the northwestern part of the state, and I hope you follow along as I try my best to rank them on a weekly basis.
New Prairie Boys
By: Brendan Smith
2014 New Prairie Semi- State Top 20 Individuals
- Cooper Williams West Lafayette 3rd place (11)
- Ryan Kritzer Munster 4th place (12)
- Matthew Fahs-Brown Manchester 10th place (12)
- David Kampf New Prairie 11 place (12)
- Jake Cohen West Lafayette 14th place (12)
- Zach Hupp Lake Central 15th place (11)
- Ryan Kepshire Crown Point 18th place (11)
- Tyler Kramer-Stephens Lake Central 20th place (11)
- Cody Bray Frankfort 21st place (12)
- Mitch Wilborn Chesterton 22nd place (12)
- Joel O’Shea Wheeler 23rd place (11)
- Akis Medrano Benton Central 24th place (12)
- Evan Johnson West Lafayette 25th place (11)
- Sam Miller La Porte 27th place (12)
- Own Glogovsky Warsaw 28th place (11)
- Daniel Messenger Warsaw 29th place (12)
- Cayce Griffin Lafayette Jeff 30th place (12)
- Dominc Patascil West Lafayette 31st place (12)
- Dylan Williams West Lafayette 33rd place (11)
- Daniel Dalton Valparaiso 34th place (11)
Boys New Prairie Semi-State Preview
As I was putting together this preview I tried to use just known quantities and very little speculation. It’s a preview so it’s cannon fodder so to speak. However now that racing is starting it will take a couple of weeks and we will have a true indication on teams in the top 10 as well as the top 20 individuals.
When looking at teams I looked at semi-state returnees and transfers who ran in the semi-state last year. Plain and simple.
And for the top 20 individuals it was a bit trickier. When was the last time this whole group raced collectively together to give a person a full view of them? Once again that answer was very simple. At the 2013 New Prairie Semi- State race. So with that in mind the preseason top 20 will be the top 20 returning individuals from last year’s race.
No speculation, no conjecture or dare I say flat out guessing.
As the weeks continue things will smooth out and be clearer. I invite everyone to enjoy the fall cross country season. I will be traveling to cover meets in NWI all season. Hope to see you all out and about!
Boys top 10
1. West Lafayette Red Devils
Cooper Williams (11) – 15:50 – 3rd place
Jake Cohen (12) – 16:23 – 14th place
Evan Johnson (11) – 16:34 – 25th place
Dominic Patascil (12) – 16:38 – 31st place
Dylan Williams (11) – 16:45 – 33rd place
Logan Berndt (12) – 17:11 – 61st place
What can really be said here? This is clearly a team with State Title aspirations. They will go wire to wire being #1 this season in the NPSS. Five top 20 returnee’s with 6 returning runners from last year’s meet as the Team Champions. This is a veteran group with some shine. They should be fun to watch.
2. Lake Central Indians
Zach Hupp (11) – 16:24 – 15th place
Tyler Kramer-Stephens (11) – 16:28 – 20th place
Casey Garvey (11) – 16:56 – 44th place
Brian St. John (12) – 17:09 – 56th place
Kameron Konopasek (11) – 17:10 – 57th place
Brandon Long (12) – 17:23 – 67th place
“LC” returns 6 runners from last year. With two top 10 returnees in Zach Hupp and Tyler Kramer Stevens and a solid pack, the Indian’s are poised to make a strong move in the NPSS. Make no mistake here. All the pieces are in place for a top ten state finish.
3. Warsaw Tigers
Owen Glogovsky (11) – 16:36 – 28th place
Daniel Messenger (12) – 16:36 – 29th place
Nick Bergen (12) – 17:00 – 47th place
Jonathan Beres (11) – 17:35 – 91st place
Jacob DeBoest (12) – 17:48 – 115th place
Another very solid returning group with 2 top 20 individuals coming back. Owen Gloovsky and Daniel Messenger should provide a strong 1-2 punch and with a strong supporting cast the Tigers should breeze through the sectional and regional on their way to the NPSS. Another strong showing on the horizon.
