The first week of statewide competition was pretty light with a sprinking of ranked teams in action. Some coaches used this opportunity to get their athletes bust off some rust. However, several of the state's best athletes did more than peel their rust off. McHenry senior Jesse Reiser looks like he is in mid-season form. He used an opening 4:47 mile to put away the competition to win going away. On the girls side, Algonquin senior Lauren Van Vlierbergen smoked the competition in two competitions during the past week. LVV blazed 17:26 (3m) and 17:51 (5k) laughers. Anna Sophia Keller, the premier sophomore, from Effingham St. Anthony ran away from the competition at The Metro-East Lutheran Invitational hosted by SIU-Edwardsville. Keller wasted little time in a winning effort of 18:04 for the 5k distance.
Despite 9 out of 10 and then 21 out of 25 runners coming back for a brand new season, it is like playing a game of Russian roulette. In other words, it is incredibly hard to predict what is going to happen with the flock of runners. You see girls have a different maturing process than the boys. Last year 11 freshmen and sophomore girls earned all-state honors as opposed to two on the boys side (no freshman)… the moral to a long story is while there are a bevy of top returning talent, it is NOT a guarantee that such talent is going to paint the picture status quo.
This is your one-stop source for rankings.... pre-season rankings at a glance
It was a brillant idea by a group of Eastern Illinois University alumni who at one time shined on the cross country course and track in their collegiate careers. The congomerate decided to start a cross country meet in their college's honor.
Hey everyone, let me first introduce myself, I’m Dr. Brian Damhoff, assistant cross country coach at Plainfield North High School. I’m in my first season of ever coaching high school cross country although I’m not new to the sport by any means. My background is in jumps, I’m the jumps coach at Plainfield North, I was a college jumper at Lewis University and I still compete for fun. I’ve coached high school track and field for five seasons now, one at Plainfield North, three at Parkway West in Ballwin, MO and one at Fulton High School in Fulton, IL. I’ve also volunteer coached at Lewis University with their track and field and cross country programs the past three years.
Stop, Listen, and Learn as Tony Prepster and Ms. Cailin gives a very brief description of what's going to go down on Milesplit Illinois this fall via "Spikes and Flats." Music provided by DJ Myxxoplyxx
"There are so many good teams but not enough time"- a wise quote from a high school historian who proclaimed that when a sport is good there is not enough time to really enjoy it. The upcoming boys large classification may fit that bill. A new star was born last year when Hinsdale Central joined the elite class and won their first state championship going away. This year it should be another great cast of scenarios for us all to follow and enjoy.... strap it up and make the time!
The first program of its kind to identify, recognize and award the future stars and faces of the sport, Hoka One One and MileSplit will showcase the best underclassmen runners of high school cross country this fall.
The cross country scene on Illinois' biggest stage is expected to be MAJOR this season. Consider the fact that defending state champion Glenbard West lost only one girl in its top seven (albeit the great Madeline Perez) and did not even contest themselves after the IHSA season. The Lady Hilltoppers will be in the proverbial catbird seat once again with the likes of a hungry and national teams like Naperville North and New Trier on their heels. Thus the pre-season hype is ready to explode. Don't forget about the hunters lurking just down under and waiting for their opportunity to pounce on those who they catch slacking.
This season teams will experience a log jam along the food chain... their will be some traditional mainstays such as Prospect, Lyons Twp., and Sandburg looking to get back to their rightful place in Peoria in November. They are going to have their hands full with emerging teams from the conference level all the way through the sectional round. Only those poised enough to handle the treacherous path will earn a spot on the famed Detweiller Park starting line.
Illinois has witnessed some great pair of twins over the years. It started with Todd and Mark McCalister of Deerfield in the late 1970s. They were monster runners for the 1977 team that smashed their way to a state title 71-134 over Elmhurst (York) and cementing their place in IHSA history as one of the best teams in state history as well as the US. The gravy didn’t stop with the McCalister’s as perhaps the greatest duo in IHSA history toed the line from 1995 to 1998 in the Jorge and Eduardo “Ed” Torres twins of Wheeling. Jorge won three titles and Ed finished in the top 10 three times. Don’t forget about Matt and Eric Dettman of York, they were instrumental in helping their team win the 2004 state title finishing second and third. The Dukes would go on to win the first Nike Team National title. Now in present time Jake and Luke Hoffert, the serious and business-like twins of Yorkville, are ready to put a final stamp on their high school careers and legacy. After finishing third and fourth last season and then tearing up the 3A track ranks over the spring, BIG things if not incredible aspirations will be expected from this pair.
Class 2A is going to be a league to watch from top to bottom once the post-season kicks off. Yorkville is the defending champion followed by the seething runner-ups from Lansing who beat the Foxes once last year. Illiana Christian is counting down their exit from Illinois to Indiana as a school. Before they head east they want a state championship in their trophy case. Upstart Wheaton Academy is a team that is lurking in the shadow and will have something to say about the climate in November. Overall, cross country is going to be fun to follow!
Being middle-class always come with changes. For this year more than any other time since the three-classification system was adopted in 2007 there has been more shuffling than in any time. For example, Chicago Jones moves to 3A because of enrollment changes as does Lisle (Benet Academy). Initially Hinsdale South was slated for 3A but an oversight by the IHSA will keep in 2A for at least another season. Chicago Latin, a tiny private school, makes the jump from 1A. They earned a trophy on the girls side last year.
The 2A classification should be one to follow all season long as many of last season's top distance runners return. The anticipation of many in season match ups will take shape each weekend up to the state championship.
Pre-season scouting report on the Naperville North High School girls cross country team of Illinois.
The theme of the season could be "The Lady Fox Trot" or how about "Chasing the Lady Foxes?" Regardless of what anyone decides to call Yorkville they are going to need to add the word "Dynasty" next to their name. The Lady Foxes indeed are poised to defend their state championship a fourth time. In fact, Coach Chris Muth and company have finished first or secord every year since 2009. Some people are taking about 2015 when then junior class is expected to be even more lights out. But first thing first, there are a few teams lurking in the weeds waiting for an opportunity to dethrone the 2A queens of cross country.
The opening day of Cross Country is similar to baseball in that it is so refreshing to see everyone after a nice layoff. It is also a time where all solid teams who have prepared themselves well in the offseason feel they a chance to be successful. The traditionally strong teams (powerhouses if you will) will be in it all season long to duel against the big dogs as well as the emerging pups. The question is which one of these teams can step up from the second tier and become a major force in late October and into November? The answer to the question will have to be answered in a series of tests. Milesplit Illinois will be when happens.
This was not an easy individual year to rank. It may be that that the top six previewed are pretty safe picks, with those same six back from last year’s top ten. But everyone else, however, is a complete mystery, with 13 of 25 back who originally finished all-state, plus 29 back from this year’s top 50, many of whom majorly stepped up in track. Honestly anyone in the top 20 could end this season a top ten finisher.
Today we take a cross examination of the top ten boys teams as we anticipate yet another intense battle between many strong teams that you’ve definitely seen before from last year’s slugfest party! The clear favorite is no surprise: Elmwood *cough* *cough*. But whatever team those other trophies end up going to, it will be a surprise, because the top 2-7 look to be very evenly matched for the most part. Really any team in the top 10 could be in the hunt for a trophy if you added them one x-factor, other things equal. But based solely on returning runners, incoming recruits, and some major guesswork on how state scoring influences things, here is where the teams stand.
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