3A Boys Preview: #1 York Will Be Hard To Defeat

The 2018 3A Boys State Championship highlight reel provides an intense feeling of the nation's best cross country meet (state level in our opinion)

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Head Coach/Coaches: Dave Wisner/Greg Harper, Erik Saszik, Matt Sloan
Last Year's Finish: 12th- State Championship
Key Returners: Ben Akason (Sr.), Jackson Flick (Sr.), Andrew Flynn (Jr.), Charlie Siebert (Jr.), Nick Falk (So.)
Projected Top 7: Akason, Flick, Flynn, Siebert, Falk, JD Shelly (Sr.), Conor O'Neill (Jr.)
Key Additions: None
Unexpected Losses: None
Coach Wisner's Outlook: This is the most experienced team we have had in recent years. We return four from last year's 12th place state squad and have many other talented runners vying for a top-seven spot. We had an excellent track season and a strong summer. This team is focused, committed to excellence, and to be one of the best New Trier teams ever, and there is no reason to doubt that they can achieve this goal. Last season we were inexperienced and didn't have any front runners so we relied heavily on our pack running to score well in big meets. Our typical 1-5 split was 10 to 20 seconds. This season we have three runners that are legitimate all-state contenders and there are 5 to 7 more that should be within 15 to 30 seconds of these Top 3. I'm excited for the season to get started, but given the strength of the competition in Illinois, we are focusing on the little things, enjoying the day-to-day rigor of training, and simply having fun. It should be a good time for all!

Head Coach: Tom Root
Last Year's Finish: 9th- State Championship
Key Returners: Patrick Furlong (Sr.), Joey Furlong (So.), Ben DeWeerdt (Jr)
Projected Top 7: P. Furlong, J. Furlong, DeWeerdt, Matt Hargrave (Jr.), Trevor Giampa (Sr.), Carter Hart (Jr.), Joey Drage (So.)
Key Additions: transfer-----> Joey Drage (So., Cary Grove)
Unexpected Losses: Aaron Sarkar (Sr.)
Coach Root's Outlook: Lot of great momentum coming out of our summer team camp. We have a huge pack of juniors who will be the deciding factor of how high the team can climb. One or two "new faces" will need to emerge from that group.

Head Coach/Coaches: John O'Malley
Last Year's Finish: 16th- State Championship
Key Returners: Ben Giblin (Sr.), Will Giblin (Sr.), Sam Rodriguez (Sr.), Griffin Lehnhardt (Jr.), Ismail Tineh (Jr.)
Projected Top 7: B. Giblin, W. Giblin, Rodriguez, Lehnhardt, Tineh, Ahmad Alhayek (Jr.), TJ Cosler (Sr.)
Key Additions: None
Unexpected Losses: None
Coach O'Malley's Outlook: Summer went amazingly well. My estimation is that we've had the best overall summer I've ever seen as a coach. The cohesion, focus, and mentality of the team are exactly what I'd hope for. If this team does not do very special things this year, it is entirely my fault. I really like this team. Milesplit's Outlook: That is a huge statement from coach O'Malley who coached one of the best teams all-time in the 2015 Sandburg squad. It is a stretch to say the Eagles are back to that level of dominance, but they are rebuilding. After one of their worst track and xc seasons in recent memory, expect the Eagles to really show the state what they got.

Head Coach/Coaches: John Sipple/Jillian Blondell
Last Year's Finish: 8th- State Championship
Projected Top 7: Diamond, Kelly, Shimenetto, Thompson, Cummins, Llewellyn, McNally 
Newcomers: Topher Ferris (fr), Michael Pugh (fr), Leo Gartlan (fr)
Has Anyone Been Injured During Training?: No, we have been fortunate that we have had no major injuries, but we were dealing with some sickness going around the team this summer. So, that did interrupt some of the training for a few of our guys.
Coach Sipple's Outlook Of Team: Our team this year has a different look and feel to it compared to previous seasons. We are an inexperienced senior class and overall a younger group, additionally, of our roster of 66 we have 26 new team members this year (16 freshmen). So, as a coaching staff, we are changing how we have operated and getting back to emphasizing the basic coaching philosophies in our program. Plus, in recent years we have had some significant front runners in our program, the likes of Zack Smith, Ryan Clevenger, Alec Danner, Jacob Ridderhoff, Miles Christensen, Jack Roberts. Those towering trees have now moved on and the canopy has opened up to shower sunlight on a new crop of both old and younger potentially towering trees. These guys have really started to grow into their roles on the team (leadership wise, running-wise, etc) and as a result, they are truly learning how to train at a varsity level in which they want to compete at. This season will definitely be a lot of fun and I am excited to see the heights that these guys can grow to.

Head Coach: Michael Danner
Last Year's Finish: 21st- State Championship
Projected Top 7: Ehlert, Thorpe, Hays, Madell, Gallagher, Nowak, McLawhorn 
Key Additions: Unknown.
Coach Danner's outlook: Summer training was similar to the last few years. Our top four (Ehlert, Hays, Thorpe, Madell) have been pretty much stride for stride in everything they have done. We have a group of about ten guys that will be vying for those final top seven spots. Our expectations are to challenge for a top-three position at state and NXN berth. Ehlert had a good summer preceded by a good finish to the track season being a part of our 4x800 that was all-state. Thorpe was a strong member of our 4x800 relay running 1:56 at state. Hays and Madell gained experience running the 3200m at several invites in track season. As a group, we made great strides during the track season and gain experience, our youth showed at times in 2018. 