4. Munster Mustangs
Ryan Kritzer (12) – 15:55 – 4th place
Scott Farley (12) – 17:00 – 48th place
Theo Burgwald (11) – 17:08 – 54th place
Jimmy Murphy (12) – 17:36 – 97th place
Emmanuel Lopez (12) – 17:58 – 128th place
Brian Banach (12) – 19:01 – 169th place
The Mustangs are loaded with talent. 6 of the top 7 return as well as Tyler Keslin who missed a portion of last year’s season. Top 5 returnee Ryan Kritzer leads a deep and seasoned team. If things come together just right they could be looking at a top 10 state finish also. This team is going to be very good.
5. Crown Point Bulldogs
Ryan Kepshire (11) – 16:26 – 18th place
Michael Mosak (11) – 16:48 – 37th place
Jacob Langbehn (12) – 17:00 – 49th place
Dylan Wallace (11) – 17:02 – 52nd place
Zachary Hoover (10) – 17:52 – 122nd place
Top ten returnee Ryan Kepshire and an emerging secondary pack give the Bulldogs some bite. As the season progresses if “CP” can close up the back end at 5-6-7 they will be very difficult to deal with. As they do every year, they find ways. I suspect this year will be like the rest.
6. La Porte Slicers
Samuel Miller (12) – 16:35 – 27th place
Braden Griffin (11) – 16:46 – 36th place
Bryan Flannery(11)-16:51 – 40th place South Central Transfer
Dakota Merkel (10) – 17:27 – 77th place
Peyton Riehl (10) – 17:30 – 78th place
La Porte already had a solid group returning. And with the arrival of transfer Bryan Flannery the Slicers now have top 5 NPSS finish capability. Sam Miller is a top 20 returnee to give them some push up front. If the youth matures a bit La Porte will give Lake Central and Crown Point chase in the Duneland.
7. New Prairie Cougars
David Kampf (12) – 16:15 – 9th place
Justin Baltes (11) – 17:30 – 67th place
Jacob Hughes (10) – 17:53 – 95th place
Blake Kirkham (11) – 17:59 – 98th place
Spencer Leda (12) – 18:02 – 102nd place
Collin Babcock (11) – 18:06 – 103rd place
Top 5 returnee David Kampf provides a solid front runner for a team that returns 6 kids from last year’s NPSS squad. Can NP’s pack make the necessary improvements to bolster their chances? That’s the question that needs to be answered. If they can, a trip to Levern for November 1st is in the cards.
8. Lafayette Jefferson Broncos
Cayce Griffin (12) – 16:37 25th place
Daniel Feltis (12) – 16:59 38th place
Leo Bernier (10) – 17:19 53rd place Transfer from West Lafayette
Shane Shipley (11) – 17:43 83rd place
Zack Vandiver (12) – 18:36 118th place
Preston Forestal (11) – 19:56 137th place
Already knocking at the door of the top ten at the NPSS with 5 of 7 returning runners from last year and now throw in West Lafayette transfer Leo Bernier and the Broncos have a claim to be here. Now can they validate with a strong season? Clearly their fortunes are tied to the 4-7 runners and the progress towards the 17 minute mark they can make.
9. Portage Indians
Antonio Chapa (10) – 17:08 46th place
Nicholas Heimburg (12) – 18:10 106th place
Tyler Hudson (12) – 19:15 – 134th place
With Tommy Martin and Mat Marsh returning combined with a solid returning crew the Indians crack the top 10. Lots of questions dot the Portage landscape this year. But the one that matters is can the Indians finish the season strong and race well at the NPSS? The need a break through race in late October.
