Class 2A Boys Pre-Season Preview: #25-11

It is time for the present generation to make its mark this season on the rankings 


Head Coach: Todd Orvis
Last Year's Finish: 8th- State Championship
Key Returners: Michael Moreman (Sr.), Ricky Oakley (Sr.), Lukas Burleson (Sr.)
Projected Top 7: Moreman, Oakley, Burleson, Tyler Suprenant (So.), Michael Compton (So.), David Enjambre (Jr.), Ashton Thompson (Sr.)
Key Additions: None
Unexpected Losses: None
Coach Orvis's Outlook: Unfortunately I don't have much hope for a return to the state meet. Two of our top three returners did not run track last spring and the third top returner had a lousy track season. We don't have much depth and the talent level drops considerably after the top three. On top of all this, those three seniors are not positive leaders and have been just going through the motions this summer. Time for a program rebuild...

Head Coach: Louis Gassmann
Last Year's Finish: 8th- Decatur MacArthur Sectional
Key Returners: Gavin Kirby (Jr.), Keaton Hancock (Jr.), Barak Berger (Jr.), Jordan Belcher (Sr.), Brooks Julian (So.)
Projected Top 7: Kirby, Hancock, Berger, Belcher, Julian, Colin Kocher (Jr.), Drew Blank (So.)
Key Additions: Unknown
Unexpected Losses: Unknown
Milesplit's Outlook: Pack running seems to be the name of the game in 2A this season. Gavin Kirby looks to lead the Tigers after a very good track campaign and possible run around 15:20. Then the 2-5 runners could topple 16:40-17:10.

Head Coach/Coaches: Joshua Bluhm
Last Year's Finish: 10th- Decatur MacArthur Sectional
Key Returners: Grant Sarnowski (Sr.), Jacob Coady (Sr.), August Davis (Sr.), Nathaniel Bell (Jr.), Max Kersting (So.), Martin McGrath (Jr.)
Projected Top 7: Sarnowski, Coady, Davis, Bell, Kersting, McGrath, Zach Megginson (Sr.)
Key Additions: Unknown
Unexpected Losses: Unknown
Milesplit's Outlook: The Blazers are going to be a pack running team it seems like this upcoming year. Grant Sarnowski will be their lower stick runner possibly running 15:55 and then expect the rest of their top five to be around the 16:40-16:50 range

22. Marion
Head Coach: Eli Baker
Last Year's Finish: 11th- Decatur MacArthur Sectional
Key Returners: John Bruce (Sr.), Taylor Dreyer (So.), Jack Gregory (So.), Isaac Donaldson (Jr.), Peyton Craig (So.)
Projected Top 7: Bruce, Dreyer, Gregory, Donaldson, Craig, Logan Morgan (So.), Caleb Flesch (Jr.)
Key Additions: Unknown
Unexpected Losses: Unknown
Milesplit's Outlook: Marion is a team of question. With star runner John Bruce racing here and there we don't know if he is even doing xc this year. Being a former xc all-stater if he does choose to race this upcoming year then the Wildcats will move up these rankings fast.

Head Coach/Coaches: Vince Neil
Last Year's Finish: 10th- State Championship
Key Returners: Anthony Farmer (Sr.), Gio Martinez (Sr.), Tommy Zettl (Sr.), Zac Schmidt (So.)
Projected Top 7: Farmer, Martinez, Zettl, Schmidt, Robert Perry (So.), Javarius Foreman (Fr.), Nathan Guy (Jr.)
Key Additions: Javarius Foreman (Fr.), Yusuf Baig (Fr.)
Unexpected Losses: None
Coach Neil's Outlook: I believe that we can improve on last years 10th place finish. We will lean on our top 2 boys to be out front and give us that low number. After that, we need 3-7 to close the gap, run as a pack and break up other teams. I think that as the season progresses you will see tremendous growth from this team.

Head Coach/Coaches: Travis Shepherd/Keith West, Dan Jazo
Last Year's Finish: 14th- State
Key Returners: RJ Migas (Sr.), Jack Engel (Jr.), Talon Knauf (Sr.), Nathan Rolla (So.)
Projected Top 7: Migas, Engel, Knauf, Rolla, Tim Smith (Sr.), Aidan Gillespie (Jr.), Sean Humpa (Sr.)
Key Additions: Quin Maloney (Fr.), Micah Lind (Fr.), Tyler Will (Fr.)
Unexpected Losses: None
Coach Shepard's Outlook:
This year is a bit of a changing of the guard. The 2019 senior class contributed to our varsity top seven for all four years. We graduated four of our top seven with all four seniors ranking in the top 15 all-time at Lakes. Those athletes have meant a lot to our program and have set the bar high.

Last year was a breakthrough with our team finally qualifying for state. We experienced quite the heartbreak in 2017 as we missed state by nine points. In 2018 we flipped the script and qualified by nine points. I feel like we've been a top 25 team for a few years and last year we were able to prove it. I am proud of our 14th place finish which was less than 40 points from 8th.

