The IHSA recently approved a scaled-down version of practices and meet structure which is going to look drastically different than in past years. The hope is that we will all be having a semblance of a state series in early to mid-October.
Unclassified means teams not quite in the top 25 or ranked, but are on the verge of being noticed by the masses. Unclassified teams are dangerous because they have a chip on their shoulders and will do anything and everything to prove everyone wrong. Don't be surprised if several of these teams get into the rankings at some point during the season and even make it to state.
Gook luck to all!
Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Michael Robinson
Projected Top 7: Loftus, McNinch, Eller, Charlie Dickinson (So.), Ryan Dickinson (So.), Andruw Jones (Jr.), Wyatt Lundquist (Jr.)
New Additions: None
Unexpected Losses: None
Coach Robinson's Outlook: Coming off a season where everyone that ran at sectionals was an underclassman and only missing qualifying as a team by 15 points. I believe we are sitting in the drivers seat for what goals we want to accomplish. Coming up short like we did last year only made the fire burn hotter. Two of our guys Brock and Kyler were set for big things this spring until everything was canceled. Brock has not lifted from the gas pedal and is working really hard this offseason. My guys don't know the meaning of the word quit. I expect big things if given the chance this fall.
Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Eric Kirkpatrick /John Alongi
Projected Top 7: Swiney, J. Gomes, Smith, D. Gomes, Reese Tilley (Sr.), Tavion Garrison (So.), Conor Gross (Fr.)
New Additions: Tavion Garrison (Sophomore) is a kid who came out for the team in August last year. He really didn't get much summer conditioning last year so I am excited to see if he can make a big jump this year. I also think Conor Gross is a freshman who could help us out on the varsity team this year.
Unexpected Losses: Slayde Huntley, who was a varsity runner last year has moved to another school. He will be missed as he was very consistent and I feel like he was ready to take another step as well.
Coach Kilpatrick's Outlook: As always we are just trying to get better every day. At the end of the year, I hope we are all better runners and better people. Our goals are to compete for a conference championship and try to make a run to the state meet.
Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Eric Brechtel / Alex Zasso
Projected Top 7:Fisch, May, Flannery, Herrmann, Sledzinski, Ned Kalata (Jr.), Hugh Flannery (Fr.)
New Additions: Hugh Flannery is the brother of Mick Flannery and he is showing some early potential. I think he will round out my top 7 this year.
Unexpected Losses: None
Where do you feel your team should be ranked?: We probably would be ranked in the low 30s but I think once we start racing we will outperform these projections.
Coach Brechtel's Outlook: I think Fisch will be much improved last year. He was really coming into his own at the end of the cross country season. He was showing great maturity and gaining valuable racing experience. I am extremely disappointed he wasn't able to put this to use during this past spring. I expect May, Herrmann and Flannery to have pretty large improvements as they have grown in strength and confidence. Ned has battled some sickness and injuries the last two seasons so I think he is due for a HUGE season. All of the guys are putting in good mileage right now. Right now we have a team goal of having 3 guys under 16 minutes and having our 5th man come in at 16:30.
Head Coach/Coaches: Carol Bauer
New Additions: None
Unexpected Losses: None
Coach Bauer's Outlook: Our team will have a different look this year with the loss to graduation of the Gochanour triplets, Andrew, Ryan, Connor, and Andy Wiesenhofer. The success of that group was a strong pack running. This year we will be solid upfront as my top three guys are doing more miles at a higher intensity than ever before.
Mason Stoeger should lead us. I have yet to see Mason's potential. He joined the track team late in his sophomore year and trained with the sprinters. Last year he ran cross country with us on Saturday's as he played football during the week. Losing his junior track season meant that I did not have a chance to work with him full-time. This fall he is focusing on cross country only. He led the group at our mile and a half time trial with an 8:10. He is a well-rounded athlete, gifted with speed and the desire to work hard. I expect to see a huge improvement from his PR of 17:03 last year.
Finishing second in that time trial at 8:20 was Christian Skaggs. He was in our top three all last season and his best time was 17:02. He has put in more miles than ever before and he will definitely be in our top three. He was a part of the state-qualifying 4 x800's team from the previous track year and was on the indoor track team that finished the short indoor season ranked fifth in the state class A.
Our third finisher in that time trial at 8:29 was our number one runner from last season Victor Echeveste. He is a true distance runner with the ability to withstand pain for the full distance. I expect improvement on his PR of 16:33 from last season based on smarter summer training and his inner fire. Rounding out our top five will be Tanner White, and Jacob Torres, and added into the top seven should be Micheal Scott and Pacey Pueck. Our four through seven runners will not be as strong as 2019 but we will be very competitive at the top end. I believe this will serve us well for the season.
Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Jay Weber
Projected Top 7: Curtis, Farthing, Nadalini, Hoehn, Talley, Smothers, Jovan Richmond (Fr.)
New Additions: The only new runner is Jovan Richmond, a freshman who was captain of our junior high team last year which won Sectionals and Jovan finished 61st at State. All else are returners.
Unexpected Losses: None
Where do you feel your team should be ranked?: Really hard to say... we have depth and some real potential. I see us really being competitive for Conference and Regional Championships. Top 50 probably seems about right... it's going to take some things to really come together to get to State.