10. Chesterton Trojans
Mitch Wilborn (12) – 16:29 – 22nd place
Parker Whitmore (11) – 17:25 – 72nd place
Robert St.Pierre (12) – 18:44 – 162nd placeThe Trojans sport a top 10 returnee in Mitch Wilborn and must find some depth post number 1 to have any dreams of a trip to the State Finals. There is young talent on the Trojans but can it mature in time for October and the tourney? This is one of those “I just don’t know teams”. And you won’t know until October.
Bubble teams: Michigan City, Valparaiso, Winamac, Lowell and Frankfort
New Haven Girls
By: Brett Hess
No contest at New Haven: Rohrer, Penn are Heavy favorites:
The question isn’t “Who?” will win at The Plex on October 25, but rather “by how much?” Actually, the best debate could be who will dominate their competition, relatively speaking, by more: Mishawaka’s Anna Rohrer or Penn?
Rohrer has already been crowned the 2014 IHSAA state champion. The 2012 state and Footlocker champion missed last fall because of foot problems. But she bounced back this past spring: setting a state finals record in winning the 3,200 (10:14).
This isn’t, of course, to disparage the rest of the field. In fact, last year’s top two finishers (Maddie Woods of Penn and Alex Buck of Pendleton Heights) are back as are 5 of the top 6 and 21 of the top 25.
State wide, the semi-state returns six all-state runners: Woods (6th), Jenna Halderman of Northfield (13th), Sierra Moore of Elkhart Memorial (15th), Bailey Beer of Bellmont (16th), Buck (19th) and Leo’s Lindsey Marriott (23rd).
Woods and Buck will have the added incentive of leading their teams to possible titles.
But if Rohrer is healthy, all bets are off. Will she win by 30 seconds over this superb field?
Is a 30-second victory akin to a 50-point team victory? Penn, a legit state title contender, should win by that much and could win by close to 100 points over a very even but average field. I don’t see any other team with podium potential.
What makes Penn so strong? Let’s count: Automatic low-stick in Maddie Woods; The semi-state’s top No. 2 runner in Danielle Frank; Six runners return from last year’s sixth-place state meet team. (None of whom are named Ashleigh MacLeod, the state’s 800-meter champ who just started running in the spring); A trio of outstanding freshmen coming in; New coach Josh Fletcher; Oh, and 3,361 students, by far the largest school in the semi-state.
It took me a long time to come up with a runner-up. In fact, I think there are several schools which could finish runner-up but since none stood out, I’ll go with the five-time defending champions. Hey, they’ve earned that. The Chargers return their top three runners from last year in Stacey Metzger, Madison Fruchey and Megan Doty but after that is just a lot of question marks. Yes, the program has great depth but has been bitten by the injury bug. There is help on the way in the form of three freshmen, but look for them to be brought along slowly.
3) PENDLETON HEIGHTS
Yes, Alex Buck is back but so are four other runners from last year’s third-place team. Included are sophomores Alli McCarty, Emma Hall and Faith Baer. And you know the best thing about freshmen, right? They become sophomores. Look for big jumps up the finish sheets from those three along with junior Monica Dudley.
The Lady Spartans return five from last year’s fourth-place team and that includes their top two front-runners: Madison Distelrath and Grace Walther. Distelrath is all-state material and Walther will be a very strong No. 2. After that, Homestead returns a very deep contingent of young runners who have improved.
5) BISHOP DWENGER
You didn’t know Bishop Dwenger had a girl’s cross country team? Well, it does and the ladies are coached by Eric Ade. The Saints return six of last year’s top seven including their top five. And Ade, who has built the Dwenger boys into a consistent state meet qualifier, has coached the girls for 18 months straight. It’s time to watch the magic with the Brelage sisters and Erin Kilbane to leading the way.
The Raiders return five from last year’s fifth-place team and although I have them picked sixth, this field is set up perfect for a Coach McLane team. Mckenzie Love, now a sophomore, should lead the way.
