Boys Breakout Runner of The Year
1st Ethan Kern (Jr., Elmhurst [York]) (5 first place votes)
The youngest Kern son came in with people knowing him for his last name. When Ethan was an 8th grader the state watched in awe as his older brother Charlie Kern take second place at 3A State as a sophomore.
Ethan ran great as a freshman, but nothing amazing as he ran a PR of 15:39 for 3 miles. He was projected to run low 15:10's as a sophomore, but he had a rough start to the season getting demoted to frosh/soph races as teammate Daniel Klysh, got promoted to varsity. He still ended the season running at state and running a PR of 15:24.
During Kern's sophomore campaign, he continued to go downhill during track and field as he sustained a stress fracture during the indoor season that ultimately ended his outdoor season.
This left Kern feeling like he had something to prove for the upcoming xc season and boy did he turn heads. While only winning at the West Suburban Conference (Silver Division) Championship and the Niles West Sectional, but during the regular season the names that beat him were some of the best in the state. He only lost to Josh Methner, Tommy Brady, and Thomas Shilgalis.
During the championship season, he pack ran at regionals which explained his 6th place performance, won sectionals, and took 9th at state. Finishing ninth in the state was not at all what Kern wanted to do. He still qualified for NXN and Foot Locker and looks like he has set himself up for a great track season. Congrats to Kern as he is the 2018 Milesplit IL Boys Breakout Runner of The Year!