Our countdown of the top 25 3A boys teams continues with #20-#16.
20) Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West)
Head Coach: Kyle Nugent
Last year’s final season finish: state- 13th (334pts)
Key returners: Chris Beuchner (Jr.)- 82th, Paul Christian (Jr.)- 117th, Eric Neumann (So.)- 133rd
Projected top 7: Christian, Beuchner, Neumann, Jake Jaskowiak (Jr.), Nate Crial (Jr.), Ben Hecht (Jr.), Jack Billings, Alejandro Rosales, or Dan Harman (Sr.).
Newcomers: Jaskowiak, Crail, Hecht, Billings, Rosales, Harman
Team outlook: The Hilltoppers lose some quality runners to graduation but at the same time several seasoned newcomers and youngins are expected to emerge this fall. Paul Christian stepped it up during the track season by running 9:38 for 3200m and now appears eager to lead his team this fall. His teammate Chris Beuchner will be nipping on his heals all season. According to Coach Kyle Nugent, the team is excited about the prospects of this season. The Hilltoppers may be excited about 2014 as well… one season at a time.
19) Plainfield South
Head Coach: Jason Crowe
Last year's finish: state- 6th place (247pts)
Key returners: Dan Lathrop (Sr.)-28th, Misael Tobias (Sr.)-76th, Kenny Peters (Jr.)-196th
Projected Top 7: Lathrop, Tobias, Peters, Bailey Zink (Sr.), John Partee (So.), Jake Lorenz (Sr.), Steven Homecgoy (Jr.).
General outlook: The Cougars will be hard pressed to return the team that placed sixth last year. The reason being is the loss of a lot of quality runners. But on the flip side is the emerging star Dan Lathrop. He just missed the all-state cutoff last year with an amazing 14:51. He will be one of this season’s gems. Don’t forget that he won the “slow heat” of the state 3200m and placed 10th overall.
Coach Crowe’s season outlook: “We return three of our top seven from our team last season. Those three have been leading a group of 40 plus runners this summer as our whole program is committed to excellence and establishing Plainfield South among the best in state.”
18) Wilmette (Loyola Academy)-
Head Coach: Dan Seeberg
Last year’s final season finish: 11th- Niles West Sectional
Top Returners: Christian Swenson (Jr.), Matt Randolph (Sr.), Teddy Brombach (Sr.), Jack Carroll (Jr.), Spencer Kelly (Jr.), Matt Scherer (Sr.), Michael Banks (Jr.)
Team outlook by Coach Seeberg: “We had a rebuilding year in 2012, with a runner-up finish in the Chicago Catholic League and an 11th place finish at Niles West Sectional. We have qualified for the state meet six of the last eight years and would like to return again. The Lake Park Sectional will be a challenge, but we should be in the running. Our goals are to win the CCL and get to state again.”
“We have good experience and good depth. We're looking for a man or two to emerge as a front-runner. We had a solid track season, with most of the guys making big improvements. We've had a good summer for the most part. Christian Swenson (9:34/4:40), Matt Randolph, Jack Carroll (9:48/4:34), and Teddy Brombach (9:42/4:34) should lead us early. Spencer Kelly (who plays lacrosse in the spring) is way behind, with no track season and a very ordinary summer. He's talented, but it will take him a while to be competitive. Matt Scherer (10:06/4:43) should be a solid sixth man. Michael Banks (10:07/4:48) has been injured the last three weeks and on a bike. It will also take him a while to get fit. He had a huge breakout track season after barely making top seven on the sophomore team last year during his first season of running.”
17) Chicago (St. Ignatius College Prep)-
Head Coach: Ed Ernst
Last year’s finish: 6th- Niles West Sectional
Key returners: Chris Korabik (Sr.), Dan Santino (So.), Andy Weber (Jr.), Taylor Dugas (Sr.), Brian Santino (Jr.), Patrick Manglano (Sr.)
Projected top 7: Korabik, D. Santino, Weber, Dugas, B. Santino, Manglano, Kallin Khan (Jr.)
Newcomers: Khan will run cross country instead of playing soccer (4:50, 10:30 in track)
Coach Ernst’s team outlook: “We probably won’t be sneaking up on anyone this year, because people know we start with three strong guys. We have to fill in the rest of the team—and learn to run without Jack Keelan.
“We always hope to win Catholic League, be the best team in the city, and qualify for state. Some years we have a better chance than others, and this is one of those years. We have two all-state candidates in [Chris] Korabik and [Dan] Santino. Team success will depend on success of our 4-5-6 runners.”
“We had a good summer of training—especially Dugas, Weber, Manglano, and the Santinos.”
Head Coach/coach: Ty Gorman
Last year’s finish: state- 8th (293pts.)
Key returners: Konrad Eiring (Jr.)- 87th, Jake Herb (Sr.)- 99th, Ryan Perkins (Sr.)- 155th, Adam Phillips (Sr.)- 159th, Kyle Monahan (Jr.), Jack Foley (Sr.)
Projected top 7: Eiring, Herb, Phillips, Perkins, Monahan, Foley, and Connor Smith
Newcomers: Kurtis Monahan, Drew Annett, Alex Gensburg
Coach Gorman’s team outlook: “We came out of a solid summer of training healthy. We changed our approach this year to fit our more middle-distance oriented team (state champs in 4x8r- editor note), lowering the mileage a bit but increasing intensity. We hope the change will make us faster and stronger. As always, our goals are to be competitive for an MSL title and have our best races as a program at the Conference and State championships. Our team will once again be looking for leadership after the graduation of a strong senior group. This team gets along well and has confidence in their ability but a dose of humility knowing how good everyone else looks. It’s going to be a fun year.”