Also runs…….FREMONT has four runners back from it’s heartbreaking, tie-breaking seventh place team a year ago. Coach Moses can lead his team to the promised land, but they’ll have to be healthy. With 359 students, pickings are slim. I claim ignorance in regards to perennial state qualifier HUNTINGTON NORTH. The Vikings do return six from last year’s sixth-place finisher but I’m not familiar with the new coaching regime. They host Carroll and Homestead, among others, this Saturday. MISHAWAKA returns four AND Rohrer.
New Haven Boys
By: Sean Eberly
With no more Zach Panning running the show in the New Haven SS, the attention turns to Homestead junior Brayden Law and Dekalb senior Mark Beckmann. The conference foes have had frequent run-ins with each other. Notably, from last year, Beckmann’s NHC individual title and Law’s runner-up SS finish by edging Beckmann by 3 seconds.
Fastest 20 Returning Individuals :
- Brayden Law (11) Homestead
- Mark Beckmann (12) Dekalb
- Travis Kulczar (12) SB Riley
- Brandon Arnold (12) West Noble
- Cameron Clements (11) Carroll FW
- Jacob Schmeling (12) Carroll FW
- Sawyer Miller (12) South Adams
- Bailey McIntire (10) South Adams
- Conner Sandt (11) Northridge 16:25
- Christian Noble (11) Mt. Vernon (Fortville)
- Trevor Hamilton (12) FW Carroll
- Aaron Rush (11) Mt. Vernon (Fortville)
- Kris Wickens (12) Bremen
- Zach Cockrill (12) Wawasee
- Joseph Vandiver (11) East Noble
- Shawn Graves (12) Goshen
- Jonathan Mader (12) Penn
- David Ehlers (11) FW Concordia
- Gerardo Abad (12) Goshen
- Valentin Emmanuel (12) FW North Side
1. FW Carroll Chargers –2012 & 2013 New Haven SS Champion—3rd @ State Finals
No surprises here at the top. Carroll (FW) assumes their traditional power position and come in at #1. The Chargers return four runners from their semi-state squad and have their sights scoped to 3-peat at New Haven.
2. Northridge Raiders – 2013 New Haven SS Runner-Up – 8th @ State Finals
A familiar position for the Raiders and a regular at the top tier of the New Haven Semi-State. Northridge loses front runner Blake O’Dell, but return four from last year’s semi-state finish. Junior Conner Sandt will assume front running duties.
3. Mt. Vernon (Fortville) Marauders – 9th @ 2013 New Haven SS
A not-so recognizable team crashes in the third position. Mt. Vernon returns its top four runners from last year’s team—three of them juniors. The Marauders are on the rise and are looking to impress. The school hasn’t been to the State Finals since 1984.
4. West Noble Chargers – 11th @ 2013 New Haven SS
The Chargers return a complete team from last year. Senior Brandon Arnold will pace the Chargers.
5. Homestead Spartans – 5th @ 2013 New Haven SS—20th @ State Finals
Some low scoring up front from Brayden Law will most certainly help, as only Law and Junior Spencer Scholl return from last year’s semi-state team. Homestead will have to reload if they want to make another State Finals appearance.
6. FW Concordia Cadets –7th @ 2013 New Haven SS
The Cadets will no longer have the top runner in the state in Zach Panning, but return a full five-man team from last year. With a bitter 7th place finish at last year’s semi-state, Concordia will be motivated to assure it’s not them again.
7. Goshen Redskins—13th @ 2013 New Haven SS
Goshen returns six from last year’s squad—all seniors. The Redskins are eyeing another trip to Terre Haute.
8. Bishop Dwenger Saints—3rd @ 2013 New Haven SS—15th @ State Finals
Dwenger has some reloading to do if they are to make the State Finals—don’t be surprised if they do. The Saints return three from last year’s semi-state squad.
9. Huntington North Vikings—8th @ 2013 New Haven SS
Huntington returns five seniors, looking for another State Finals appearance. The Vikings haven’t been to the State Finals since 2009.
