October 2nd – Boys Hoosier Heritage Conference Preview
Boys Hoosier Heritage Conference Preview
Amidst all of the Conference action going on this weekend, one particular race comes to my mind, the Hoosier Heritage Conference. In this race, we will see three of IR’s Top 25 Honorable Mention teams in Greenfield-Central, Mount Vernon (Fortville), and Pendleton Heights, and I absolutely can’t wait to see how this race unfolds.
TEAMS TO WATCH:
Mount Vernon (Fortville)
First thing’s first, the team race is going to be tight, and I mean REALLY tight. The top three teams may only be separated by less than 10 points. Mount Vernon is at an All-Time high right now, coming off a Hancock County Championship title over Greenfield-Central, and a 4th place finish at the New Haven Invitational. Greenfield-Central is also coming off a good weekend, as they finished 2nd place at the Delta Invitational, behind #24 Cathedral, and 19 points ahead of Pendleton, who placed 3rd.
INDIVIDUALS TO WATCH:
Christian Noble, Junior (Mount Vernon)
Noble is having a stellar season, coming off an injury that caused him to miss almost all of the 2014 track season. Noble posted a personal best of 15:59.85 at the New Haven Invitational this past weekend. He continues to improve, as he has run a new PR almost every single week, and he is probably the favorite going into this race.
Aaron Rush, Junior (Mount Vernon)
Rush, like Noble, also owns a sub-16 PR. Rush clocked in a 15:57.10 at the Hancock County Championships last week. He and Noble tend to run together for a majority of the race, until one of them breaks off from the other. Don’t expect anything different to happen on Saturday. This race is going to be very tactical for all of the top 5 runners, and that plays into Rush’s favor, since he was a Regional Qualifier in the 800 and 1600 this past track season.
Sam Voelz, Sophomore (New Palestine)
Voelz has had an amazing season so far. A lot of people seemed to be skeptical about his sub-16 performance at the Marion Invitational, but he has certainly quieted the critics as he ran 15:57.10, also at the Hancock County Championships. He and Rush were coming down the stretch, and clocked identical times, but as you can see from the Indiana Runner Photo of the Week, Rush got him by a nose. The young Voelz has 4:30 mile speed, an excellent finishing kick, and a stride that most runners dream to have.
Zach Bishop, Junior (Greenfield-Central)
You can say a lot of things about Zach Bishop, but one thing you can’t say is that he doesn’t have incredible speed. If you’ve seen him run before, you’re probably amazed at how he runs so fast. He’s incredibly short and stocky, and just looks like he is charging the whole time he runs. Bishop ran a PR of 16:13 at the Delta Invitational this past weekend, and also holds a PR of 9:39 in the 3200. (He ran that as a sophomore. Why is the class of 2016 so stacked?) One thing that puts him at a disadvantage in this race, though, is that he doesn’t have very much of a kick, which is something that Voelz, Rush, and Noble all have. If Bishop can get out fast and gap himself from the rest of the pack, he may very well come out with a Conference Title.
Parker Jones, Sophomore (Pendleton Heights)
Jones is almost built like Zach Bishop. He is very short, but doesn’t have the stockiness that Bishop does. He owns a 16:07 5k PR, and despite his short legs, his stride is magnificent. Jones posted some impressive track times as a freshman, and I don’t think anyone will disagree with me saying that he will be in that lead pack on Saturday.