Coach Weber's Outlook: We have an upperclassmen laden team with a lot of experience and a lot of depth....we are 8 deep with quality, as well as some other developing runners. I think we can really be competitive in Conference and at Regionals this year, and if everything comes together, this team has the chance to surprise at Sectionals.
Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Tyler Weis
New Additions: Juniors Conner Garsnett and Justin Weihe are kids that I have had in class that are multi-sport athletes that wanted to get in better shape over the summer. After running with our guys and getting a feel for how the culture of our team operates, I think they're going to really enjoy competing over the cross country season. Another key guy that I believe has a lot of potential is freshman Carter Missey. He's green, has a lot of growing to do both mentally and physically to prepare for the jump to a 3-mile race, but I've been impressed with what he's shown at summer running so far. I think he'll be surprised by how quickly he'll improve over a fall cross country season.
Unexpected Losses: Unfortunately our number 6 guy from last year Landon Auxier (So.) did not come out for track and has not been out for summer running. I'm hoping to talk him back into coming out as he is a dynamic kid that can bring some experience for the rest of the young guys.
Coach Weis' Outlook: This is a unique squad because I don't believe I've ever coached a team that has put in this many miles over the summer already. A lot of guys that we have come out as long spring/mid-distance guys use cross country to stay in shape, but with the uncertainties that this spring brought a lot of those same guys are taking cross country more seriously this time around. With that being said I hope to see this team make some noise with the local 1A teams around us. While we've usually played second or third fiddle to teams like Mater Dei and Freeburg down here in Southern Illinois, I believe this team has what it takes to run with them and make our respective postseason meets competitive, so long as we get to have these meets. We'll see how it all shakes out and hopefully, we'll get to hear from you guys more throughout the fall.
Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Jake Christiansen / Kristin Kruzich
Key Returners: Gabe Kuecker (Sr.), Brady Loerop (Sr.), Kaleb Van Drunen (Jr.)
Projected Top 7: Kuecker, Loerop, Van Drunen, Mesfin Zabrocki (Jr.), Aidan Gorman (So.), Noah Luke (Fr.), Landon Stoub (Jr.)
New Additions: Noah Luke (Fr) has the right mindset and good dedication. Landon Stoub (Jr) has positive energy and has been pushing the team forward. Both are new to high school running, so either one of them could move into the top 7 or even top 5 with the change in training.
Unexpected Losses: Gabriel Joyce
Coach Christiansen's Outlook: Since our team was restarted a few years ago this team has consistently taken steps forward in building a team culture. We have a strong core 3 returning from our team that won Conference and had a shot at qualifying for State last year, and summer training has been consistently improving. Every year I am surprised by someone on the team that steps up and shows that they want it - this year it just remains to be seen who that person will be. Winning conference, qualifying for State, any other goals that we might set are obviously things we would like to accomplish but at our school size we have little idea what other teams will look like nor even what our season will look like. The team has discussed the unknown challenge that this season brings, and it is a challenge we are willing to embrace.
Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Jason Midlock / Mark Clarke, Rachel Reyes
Projected Top 7: Ciarlette, O'Connor, Bertino, Capalbo, Zach Pekol (So.), Luke Pekol (So.), TJ Razsa (Fr.)
New Additions: TJ Razsa, Nathan Ciarlette (both incoming frosh). They both ran in middle school but are pushing each other at practice. Hopefully, they keep this up throughout the year and may be able to crack the top 7 by the end of the year.
Unexpected Losses None
Coach Midlock's Outlook: There is some excitement around the team this year. After missing out on the state meet as a team last year, the team is hungry to get back. Andrew Ciarlette has a lot of potential and is healthy. Owen O'Connor had some injury issues last season as a sophomore and did not race after our third meet last year. He worked to come back at the ESCC Conference meet and won the Frosh/Soph race. He is a runner with a wrestling mentality that is willing to put in the work. We have a group of younger runners who will gain valuable experience racing and pack running. Zach and Luke Pekol will be sophomores and have grown to almost 6' 6", they both are willing to put in the work and are developing nicely.
Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Kim Foster / Tim Brungard
Projected Top 7: Glasscock, Maierhofer, Brady Danek (Jr.), Austin Aldrich (Fr.), Jon Wright (Sr.), Chris Poyner (So.), Calvin Maierhofer (So.)
New Additions: Drew Danek and Austin Aldrich will be an incoming freshman that I hope to see strong performances from. Both guys ran in grade school and Austin made it to state with his team. I think Austin will be in the top three by season end. He has put in a lot of summer miles on his own and is very competitive. Drew Danek is the brother of Brady Danek. Drew will be very coachable and has also put in summer miles on his own. I feel like it's too early to tell, but I think Drew has the potential to be a top 7 guy as well this season.
Unexpected Losses: Spencer DeGraaf and Eli Eltrevoog has both decided to not join cross this season. Spencer is playing football for his last high school year and Eli plans to work instead.
Coach Foster's Outlook: Our team is going to be pretty young again. Billy and Levi (seniors) are going to be leading the team. Both guys have been working hard since the spring. Billy has been working on getting long runs in and speed sessions. I expect him to be my #1 and winning several races this season. I think Levi will be right behind him. As far as the rest of the guys, it will be a nice interleague competition all season for the remaining 5 spots. I hope to see my guys win our Tri-County conference meet and be top 2 for our Regional. Our goal is to be down at the state meet as a team. We know we will most likely be at the Oregon Sectional, so the guys have been working hard to earn their advancing spot!