September 19th – Boys Trinity Invitational Preview

By: Drake Sterling

For the first time, IR steps outside it’s bubble to preview the out-of-state battle at the boys Trinity/Valkyrie Invitational. How could we not? We have a treat of a race to watch with #1 West Lafayette, #4 Carmel, and #5 Brebeuf competing against some of the best teams in the midwest! On top of that, we get to see a dream matchup in Zack Snider vs. Cooper Williams vs. Ben Veatch…on one of the fastest courses around!

I had some time to catch up with the coaches of all three programs and was able to get a few quotes and comments on this weekend’s big competition. Below are some of the better ones:

Carmel Coach Colin Alevogt:

On where the team’s focus is after a surprise defeat at the hands of Columbus North at last weekend’s Eagle Classic:

Colin: Our focus is always to be the most well-prepared team we can possibly be. We weren’t upset with our meet last week…three of our top five ran the best times of their lives. It just happens that Columbus North is really good and scored less points. We know both teams will continue to improve. North, in particular has a penchant for running better as the leaves fall…

On what it’s like to work with Ben Veatch and what makes him special:

Colin: He has a lot of talent, but what impresses our coaches is his level of commitment to his teammates. He took it upon himself to learn everyone’s name on a team of 96 guys….

On what Trinity means to Carmel and why they’ve started the “trend”:

Colin: The course at Tom Sawyer yields some pretty fast times and that’s motivating for our guys. I know it looks crazy with such a great invitational in our town on the same day, but we’ve had a lot of good experiences in Louisville. Last fall, we beat two nationally-ranked teams in an incredibly close meet. In the spring, we went to a meet at University of Louisville…Ben ran 9:05 and Bobby Browning ran 9:11 (for 3200m). It’s certainly not a vacation for our guys. When we cross the border, we mean business…


West Lafayette Coach Steve Lewark:

On how training has been going and how the #1 ranking has their mindsets:

Steve: Training has been fantastic. I could not ask for better. They understand that being ranked #1 feels good but that rankings really don’t matter. The only thing that matters is what happens on November 1. We have a confident group of boys. They started the season with a goal. The rankings have not either helped or hurt their confidence or their mindset….

On the decision to travel to Trinity:

Steve: We believed that this year was our best chance at qualifying for the Nike nationals. Going to Trinity and doing well gets us on Nike’s radar for an at large entry if we don’t come in the top two at the regional….

On Cooper Williams and his potential, both short and long term:

Steve: Cooper is a very competitive person. He hates to lose. However he is the most humble person you could meet. You would never know by talking with him how good he is. Cooper has been a relatively low mileage runner as he is also a competitive swimmer. As we have been able to slowly increase his mileage he had progressed at a rapid rate. Short term he has the potential to be state champion this fall. I also believe he will be a sub 9:00 runner this coming track season. I believe he has a virtually unlimited future in college and beyond as he increases his mileage and begins running through out the year…


Brebeuf Coach Karl Knerr:

On the decision to travel to Trinity:

Karl: As our staff collaborated on the 2014 cross country season this past spring we wanted to find new opportunities for our kids to compete on the BIG stage and Trinity seemed like a great course with terrific teams.  Coach Chuck Koeppen has always raved about the meet and he certainly had a big influence with regard to the current coaches at Carmel, West Lafayette, and Brebeuf.  This also gives Zack an opportunity to showcase his abilities.

On adding Coach Doc Bell to the Brebeuf staff this season:

Karl: I’m constantly looking for ways to improve and adding Doc Bell to the staff provides our team with valuable IHSAA post season experience.   Each and every coach on our staff brings their unique talents and abilities to the program which allows our teams to grow and evolve.  

On going from often the team on the outside looking in to suddenly creating the recent winning culture at Brebeuf:

Karl: It’s not easy creating a culture of success and it’s taken us several years to get to this point.  We are beginning to reap the rewards of hard work through the development of a strong foundation centered around trust which then leads to passionate discussions and buy in, followed by accountability, and this leads to results.  It also helps when you have one of the best runners in the country.

On Zack Snider and what makes him special:

Karl: Zack has a growth mindset and is always looking for more in everything he does.  Over the years, we’ve been blessed with great runners who on occasion focus their attention on other areas.  Zack’s focus is on becoming the best possible runner he can and nothing is going to stop him from finding his greatness.  He’s a once in a coach’s lifetime athlete and I constantly remind my staff to enjoy the blessing we’ve been given.

Thanks so much to all three coaches for the great insight! 

So what to watch for?

Quite frankly, while what happens up front will be most exciting, it won’t affect the team scores much. Carmel and West Lafayette are built very similar with one front runner and a great pack. Brebeuf looks a bit better at the moment through their #3, but need to close the door at 4 and 5. Don’t be surprised to see them shock WL and Carmel…

The competition from other states?

St. Xavier (Cincinnati): They will pose a serious threat to our Indiana teams. Already this season, they’ve put themselves in position to put three guys under 16 minutes and an additional two under 16:30.

Hilliard Davidson: With three sub 16 runners, they will look strong up front, but struggle a little putting two more just under 17 minutes. This course is fast though, so they could move up well.

St. Xavier (Louisville): An extremely deep squad with no front runner. They may get 5 into the chute first but will it be enough?

Teams Competing: 

Beech Senior High School
Bishop Brossart
Bowling Green
Boyle County
Brebeuf Jesuit Prep School
Brentwood Academy
Brentwood High School
Bullitt East
Cane Ridge High School
Carmel High School
Centennial High School
Central Magnet High School
Christian Academy (Louisville)
Columbia Academy
Daniel Boone High School
Daviess County
Dublin Jerome
Evansville North High School
Father Ryan High School
Fern Creek
Floyd Central High School
Franklin High School
Grainger High School
Grant County
Grayson County
Greeneville High School
Henry County
Heritage Christian High School
Hilliard Davidson
Hillsboro High School
Holy Cross (Louisville)
Houston High School
Independence High School
John S. Battle
Kentucky Country Day
Knoxville Catholic High School
Lake Braddock
Lexington Catholic
Louisville Collegiate
Macon Co. High School
Madisonville-North Hopkins
Mars Hill Academy
Martha Layne Collins
Meade County
Morristown-West High School
New Albany High School
North Oldham
Notre Dame Academy (Louisville)
Oak Hills
Oldham County
Portland Christian
Ravenwood High School
Roncalli High School
Sacred Heart Academy
Science Hill High School
Siegel High School
Signal Mountain High School
South Oldham
Spencer County
St. Ursula Academy-Cincinnati
St. Xavier (Cin.)
St. Xavier (Lou)
Station Camp High School
Summit Country Day
Tates Creek
Tell City High School
Trinity (Louisville)
Villa Madonna
Walton Verona
Webb School of Knoxville
West High School
West Lafayette High School
Whitefield Academy



Boys Open (Srs. welcome) Unlimited 5K 9:00 am
Girls Open (Srs. welcome) Unlimited 5K 9:40 am
Boys Varsity 10 5K 10:20 am
Girls Varsity 10 5K 11:00 am
Boys & Girls Freshman Unlimited 5K 11:40 am’s top 25 performers:


Top 200 Boys Performances at Trinity Invitational:


2013 Results:


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