Head Coach/Coaches: Kevin Young
Last Year's Finish: State Runner-Up; Nike Cross Nationals- 19th
Key Returners: Josh Methner (Sr.), Max Svienty (Sr.), Colin Safford (Sr.), Luis Vasquez (Jr.)
Projected Top 7: Methner, Svienty, Safford, Vazquez, Connor Oiler (So.), Quinn Rudy (Sr.), Tim Choma (Sr.) Key Additions: None
Unexpected Losses: None
Coach Young's Outlook:
We have a great core of guys coming back that were very successful at state along with NXR. Our goal is to be ready to roll by the time that the big meets come around. I know that if these guys continue to progress, stay hungry, stay humble and have some fun along the way, they could do some big things in November. We return 4 of the 7 that took 2nd at the IHSA and combine that with some VERY hungry up and comers that want to be a part of the ride. We have about 15 guys that could represent our squad as the top 7, and they'll be more than excited to mix it up with the best in the state.
Milesplit's Outlook:
Hersey enters the season around the same position that they did last year. Producing a great year under coach Young and a beast season produced by Methner, the Huskies lost a few pieces to graduation. It appears as if they fixed those holes. Expect a big season from Sophomore Connor Oiler, last year Oiler suffered some injuries at the end of his freshman campaign that caused him to lose out on a varsity roster spot. Quinn Rudy had a great track season running 4:31.01 in the 1600m and 9:49.81 in the 3200m. Expect him to run near 15:00 if not break the barrier running alongside Stafford. Then you have Methner and Svienty who will be their low stick runners. It will be a fun season for the Huskies.

Head Coach/Coaches: Jim Milner/ Derrick Padovich, Eliza McNamara, Kenny Outlaw.
Last Year's Finish: 10th- State Championship
Key Returners: Herbie Alvarez (Sr.), Nick Bozarth (Sr.), Nick Henz (Jr.), Maverick Lange (Sr.), Luke Wentz (Sr.), Brad Wiggins (Sr.)
Projected Top 7: Alvarez, Bozarth, Henz, Lange, Wentz, Wiggins, Nate Brischetto
Key Additions: Alex Das (Fr.)
Unexpected Losses: None
Coach Milner's Outlook: We have a very experienced group coming back this year. They're putting in some good training this summer so we're looking to continue the improvement. They set high goals and understand the responsibility necessary to work towards them. Overall, this is a great group all around. They're great people and a close team. They have all the ingredients for a great campaign this season.

Head Coach/Coaches: Chris Kuntz/Craig Lawrence
Last Year's Finish: State Champions; Nike Cross Nationals- 13th place
Key Returners: William Hauenstein (Sr.), Jacob Kluckhohn (Sr.), Jared Peaslee (Sr.), Ethan Seng (Sr.), David Zeller (Sr.)
Projected Top 7: Hauenstein, Kluckhohn, Peaslee, Seng, Zeller, Joe Franke (Sr.), Alexander Gazarek (Jr.)
Key Addition: None
Unexpected Losses: None
Coach Kuntz's Outlook: We are really excited about the upcoming season. There are some great programs out there. The season will be a great challenge. We can't wait to get started.
Milesplit's Outlook: Coach Kuntz has produced a great run these past three years as the Tigers will be shooting for another state trophy. With a powerful 1-2 punch of Hauenstein and Kluckhohn they have the low sticks that can run sub 14:30 and with Zeller, Seng, and Peaslee as their finally three scorers, most years they would be in the state title hunt, but this year is just a little stronger than most of the recent years that we have had. Expect them to try and make a run and return to Portland in December.

Head Coach: Chris Bosworth/Mike Kososki, Ethan Young
Last Year's Finish: 5th- State Championship
Key Returners: Bob Liking (Sr.), Aidan King (Sr.), Micah Wilson (So.), Zack Loomis (Jr.), Luke Schildmeyer (Jr.)
Projected top 7: Liking, King, Wilson, Loomis, Schildmeyer, Johnny Olenek (Sr.), Connor Murphy (Jr.)
Key Additions: Joey Xotla (So.), Shee Thaw (So.), Memphis Patterson (So.), Lexton Rockwell (Fr.) Unexpected Losses: None
Coach Bosworth's Outlook: Last year we took a big step forward in racing for a trophy. Last year our goal coming into the season was top 10 and we finished 5th. It was the first time since the early 90's that St. Charles "East" was in the conversation of potentially getting a trophy. I was extremely proud of my guys, they ran as hard as they could on that day....not afraid of anyone. But our state is ultra-competitive and even the slightest of hick-ups can mean a top 3 spot or not. This year, with the track season that the guys had, we are looking to race at our best when the time comes in November. We are looking to come together as a team, trusting each other and running for something other than themselves. This years' group is looking to write their own piece of history. Learning from the past and using that to their advantage.