September 27th, 2012 – Ten Questions Going Into the Boys State Tournament
By: Drake Sterling
1. Is there any way to predict who gets the 5th spot at the Brebeuf Regional?
Nine of the top sixteen teams in this week’s Indiana Runner top 25 are located in the Brebeuf Regional. One wo
uld think Carmel, Westfield, Lawrence Central, and Hamilton Southeastern are a lock. That leaves one spot for Lawrence North, Cathedral, Brebeuf, Fishers, and North Central. Those five teams are all ranked between #10 and #16 in the state. It can’t be much closer than that. So to provide some kind of answer to the question…no. There is no way to predict the fifth place finisher…but it sure will be nerve-racking to watch!
2. Will the Ari of old return?
For the first time this season, Ari Coulopoulos’ poor performance legitemately hurt the Valparaiso Vikings at the Culver Invitational. His races this season have been off and on at best. He showed fans a glimmer of hope in a dual last week, running 16:04 along with a teammate, and then proceeded to run over 18:00 that Saturday. The talent is surely there, we’re just not quite sure what the problem is. The Vikings have four weeks to figure it out, which should be enough time.
3. Who will get the sixth spot out of the Carmel Semi-State and how upsetting will it be for the teams sent home from the Brebeuf Regional?
Franklin Central, Avon, Brownsburg and Zionsville are the four teams with a legitimate shot at competing for the sixth spot out of the Carmel Semi-State. FC, Brownsburg, and Zionsville were seperated by just a handful of points at FlashRock, while Avon, who beat all those teams handily has reportedly had injury setbacks this week. You’ve got four teams riding in two boats. Brownsburg, and Avon will be in need of better performances from their #4 and #5 runners, while Zionsville and Franklin Central have a great pack, but no consistent front runner. Sadly, the team that does qualify will most likely be less competitive than many of the teams eliminated from the Brebeuf Regional
4. Is Barr-Reeve for real?
Barr-Reeve is a proto-typical “sleeper” going into Semi-State and State meets. The team, which features three individuals capable of breaking the top 30 at State, has begun to see marginal improvements from their #5 runner. Most recently, they have gotten him down into the 18:30’s. If there is any way Coach Perkins can provide a lift and get their 5 to drop another minute, the team will undoubtedly be rewarded with their FIRST appearance at the State Finals and could make a run at a top 15 spot.
5. Can anyone catch Carmel?
The one race they looked vulnerable, no one capitalized. If you expected Trinity/Valkyrie times from the Greyhounds at Culver, you were setting yourself up for a let down. Regardless, the team looked beatable by a good Valparaiso team on their day,
but unfortunately, they faltered. The Vikings will re-group and have plenty of time for another shot by State, while the team to look out for is the Chargers out of Carroll (FW). Realistically, it’s a long shot, but the Greyhounds are are a young team while the Chargers return a bunch of wiley veterans.
6. Is there a favorite for the individual win?
There are sleepers, and then there are the proven contenders: I see Connor Sorrells (Barr Reeve), Troy Reeder (Hamilton Southeastern), Jonathan Harper (Carroll (FW), Jacob Poyner (Warsaw), Zachary Panning (FW Concordia), and Jackson Bertoli (Terre Haute South) as the most likely to take it all. Bertoli, Sorrells, Harper, and Reeder have all exchanged blows and proved nothing except that anyone can win on any given day. Poyner and Panning meanwhile left it to a last 50 meter kick at Culver with the speedy Poyner narrowly defeating Panning.
7. Are Michael Passmore and Ryan Smith flying under the radar?
Of all the “elite” talent in Indiana, Ryan Smith (Central Noble) and Michael Passmore (Mooresville) are the only individuals left undefeated thus far. While Passmore has faced inferior competition for the most part, Smith took down Jon Harper of Carroll (FW) on Saturday at New Haven. These two could make a big impact come late October.
8. Which of the “Fab Four” Freshman will win bragging rights for the season?
Of course there are others, but thus far, Cooper Williams (West Lafayette), Ben Veatch (Carmel), Jarit Perkins (Barr Reeve), and Brayden Law (Homestead) have seperated themselves as the best of the bunch. Going back to last year, these four were all champions or runners-up in one of Indiana’s elite middle school championship races. All four are also currently on State contending teams. This is the future of Indiana running folks, soak it in!
9. Will Brebeuf earn their first ever team appearance at the State Finals?
It’s so hard to believe a team with so many established former Indiana runners is still yet to qualify for a cross country state championship. This is the best Brebeuf team in recent memory, or maybe ever. Referencing an earlier question, they will have plenty of competition fighting their way out of the Brebeuf Regional, but will most likely be a State-bound lock if they are able to make it out.
10. Looking back, the team scoring the MOST points en route to winning a State Championship was the 1954 Anderson team with 156 points. Will this year’s winning team score more?
This year, as much as any in recent memory has provided great affinity up front. With so many “big three’s” and near the front of the pack pairs, the scorers from the top 3 teams could get pushed back quite a bit. It is entirely possible that this years State Champion scores more than the record 156 points.