September 26th – Culver Invitational Meet of the Week Preview
By Colin Altevogt
Indiana schools participating in ‘Elite’ race: Bloomington North, #1 Carmel, Cathedral, Chesterton, #2 Columbus North, Crown Point, #6 FW Carroll, FW Concordia, #17 Lake Central, #13 LaPorte, Lawrence Central, Munster, #19 New Prairie, North Central, #15 Northridge, #14 Portage, #10 Terre Haute North, Twin Lakes, #25 Valparaiso, #4 West Lafayette
The regular season meet of the year is upon us. With many of the top teams meeting together and competition being thinned out through three varsity divisions, including an invite-only elite race, fast times could be coming, especially with dry conditions expected.
TEAMS TO WATCH
The ‘Hounds were lights out in Louisville, setting a new team record for fastest average time in the 5k era. With frontrunner Kelcy Welch back, and running like a true frontrunner, Carmel may be better than ever. They currently have five runners ranked in the top 15 in Indiana, per inccstats.com.
#2 Columbus North
The Dogs are great upfront with two frontrunners, both ranked in the top 25 right now. With senior Mackenzie Caldwell, fourth at the last two state finals in cross country, North has potential to score four runners at each meet from here. Depth should improve in October, as is tradition in Columbus, and the Dogs need improvement there in a large meet.
#3 West Lafayette
The Devils weren’t overly impressive at New Prairie but ran times that would have won the bigger school division. They will be running with the biggest and most elite of schools at Culver.
#6 FW Carroll
The Chargers are inching up the rankings and ran well last week at FlashRock against competition from out of their area. Carroll looks to be the best team in its semistate, as usual, and is a podium contender, as usual.
#10 Terre Haute North
The Patriots have also worked their way through the rankings. This meet will be a great barometer of how they match up against some of the state’s best.
The Slicers have a great 1-2 punch in Elena Lancioni and Kailee Schoof. The depth would need to improve tremendously for a potential podium finish, but LaPorte is potentially the best team in its conference.
The Indians tight pack (23 second 1-5 gap at New Prairie) had its best meet last weekend where it finished just one point behind LaPorte.
The Raiders were just inches behind LaPorte and Portage and New Prairie but could very possibly have a top ten team by November.
#17 Lake Central
The Indians took a bit of a tumble in the rankings after finishing fifth at New Prairie, but they have been better than some of the teams ranked ahead of them for points this season.
#19 New Prairie
Frontrunner Rachel Thompson leads the way for the Cougars, who have high hopes of qualifying for the state meet.
The Vikings did not look good at New Prairie but can never be counted out during tournament time.
INDIVIDUALS TO WATCH
Mackenzie Caldwell, Columbus North
Caldwell may be the individual title favorite with defending champion Anna Rohrer out for the season based on her previous state meet performances. Her 17:40 ranks as the best time of the fall, Rohrer notwithstanding.
Gina Genco, Carmel
Genco has flirted with the 18 minute barrier the last couple of meets. Based on her penchant for running well at the state finals, she may be a longshot contender to win as an individual.
Elena Lancioni, LaPorte
Lancioni was a runaway winner at New Prairie last year over a number of returning All-Staters. She appears to be in the best shape of her career in her senior year.
Kelcy Welch, Carmel
After a long lay-off and delayed started to her season, Welch looks to be back in peak form after sub-18 efforts the last two meets at Brown County and Valkyrie. This race could go a long way to proving her mettle as an individual state title contender. She was the individual winner in this race as a sophomore.
By: Drake Sterling
ALL TIMES EDT
8:30 a.m. – National Anthem
8:40 a.m. – Boys/Girls Middle School Reserve (3,000 meters)
9:00 a.m. – Girls Middle School Varsity (3,000 meters)
9:20 a.m. – Boys Middle School Varsity (3,000 meters)
9:40 a.m. – Boys Freshman-Sophomore (5,000 meters)
9:45 a.m. – Middle School Awards
10:10 a.m. – Girls Reserve (5,000 meters)
10:45 a.m. – Boys Reserve (5,000 meters)
11:15 a.m. – Girls Varsity Closed (5,000 meters)
11:45 a.m. – Boys Varsity Closed (5,000 meters)
11:50 a.m. – Awards for Boys Freshman-Sophomore, Girls Reserve & Boys Reserve
12:10 p.m. – Girls Varsity Open (5,000 meters)
12:35 p.m. – Boys Varsity Open (5,000 meters)
12:40 p.m. – Awards for Girls & Boys Closed Divisions
1 p.m. – Girls Varsity Elite
1:25 p.m. – Boys Varsity Elite
2 p.m. – Awards for Open and Elite Races
The first thing fans should realize about the 2013 format is the addition of the “Varsity Elite” section, taking place at the end of the day of competition. This will be the first time that Culver has experimented with the new format.
