Class 2A Boys Pre-Season Preview: #1 Mahomet-Seymour Aims To Repeat

The 2016 2A Boys State Championship Highlight Reel says it all 

1. Mahomet-Seymour

Head Coach: Neal Garrison

Last year's finish: State Champion; 16th- Nike Cross Nationals

Key returners: Riley Fortune (Sr.), Mathias Powell (Jr.), Ryan Hodge (Sr.), Evan Burge (Sr.), Bryson Keeble (Jr.). Kaelan Davis (So.)

Coach Garrison's synopsis: "Our team won the Cornbelt Conference last year, but the conference split up.  This year we will be going to the Apollo Conference.

We have a handful of new runners.  It is too early to know if any of them will make our top 12, but it will be challenging for them to make our top 7.

Our team would like to place in the top 10 at State.  

I think Normal U-High, Metamora, Grayslake, Danville, Springfield among others will be in the hunt for a trophy.

I don't coach track and I don't show up to any summer running.  So, I haven't coached these boys since XC last fall.  I am not 100% sure how their running is going as I like to give them the summer off."

2016 excerpt: was one of the most impressive peformances in IHSA history. Six of the seven starters earned all-state honors. The seventh runner Gary Pommier was much less than 100% but still finished in a very respectable 27th place. Overall, the Titans finished 4th in the team scoring composites across all classifications.


2016 State meet flashback- 
1Mahomet-Seymour High School585+10+13+14+16 (18+21)0:23 1-5 Split | 14:55 Avg
2Grayslake Central High School1341+2+9+57+65 (81+149)1:53 1-5 Split | 15:07 Avg
3Normal University High School1883+8+20+58+99 (107+116)1:57 1-5 Split | 15:23 Avg
4Sterling High School1946+12+48+52+76 (174+175)1:31 1-5 Split | 15:31 Avg
5Crystal Lake Central High School2104+17+37+69+83 (86+111)1:36 1-5 Split | 15:33 Avg

Mahomet-Seymour coach Neal Garrison's reaction: 

I am not sure we have fully absorbed what winning the State title means to each of our runners and the program.  I think it really was a rewarding experience to have it all work out the way it did.  So many of our alumni were supporting and encouraging us over the years to continue to improve.  We really felt a sense of obligation to try to win a State trophy and now a State Championship trophy for them.  The past coaches, the alumni, and the alumni parents really set us up.  Each year the past team's would give their hearts to try to beat the previous year's team's best efforts.  They did this both out of a sense of respect to their past teammates, but also out of a sense of obligation to the future teams to set a higher standard for them.  Year after year our alumni teams worked hard to improve.  So this win in so many ways was for them helping raise the standards for our current team.  

Our boys do plan to run at the NXN Regional meet.  We hope to do our best to represent Illinois well.  

We know how incredibly hard it will be to be able to compete with the Illinois AAA top teams and the State champion teams from the other States.  We have so much respect for those programs that we just feel lucky to have even been compared to them all season.