We have three athletes returning from that group. Migas, Engel, and Knauf who should give us a strong presence under 16 minutes. In addition, Nathan Rolla is ready to take the next step after a strong freshman campaign (17:09). After that, it's a bit of a toss-up. We need athletes to step up in a big way. Tim Smith has been on the cusp of a breakthrough for a little while. He has had a big Summer so far and should provide some stability for us in the top seven. Gillespie, Humpa, Gavin Murrie, Ben Schneiderheinze, and Ty Dwyer are all athletes who can make an impact for us. Last year we did something that has never been done at Lakes. I think that this group will be motivated to show that it wasn't a fluke. We have a goal of making this a regular occurrence and that will drive the 2019 [team] to continue the tradition.

19. Geneseo
Head Coach/Coaches: Todd Ehlert, Don Fredericks, Tess Fredericks
Last Year's Finish: 8th- East Peoria Sectional
Key Returners: William Plumley (Jr.), Justin Johnson (So.), Lucas Nicke (Jr.), Neo Colter (Sr.), Colby Rapps (Sr.), Malakai Schaad (So.)
Projected Top 7: Plumley, Johnson, Nicke, Colter, Rapps, Schaad, Rafe Morrison (Jr.)
Key Additions: None
Unexpected Losses: None
Coach Ehlert's Outlook: This is a fairly young team. We have three senior captains and we are excited to find out what we can accomplish this year as a team. The goal is to get better every week and every year.

Head Coach/Coaches: Tom Smith, Ben Page, Troy Walcott
Last Year's Finish: 11th- State Championship
Key Returners: Jackson Ward (So.)
Projected Top 7: Ward, Luke Zobrist (Sr.), Harrison Maloney (Fr.), Caden Davidson (Sr.), Rocco Guiz (Sr.), Tanner Hahn (So.), Noah Johnson (So.)
Key Additions: Harrison Maloney (Fr.)
Unexpected Losses: Zach Trachatela (Jr.)
Coach Smith's Outlook: i'm excited to work with our young talent. Jackson Ward will be someone to watch for. We also have incoming freshmen that will help our top seven this year.

Head Coach: Scott Nelson
Last Year's Finish: 18th- State Championship
Key Returners: Dan Weizeorick (Sr.), Christopher Covone (So.), Luke Orwig (Jr.), Christopher Spahn (So.), Sam King (Jr.), Larry Li (Sr.)
Projected Top 7: Weizeorick, Covone, Orwig, Spahn, King, Li, Clayton Merker (Jr.)
Key Additions: Unknown
Unexpected Losses: Unknown
Milesplit's Outlook: The Spartans enter another season with an under the radar team. Leading the squad will be Dan Weizeorick who was a double all-stater in the 4x800m and 1600m this past May. He will be expected to run near 15:00. Christopher Covone will be around 16:10, but the real surprise this season for the Spartans may be Luke Orwig who ran 16:47.70 last xc season, but a 4:48.79 1600m during track spells a breakout year.

Head Coach: Wayne Edelman
Last Year's Finish: 21st- State Championship
Key Returners: Patric Natindim (Sr), Michael Schumacher (So.), Matthew Gloss (Sr), Patrick Schumacher (Sr), Lucas Doland (So.), Nathan Kochera (Jr.)
Projected Top 7: Natindim, M. Schumacker, P. Schumacker, Goss, Kochera, Doland, Conor Flynn (Jr.)
Key Additions: None
Unexpected Losses: None
Milesplit's Outlook: The Lions have created a legacy of qualifying for the xc state meet the past few years and look to make another run for Peoria. Patric Natindim looks to be their number one runner after an excellent year in the 800m that saw him go all-state and run a 1:56.96. Natindim ran 16:20.10 last year, but look for him to run around 15:20-15:30 this year. Following him should be Michael Schamauder and Matthew Gloss around 16:10. Then rounding out the squad should be Patrick Schamauder and Lucas Doland around 17:00

Head Coach/Coaches: Mike Garber/Caleb Cox, Grant Kaiser
Last Year's Finish: State Champions
Key Returners: Graham Turk (Sr.), Thomas Herbst (Jr.), Aidan Peterson (Jr.), Cameron Smith (Jr.)
Projected Top 7: Turk, Herbst, Peterson, Smith, Sampson Dassalines (So.), Drew Verenski (Fr.), David Thomas (Jr.)
Key Additions: Drew Verenski (Fr.), Mitchell Bergin (Fr.), Lleyton Turk (Fr.), Eli Morsch (Fr.)
Unexpected Losses: None
Coach Garber's Outlook:
I'm really looking forward to this season. Many would think it will be a down or nervous year after losing the likes of the Maton twins and Cooper Peterson, but it is an exciting challenge our team is ready to face. There have been many lessons learned in the last few years and maybe none more than the continuation of our philosophy and culture of family.