10. South Adams Starfires—6th @ New Haven SS—17th @ State Finals
Last year was the first time in school history South Adams had appeared in the State Finals. For the Starfires to repeat that feat, they will need some help from their fourth and fifth runners. Senior Sawyer Miller and sophomore Bailey McIntire will head the Starfires’ front.
By Drake Sterling
Malyka Abramson – Avon – Abramson was on fire all last cross country season, breaking the 18 minute barrier a shocking 5 times in 2013. She was undefeated going into the Semi-State where she was ultimately beaten by eventual State Champ Kelcy Welch. Abramson laid low during this past track season, stepping away from the 3200m to focus on her speed. She competed mainly on Avon’s 4×800 and in the 1600.
Rachel Nichwitz – HSE – Steady as the come. Nichwitz has finished 6th, 10th, and 3th in her three XC State Championships thus far. She also has three medals in the 1600 as well during track. Nichwitz will be one of the top 3 runners in the State most likely.
Taylor Nicholson – Avon – The phenom Freshman came through big time at the State Meet a year ago. She finished 5th despite only finishing 7th at the Semi-State. One-upping herself in track, Nicholson ran a blazing 4:51.88, winning the 1600.
Alexandra Dalton – Greenwood – A pair of All-State medals was how Dalton finished her Freshman campaign in 2013-2014. This season, she’ll eye a potential Semi-State Championship and a chance to finish as high as 2nd overall at the State Meet.
Not Far Behind:
Katherine Free – Cathedral – Free was 24th at last year’s State Championships. She also set some impressive personal bests on the track this spring, running 2:19.84 for 800m and 5:04.63 for a converted 1600m.
Haley Harris – Carmel – Harris put the State on alert at the Franklin Central Flashes Showcase, running a phenomenal 4:56.99 converted 1600m. Combine that with her cross country success (14th and 19th in the last two State Meets), and Haley has a legitimate shot at competing with the above names.
Kelsey Harris – Carmel – See above. Kelsey and Haley nearly mimic each other on the grass as well as the track. Kelsey has the slightly better personal best (18:09 to 18:10), but Haley edged her at the State Meet last year (14th to 17th).
Top 20 Preseason Semi-State Rankings:
|Rachel Nichwitz||–||Senior||–||Hamilton Southeastern|
|Courtney Pfanstiel||–||Senior||–||Hamilton Southeastern|
|Hope Jones||–||Junior||–||Warren Central|
|Bippus Sabrina||–||Sophomore||–||Hamilton Southeastern|
Contending for the Win:
Carmel – In our preseason Semi-State individual list, Carmel puts 6 in the top 20. That should say enough about how front-loaded the Greyhounds are. They will be tough to knock off not only in the Semi-State, but in the State for that matter.
Avon – One team that has a shot at taking down Carmel is the Orioles. They can match Carmel in their 1-2 combo but will need to race perfectly in order to match the Greyhounds depth.
Expected to be in Terre Haute:
Hamilton Southeastern – HSE isn’t as far behind Avon as some think. 1-3 they basically match the Orioles. Their 4, Samantha Stensland isn’t far behind either. Ultimately though, it will be hard to keep up with Bernicke and Mothersead on the back end.
Franklin Central – Depth for days. FC has a lot of girls returning under 20 minutes. The key will be getting a consistent front-runner which they didn’t have in 2013.
Zionsville – A stellar top two in Meyers and Mitchell, the Eagles are looking for their second ever State Berth. Angelina Ellis, who struggled through injuries last year returns healthy. The Eagles are pretty deep and they should be able to find a formidable 4-5.