TENTATIVE STARTING LINE ASSIGNMENTS
(Changes still possible)
BOYS CLOSED (Small schools) – 11:45 a.m.
1, Brown County
6, Culver Community
8, Park-Tudor (Indianapolis)
10, University School
11, North Judson
13, South Bend Career Academy
14, North Miami
18, Eastern (Greentown)
19, Morgan Township
20, Mishawaka Marian
21, Hebron (IR #7 Small School)
22, Carroll (Flora)
24, Hanover Central
25, LaLumiere Academy
26, John Glenn
28, Indianapolis Scecina
29, Winamac (#5 IR Small School)
31, South Central (Union Mills)
32, Washington Township
33, Illiana Christian (Ill.) 16:23, 16:42, 16:51, 16:52, 17:04 #1 2A IL
Boys Closed Preview:
Illiana Christian will be the far and away favorite for the team championship in the Closed Division. They are currently ranked #1 in Illinois for the 2A Division (Medium). The team will likely have all five of their scorers under 17:00 and Junior standout Nick Fiene will approach the 16:00 mark to lead the team. The closed race also features a couple of notable small schools in Indiana. Winamac is currently ranked #5 in the IR Small School Poll while Hebron is ranked #7. They should both be near the front of the team standings. Without knowing which individuals are moving up to bigger divisions, the favorites for the title will be Matthew Fahs-Brown (Manchester), Lewis Duke (Eastern), Ben Savage (Morgan Township), and Luke Runyan (John Glenn). Ben Savage was the A division champion at New Prairie last weekend while Lewis Duke was second to Zach Panning in the AA Division. None of these runners have broke the 16 minute barrier yet in their career, but will almost assuredly do so Saturday with good competition and conditions.
BOYS OPEN (Larger schools) – 12:35 p.m.
1, Indianapolis Bishop Chatard
3, Michigan City
4, New Prairie
5, Sylvania Northview (Ohio) 16:54, 16:58, 17:16, 17:34, 17:39
7, #8 Brebeuf
9, Western (#8 IR Medium School)
10, South Bend Clay
11, #22 LaPorte
14, Hamilton Heights
16, Fort Wayne Snider
17, Culver Academies
18, Twin Lakes
19, Fort Wayne Wayne
20, South Bend St. Joseph
21, Rochester (#9 IR Medium School)
23, South Bend Washington
24, Kankakee Valley
Boys Open Division Preview:
#8 Brebeuf will not be racing the majority of their Varsity on Saturday. Even so, the team should be able to compete for the win in the division. Most notable, Zack Snider will not be racing in any of the races. #22 LaPorte had a great outing last weekend at the New Prairie Invitational, finishing third overall in the AAA Division. Unfortunately for the Slicers, however, Didion will be running solo in the Elite division so they will miss their low stick in the scoring. Meanwhile, Chesterton is a team still trying to find their identity as they have missed their #1 and #2 lately, Tyler Vore, and Kevin Kenney. This race also features a couple of ranked teams in the IR Medium Poll in Rochester and Western. Sylvania (OH) will be a formidable challenge for a top 5 position in the Open Division. They have a very good pack, capable up putting 4 to 5 under 17, but lack a front-runner. Individuals to watch (assuming they don’t move up) include Jeremy Breedlove (Kokomo), Craig Schildmeier (Hamilton Heights), the Brebeuf pack, and Matt Grider (Western). Nick Arndt of New Prairie will be moving up. If they run together, it should be a fantastic match-up right up to the end. Grider will be looking for revenge following a bad New Prairie race, while Breedlove is the new kid on the block and has thrown down some really fast times already. Don’t be surprised to see a couple of the Brebeuf kids near the front either as they have 2-3 more runners capable of breaking the 16 minute barrier.
BOYS ELITE – 1:25 p.m.