Our crew shows up for each other, builds each other up and it is already evident in our summer training. This group is excited to follow up our state championship season in 2018 with another run at the stage in 2019. We had kids run track that hadn't before and they learned a great deal about themselves and racing in the process.

Thomas Herbst and Aidan Peterson had fantastic sophomore track seasons and bring some newfound passion for speed to this XC season. Samson Dessalines was one of only two freshmen in the state to break 2:00 in the 800 during track season. He is poised for a breakout year. Cameron Smith, Nathan Michael, and Caden Settlemoir are all looking to be part of what looks to be a tough Top 7. Incoming freshmen Drew Verenski and Mitchell Bergin could both have a big impact on an already great varsity team. I'm excited about our first few meets to see exactly how fast we are going to be this year.

Head Coach/Coaches: Gene Jones, Pete Bachfischer, Jess Mellican, Dan Herring, Cory Shoopman, Angie Kimbro
Last Year's Finish: 9th- State Championship
Key Returners: Adam Gilbreath-Glaub (Sr.), Ian O'Laughlin (Jr.), Austin Gale (Sr.)
Projected Top 7: Gilbreath-Glaub, O'Laughlin, Gale, Colton Barb (Jr.), Aaron Klobnak (Sr.), Keegan Hartnett (Sr.), Nathan Bucci (Sr.)
Key Additions: None
Unexpected Losses: Evan Johnson (Jr.)
Coach Jones' Outlook: Our depth is a concern of mine at this time. As any coach knows it takes five to "bunch it up" and to "stay close" to front runners of the pack for team success. The #6 and #7 runners are so important to be in the mix of the "scorers." We have the tradition of a team that will make a run to the state meet -- team qualifiers 6 of the last 7 years. I am looking forward to the 2019 Season.

Head Coach/Coaches: Jim Dickerson, David Stimpson
Last Year's Finish: 19th- State Championship
Key Returners: Julian Watson (Jr.), Nick Beronio (Sr.), Josh Baron (Sr.), Jayden Arquines (Sr.)
Projected Top 7: Watson, Beronio, Baron, Arquines, Karam Aldarwish, Uche Obasi (Sr.), Isiah Lashley (Sr.), David Roloff (Sr.)
Key Additions: Uche Obasi (Sr.), Isiah Lashley (Sr.), Aaron Koehler (Fr.), Adam Fournier (Fr.)
Unexpected Losses: None
Coach Dickerson's Outlook: This will be a fun year. I have rarely entered a season with less of an idea of how it's going to go. We have a very fast team, with lots of foot speed, and if some of our 400/800 types can stretch it out to three miles we will have depth.

Julian and Nick are the leaders of the team and have been training very consistently, so they should have very good seasons. Josh has had his best summer yet. Deon played basketball in the spring and summer so is a question mark, but is immensely talented. Aaron and Adam are good, hard-working freshmen who have a chance to make the top 7. David, Quartus, and Jake improved a lot in track and are very steady, so they all have a chance to be in the top 7. This sounds cliche, but 5th man will definitely be the key. Will it be 16 or 17 minutes? That could be the difference between top 10 and fighting to qualify for State. We'll see!

Head Coach/Coaches: Michael Lambdin, David Liszka
Last Year's Finish: 6th- State Championship
Key Returners: Aaron Trier (Sr.), Jack Cambier (Jr.), Paul Ruetten (Sr.)
Projected Top 7: Trier, Cambier, Ruetten, Alex Taylor (Jr.), Bryce Guerrettaz (Sr.), Kyle Horn (Jr.), Donny Gramer (Jr.)
Key Additions: Ethan Solfisburg (Fr.) and Caden Emmert (Fr.)
Unexpected Losses: None
Coach Lambdin's Outlook: The boys would like to improve on last year's 6th place finish at the state meet. At times their summer commitment to this goal has been impressive. It will be interesting to see how they progress.

Head Coach: Dan Devlin
Last Year's Finish: State Runner-Up
Key Returners: Kyle Boughter (Sr.), Anthony Peralta (So.), Sam Forness (Sr.), Luke Flesner (Jr.), Matthew Johnson (So.)
Projected Top 7: Boughter, Peralta, Forness, Flesner, Nick Hannig (So.), Ethan Sommers (So.)
Key Additions: Unknown
Unexpected Losses: Unknown
Milesplit's Outlook: The Senators had a great season last year that ended with a runner-up finish to a tremendous Chatham-Glenwood team. Could this year be the year of the Senators? They will be lead by their star runner for the past few years in Kyle Boughter who is expected to challenge the 15:00 barrier. With Anthony Peralta and Sam Forness looking to be under 16:00 it only leaves who will be their 4th and 5th runner? If they can be around 16:10 then the Senators might finally regain the big one when November rolls around.