Top 10 Preseason Semi-State Team Rankings:
By: Darryl Stevenson
Carmel Boys’ Semi-State Preview 8.19.2014
1. Carmel – Not surprisingly, the returning State Meet champions are the preseason favorite to win the Semi-State and challenge for another State title. Colin Altevogt will be at the helm for the Greyhounds this season, and will look to continue building on the program’s rich history. Ben Veatch will be leading the charge for the squad this season, and should provide a steady front runner. It will be interesting to see who joins him this season, as we all know Carmel simply reloads. Grayson Jenkins, a transfer from Illinois, should provide a boost to the varsity squad as well.
2. Fishers – The Tigers will look to get past the dreaded Brebeuf Noblesville Regional this season, just barely missing advancing to the Semi-State last year. Depth may not be an issue for the team this year, but they will need to develop their 2-3 runners to contend with the top teams. Look for Trevor Thompson to have a big season and attempt to get the Tigers back to Terre Haute.
3. Brebeuf – Zack Snider will look to lead Brebeuf back to Terre Haute in 2014. The team is returning 3 of its 7 State Meet runners, and will look to develop others to fill in the gap. Snider is absolutely in the preseason conversation for State Title contenders this season, and should provide low stick points for Brebeuf.
4. Zionsville – The Eagles will also look to return to Terre Haute this fall to the State Meet. Ryan Cash and Oliver Rigg lead the Eagles up front, and should be quite the duo for the squad this season. The Eagles have depth and experience on their side, and should be very dangerous this fall.
5. North Central – The Panthers just missed the podium at the State Meet last year, and will be hungry to get back. Solomon Rice will look to lead the charge this season, and is one of the top returners in the State. Koczenasz and Smith also had strong seasons last fall, and should round out a fantastic top 3 for the Panthers. The key will be to develop some depth in the 4-5 and 6-7 runners for the squad, but the Panthers should still be in contention to advance to Terre Haute.
6. Avon – The Orioles have never qualified for the State Meet, but should definitely be in the hunt this fall. Returning 5 runners from last year’s Semi-State team, the Orioles definitely have some depth. The key for the Orioles will be to develop a low stick, or to pack up their front group to contend with the other top teams. Evan Snodgrass should absolutely help the team this fall, and should help the Orioles put themselves in contention for a State Meet berth.
7. Lawrence North – The Wildcats took quite the hit from graduation, losing three of their heavy hitters from last fall. Despite the loss, McAloon will undoubtedly have this team ready to perform. Hoeft should be leading the squad this season, but the key will be finding strong 2-3 runners, and developing a reliable 4-5 tandem. The Wildcats were very deep last season, and now we will see how many 17 minute runners can develop into low-to-mid 16 performers.
8. Hamilton Southeastern – The Royals were another team to fall short of advancing out of the Brebeuf Regional last fall, finishing 7th. This season, HSE returns 4 of those Regional runners, and had a very solid track season this past spring. As with many other teams, HSE will need to develop some low point scorers up front, and continue to develop their 4-5 runners. Arguably the biggest story-line for the Royals this season will be how good freshman Gabriel Fendel can be over 5k. As mentioned in Jones’ pre-season write-ups, Fendel ran 9:20 for 3k in 2013 as a 7th grader.
9. Cathedral – The Irish are returning a very solid squad for 2014. Last season injuries plagued the team down the stretch, but if healthy, this team could be in the mix to advance to Terre Haute. For most of the 2013 season, Patrick O’Neil was fantastic. He should lead the Irish this season as the team looks to drop time and pack up the rest of their top 5.
10. Brownsburg – The Bulldogs are another team that has never qualified for the State Meet, but will be looking to do so this fall. This team returns some solid depth, but it will undoubtedly need some improvement in order to advance. Hari Sathyamurthy should be very strong on the grass this season, and will be looking to put himself in the top group at the Semi-State. Bond also had a strong fall in 2013, and with Hari, they should provide a great combo up front. Developing their 3-5 runners will be key for the Bulldogs this fall.
1. Ben Veatch – Carmel
2. Zack Snider – Brebeuf
3. Solomon Rice – North Central
4. Ethan Hoeft – Lawrence North
5. Trevor Thompson – Fishers
6. Thomas Revard – Carmel
7. Patrick O’Neil – Cathedral
8. Oliver Rigg – Zionsville
9. Darin Lawrence – Lawrence Central
10. Hari Sathyamurthy – Brownsburg
11. Zac Leinheiser – Carmel
12. Ryan Cash – Zionsville
13. Damon Horn – Warren Central
14. Jordan Koczenasz – North Central
15. Alec Hartman – Westfield
16. Griffin Miller – Center Grove
17. Jona Odell – Cardinal Ritter
18. Trevor Kleyn – Avon
19. Matt Sraders – HSE
20. Mark Bond – Brownsburg
Brown County Girls
By: Vicky Warzyniak
Brown County Boys
By: Steve Mounts
TEAMS(w/projected SemiState Meet points)
1. Bloomington South (49) – though the Panthers have performed very well early-season the last few years, their late-season efforts have not matched their Aug-Sept ones. Perhaps with the solid depth they have in 2014, this will be the season they hold it all together through all of October. While senior Anthony Williams and junior Evan Franklin are expected to lead the way, BHSS’s 3, 4, & 5 in some combination of Peter Voskuil, Xavier Martinez, and David Benton, as seen below, are all in the preseason top 20 Individuals rankings. Even Jacob Oeding flirted with almost making the 2013 rankings several times during the year. With BHSN also likely having their best team in quite awhile, the city of Bloomington will be a great place to be for cross country this year.
2. Bloomington North (70) – similar to city-rival South, the Cougars have not been at their best throughout the lineup during the last couple of tournament runs. Yet based on a solid 7 guys returning for 2014, they along with Columbus North warrant the #2 spot heading into the season. Griffin Tichenor as a senior returns as the front-runner, but Harrison Streib along with two guys who really hit their stride late in 2013 in Fergus Arthur and Ryan Nephew give BHSN three other guys who will be near the leaders. Colin Smith, Isaac Bentz, and solid half-miler Matt McCarty will hold down the last few spots for this team but would be #1 guys on 80% of the schools in this semistate. North could use some extra help though as it was about a 50-second dropoff to the next guy last year after these 7.
3. Columbus North (91) – this is still an excellent team, but the Bull Dogs seem to be dropping off a bit the last couple of years with losing a bit more than they have replacing. CN arguably had 5 seniors in their top 8 last season and their last two freshmen classes have been good, but not quite the quality and depth they’d had the previous 4-5 years. Seth Williams and Chase Ballard are expected to lead the team, with fast-improving Daniel Padilla, Nick Green, Ben Rankin, Ben Porter, and Elijah Brooks as perhaps the varsity favorites heading into 2014. Typically the veteran coaching staff at North develops some diamonds from the rough with vast prior-year improvement and they may need 1-2 of those type guys.
4. Terre Haute South (152) – the loss of 2013 state champ senior Jackson Bertoli obviously won’t be easily replaced, but losing other two other seniors amongst their top 5 gives the Braves even more of a challenge. However the return of rising senior Spencer Danielson plus Levi Elrod give THS a good base to work with. Expectations are high for sophs Jayce Farnsworth and Ryan Hannaford who both had fine frosh campaigns but two other ’13 freshmen in Ninadh Ivaturi and Griffin Barger both also came on nicely late last year and could be the key contributors as well as if Evan Poole can return at 100%.
5. North Harrison (169) – a team who almost always comes up with 7 quality runners from a full roster of approx 10 guys will again be in the competitive hunt in 2014 returning all their key contributors from 2013. Daniel Fleace should lead the way with a hopefully healthy Curtis Wetzel as well as Mike White not far behind. Though a fairly severe dropoff of 45+ secs last year separated these 3 guys from the next pack, it is hoped that second-year runners Collier Smith and Chance Schickel, along with perhpas Jacob Faith and/or 2-3 others can close that gap this season. Barring the type of injury that hit Wetzel around Sectionals last year, the Cougars should rather easily make a return trip to Terre Haute for State.