1, Individual Runners (To be named)
2, #3 Columbus North
3, #17 West Lafayette
4, #9 Westfield
5, #21 Bloomington North
6, #10 Warsaw
7, Carroll (Ohio) 16:34, 16:35, 17:14, 17:20, 17:36 #5 Div 2 OH
8, Lyons Township (Ill.) 16:00, 16:07, 16:16, 16:42, 16:49 #16 3A
9, #7 Valparaiso
10, Downers Grove South (Ill.) 16:01, 16:15, 16:29, 17:06, 17:11
11, #24 Lake Central
12, #23 Munster
13, #1 Carmel
15, #11 Carroll (Fort Wayne)
16, Lawrence Central
17, Fort Wayne Concordia
18, Mason (Ohio) 16:11, 16:45, 16:49, 17:01, 17:24 #4 Div 1 OH
19, #19 Portage
20, South Adams
21, #6 Indianapolis North Central
22, Sycamore (Ohio)* 16:29, 16:44, 16:47, 17:13, 17:20 #25 Div 1 OH
23, #18 Crown Point
24, #20 Northridge
25, Individual Runners (To be named)
Boys Elite Division Preview:
With fourteen Indiana ranked teams, three ranked Ohio teams, and one ranked Illinois team, the Elite division will undoubtedly be true to it’s name. Two years ago, #2 Carmel upset #1 Columbus North at Culver in a huge surprise. Now, it’s the Bulldogs chance to turn the tables. #1 Carmel has looked nearly unbeatable thus far in the season. #2 Columbus North, however, ran strong even with a down race from their usual #3 at FlashRock. Anything is possible and with the way CN competes, it will be hard to tell who has won until the scores come out.
After those two, it will be another great race between the Indiana teams; #6 North Central, #7 Valparaiso, #9 Westfield, #10 Warsaw, #11 Carroll, and #17 West Lafayette. North Central will look to continue to improve their depth in order to avoid high scores from their #5 in big races such as this. Valparaiso, Carroll, Warsaw, West Lafayette, and Westfield and pretty similar teams in that they feature a great front-runner and a pack around 16:00-16:40. It’s anyone’s guess who will emerge at the front of that group. #18 Crown Point and #19 Portage are both riding high after New Prairie. Even with their previous performances, both teams have a lot of room yet to improve. #20 Northridge hasn’t yet lived up to their preseason top 10 ranking as they haven’t got the front-running they expected. The Lake Central Indians are another team improving week by week. They don’t seem to have bad races and have been consistently better each week. Munster and Bloomington North meanwhile are still looking a bit inconsistent as they compete through a very tough part of a challenging schedule.
Of the out-of-state schools, Sycamore (OH) is ranked #25 in Ohio’s biggest division (1). They lack a front runner but will get their #5 in around 17:00. Mason (OH) is ranked #4 in the same division and look similar to Carroll (FW) on paper. The two Illinois teams (Lyons and Downers Grove) will really threaten the Indiana top 10 teams with a good race. Both feature some really solid packs and decent leaders up front. Carroll (OH) has struggled so far with their #4 and #5 but if they get good performances, will possibly knock off 3-5 of the Indiana ranked teams.
Individuals to Watch (In no order):
Zach Panning – Concordia
Ellis Coon – Warsaw
Ben Veatch – Carmel
Bobby Browning – Carmel
Darin Lawrence – Lawrence Central
Colin Rinne – Westfield
Anthony Didion – LaPorte
Griffin Tichenor – Bloomington North
Ari Coulopoulos – Valparaiso
Andy Carr – Columbus North
Kaden Eaton – Columbus North
James Huffman – North Central
Michael George – Carmel
Solomon Rice – North Central
Ben Anderson – Carmel
Cooper Williams – West Lafayette
Brayden Law – Homestead
Cameron Clements – Carroll
Seth Williams – Columbus North
Chase Ballard – Columbus North
Ryan Kritzer – Munster
Tom Bolanowski – Munster
Jordan Koczenasz – North Central
Blake O’Dell – Northridge
If anyone has a chance at taking down one of Indiana’s favorites for the individual State Championship, Zach Panning, it would be Ellis Coon. Coon has run the sixth fastest time in Indiana this year, 15:21. Even so, he is returning from sickness that kept him out of last week’s New Prairie Invitational, so it’s unlikely he is completely 100% yet. The story-line will likely be whether or not anyone chooses to go with Panning, who we know likes to make his hard move mid-race. In a race this stacked, a miscalculation from any of the contenders could lead to a drop anywhere from 2nd to 20th. At least fifteen runners in the field have run faster than 15:45 at some point, so it should be an intense battle for 2nd through 10th. We should learn a lot about who will be a top 10 favorite at State based on this weekend.
Top Returners from 2012:
3. Zach Panning – Concordia – 15:28.6
5. Ellis Coon – Warsaw – 15:35.8
11. James Huffman – North Central – 15:48.7
12. Colin Rinne – Westfield – 15:48.8
13. Zack Snider – Brebeuf – 15:50.4
22. Bobby Browning – Carmel – 16:00.2
**. Cooper Williams – West Lafayette – 16:03.7
25. James Bradberry – Northridge – 16:06.5
26. Ben Anderson – Carmel – 16:07.4
28. Tom Bolanowski – Munster – 16:09.2
Full 2012 Results: