September 5th – Boys Meet of the Week
Lafayette Harrison Invitational
By Drake Sterling
As always, the Harrison Invitational will not disappoint. Featured in this year’s field are 5 teams ranked in the top 20 in the latest Indiana Runner top 25 Rankings and three “Honorable Mention” teams
Additionally, fans will be delighted to watch some great individual racing featuring a potential State Champion as well as another athlete knocking of the door of a top 5 State Meet finish.
#1 West Lafayette
#5 Bloomington South
#11 Lake Central
#14 Lawrence North
HM. Lafayette Jefferson
This is an unofficial list as the team entry has not been released to the public. Up front, we will get to see West Lafayette in their first truly competitive 5k race. They are currently ranked #1 in the State after their defeat of the Carmel Greyhounds two weeks ago. With 2-3 front runners and great depth, West Lafayette will be very tough to beat.
If anyone does have a chance at beating the Red Devils, it would be Bloomington South. The Panthers similarly feature two front runners and possibly the best depth in the State of Indiana. They haven’t come on quite as strong as expected, losing to rival Bloomington North two weeks in a row, however, the team is full of experience and talent.
Fighting for the next few spots is going to be #9 Munster, #11 Lake Central, and #14 Lawrence North. Munster and Lake Central are both very much on the upswing, impressing teams from the Northwest area of the State during these first two weeks. LN is still a bit of a question mark though we know they will be there near the end of the season.
#20 Portage also has impressed people as Matt Marsh has now taken over front running duties for the Indians. Full of talent, Portage just needs to keep the train rolling without flying off the tracks.
Our three honorable mention teams are Pike, LaPorte and Lafayette Jefferson. Both Pike and Jeff, not historically strong distance programs, have really shown what a good summer of training can buy you. With a solid performance, both teams could find themselves cracking the top 25 on Monday. LaPorte, meanwhile is a team that you can feel is right on the brink of a big breakout. They have some really strong young talent but also boast a lot of experience. Harrison is usually a race where a lot of teams show a lot of improvement so that should play in their favor.
Individuals to Watch:
Cooper Williams – West Lafayette
Anthony Williams – Bloomington South
Jake Cohen – West Lafayette
Evan Franklin – Bloomington South
Dominic Patascil – West Lafayette
Ethan Hoeft – Lawrence North
Ryan Kritzer – Munster
Joel O’Shea – Wheeler
The big race to watch will be Cooper vs. Anthony. Cooper, a favorite to win a State Championship this fall looked really strong in his only true race effort two weeks ago at Carmel, running a comfortable 12:35 for 4k. Anthony, meanwhile has faced some top competition, having won both the Bloomington North Early Bird and the Conference Indiana Meet. It should be noted the two courses, IU and Lavern Gibson, are two of the toughest courses in the State as well. Anthony also ran an impressive 15:17 on this course last year.
There are 5-10 individuals beyond the Williams’ who should feel they are legitimate All-State contenders competing in this race. Joel O’Shea has opened up the season in strong fashion and looks to have a lot of confidence. Ethan Hoeft and Ryan Kritzer have both been a little bit behind where most expected but it’s still very early. Filling in the rest is the remaining Varsity scorers for West Lafayette and Bloomington South.