While the top 5 above seem as safe as one can foresee in the Preseason, the remaining contenders are much more bunched together and will likely all be vying for the one last Top 6 Semistate Team spot.
6. Terre Haute North (241) – similar to a bug that hit a number of BC semistate teams last year, the Patriots were flat at the end of the year, and when #1 Peter Davis did not run the semistate meet, THN lost all chance of advancing to state in their hometown. Davis should be 100% this year following an excellent spring track campaign and once again North should go about 11 deep with solid runners. To compete with the 1-5 group of teams above, they need several or at least 1-2 of those 11 to go from “solid’ to “elite”
7. South Knox (263) – replacing all-state Andrew Staggs will be a challenge without any apparent incoming freshmen of note. Alex Weber and Alton Hoops could have breakout seasons and the #3-6 spots should be solid especially if Jaden Page can drop 20+ seconds, but the potential return of a former successful Spartan runner (or not) might make the difference for the small SW Indiana school to repeat at State.
8. Floyd Central (279) – a good group of 4 runners will anchor the ’14 Highlander team in Alec Heitz, Luke Uhl, Chad Lawrence, & Grant Vellinger. While a couple of freshmen showed occasional promise last year, it’s an unusually thin team depth-wise that could greatly benefit from a talented freshman or other new runner.
9. Evansville North (305) – this is a typical Evansville-type team with talented front-runners but the lack of much of a middle-school program prevents much experienced depth on any City team. This year a healthy Xavier Johnson and seasoned senior Matt Smith should put the Huskies in the low scores for most of their meets. Coach Wilson does a great job of getting new and no-always-so-talented runners into respectable 4th-7th scoring positions but the challenge will be to get 1-2 guys besides Johnson & Smith into the low 17’s consistently.
10. Jasper (324) or Edgewood (325) – both newcomers to the Team rankings scene -the Wildcats rely on steady depth as well as mostly underclassmen through their first 8 spots and will hope Cale Kilian or Kyle Knies can have a breakout year. The Mustangs will rely on two experienced seniors in Michael Gossett and Hank Phillips to post lower scores and hope the guys near the bottom of the lineup can hold their own.
INDIVIDUALS — with a whopping 11 of the state’s top 25 per Drake’s official IR preseason rankings, this BC Semistate is loaded with individual talent, not to mention having the last 2 individual state champions. In 2013, the cities of Bloomington, Terre Haute, & Columbus held down 14 of the top 20 at Brown County and would’ve been 15 had Griffin Tichenor run a normal race. This year that trend will somewhat continue though SW Indiana contains a number of guys to watch for as well. Should be a great year individually for this part of the state.
1. Seth Williams (Columbus North)
2. Jarit Perkins (Barr-Reeve) – could easily be #1 but will put him here until it’s seen how well and how quickly he comes back from the spring Track injury
3. Spencer Danielson (Terre Haute South)
4. Anthony Williams (Bloomington South) – likewise could easily be a couple spots higher, just very close looking at things preseason
5. Evan Franklin (Bloomington South)
6. Chase Ballard (Columbus North) – again likewise see Perkins & Williams
7. Griffin Tichenor (Bloomington North)
8. Julian Magallanes (Borden)
9. Quentin Pierce (Castle)
10. Daniel Fleace (North Harrison)
11. Brogan Armand (Evansville Harrison)
12. Peter Voskuil (Bloomington South)
13. Peter Davis (Terre Haute North)
14. Fergus Arthur (Bloomington North)
15. Nick Firsich (Martinsville)
16. Ryan Nephew (Bloomington North)
17. David Benton (Bloomington South)
18. Aaron Pierrard (Perry Central)
19. Harrison Streib (Bloomington North)
20. Xavier Martinez (Bloomington South)