2019 State Champion: Thomas Shilgalis (Naperville Central) 1:54.86
Key returners: Jason Hoffman (Sr., Minooka), Ben Rosa (Sr., Lake Forest), Aidan Donohue (Sr., Dekalb), Juan Castro (Sr., Dekalb), Jack Burns (Sr., Chicago Lane Tech), Michael Moriarty (Sr., Elmhurst [York]), Adam Kennedy (Sr., Batavia), Justin Splitt (Sr., Fox Lake [Grant]), Cassius Havis (Sr., Alton), Kembre Daniel (Sr., Chicago Lincoln Park), Daniel Klysh (Sr., Elmhurst [York]), Austin Adams (Sr., Maple Park [Kaneland]), Damian Rodriguez (Sr., Batavia), Ethan Kern (Sr., Elmhurst [York])
Outlook: Austin Adams is the top returner from a year ago based on his fourth-place finish in the state final. Although there is no clear cut dominant figure here, one would expect faster times based on the number of quality performers back on the scene.
Jason Hoffman and Ben Rosa are the state's top performers and the only ones under 1:55. Hoffman ran 1:54.33 but has been inconsistent which cost him an all-state medal. If Hoffman does not load up on relay duties, he could be the state's top two-lapper.
Rosa picked up his personal best 1:54.59 in a post-state meet invitational. It is uncertain that he will run the event beyond the conference championship level.
Teammates Aidan Donohue and Juan Castro dumped a solid 4x800 relay to concentrate individually and it netted their team with state final berths. Donohue took fifth. They will both play important factors in how depth stacks up this spring.
Speaking of depth, York has a fleet of top returners, three among the top 15 back on the scene. Michael Moriarty, Daniel Klysh, and Ethan Kern have personal bests between 1:56-1:57. They may or may not moved up in the food chain depending on the workload presented to them. The Dukes are one of the key power ranking teams.
Lastly, don't sleep on Chicago public league standouts Jack Burns and Kembre Daniel. They both return with state finals experience. Burns provided two pivotal 4x800 legs ( best of 1:55.6 in final). He will more than likely put more emphasis on the event individually this spring. Daniel fought and clawed his way throughout last season. He has good speed and worked more on the endurance portion of his game during the cross country season last fall.