2020 Class A Boys Pre-Season XC Preview: #20-#16

Two of the teams listed here competed in the state meet last year and it will be a challenge for them to elevate into the next level. On the other hand, several teams that just missed out on the Detweiller sweepstakes will be extra motivated.

20. Sherrard

Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Joe Lopez / Colton Hankey

Last Year's Finish: 24th place- State

Key Returners: Jacob Belha (Sr.), Noah Bradarich (Jr.), Mike Gorey (Sr.), Hayden Steagall (Jr.), Dayton Hauger (Sr.)

Projected Top 7: Belha, Bradarich, Gorey, Steagall, Hauger, Adam Brimeyer (Jr.), Alex Wilson (Sr.)

New Additions: Alex Wilson replaces one of our state finalists from last year's qualifying team. In previous years, he played football. During the track season, Alex is a pole vaulter who also fills in for our 4 x 800 and 4 x 400 teams. He has partnered up with Jacob Belha and has run together since March 19.

Unexpected Losses: I have not heard from our other qualifier who was our 6th runner last year (Ryder Roelf). Adam was actually number #8 but has improved dramatically over the last five months. Our number #7 (Dylan Russell) was a big surprise, he wants to concentrate on wrestling and baseball and is now participating in football camp.

Coach Belha's Outlook: Our team is mostly upperclassmen consisting of four seniors and three juniors. We had an outstanding looking freshman last year, but we lost him to transfer by the end of the season. I hope we can recruit some good young hard workers who would be willing to step in and follow the leaders. We are going to be really good, but I need someone to push for those last spots.

Last year we talked about our 1-5, 1-7 splits, and the fact that we gave up a ton between 1-2 (1:25 at times). With that said, we were able to get into the 1:50 range. This summer, the boys are working harder, and Alex might be our new number #2. Dayton has been our second runner for three seasons, and if he becomes our number #3, we will be in very good shape. Noah's best last year was 17:55 at State, he should be either number 4 or 5.

The real question will be if we can keep Mike Gorey healthy and get miles under his belt. He was number 3 last year, could repeat, or could be number #4. He finished last year at 17:02 and in the number 2 spot. Finally, our leader is Jacob Belha, (16:02, 67th overall), He is in great shape right now and is pushing the others to run as much with him this summer. His goal is the top 25 and I really believe he will get there.

Our next goal is to open the 2020 season just a bit behind where we left off, control our pack, and close the gap between 1-2. If we can do that, we will have a very fun season.


19. Chicago (University)

Head Coach/Assistant Coaches:Alex Clark / Josey Mintel

Last Year's Finish: 16th place- State

Key Returners: Nicky Edwards-Levin (Sr.), Zachary Gin (Jr.), Gideon Mitchell (Sr.)

Projected Top 7: Edwards-Levin, Gin, Mitchell, Cristian Ferreyra (So.), Jeffrey Hong (Jr.), Alex Lopez (So.), William Montague (So.)

New Additions: Alex Lopez. He joined our track team as a freshman after we saw him running on the treadmills every day after school anyways. Has shown hard work, and dedication to the team already and will put in the work to become much better over the next year. 

Unexpected Losses: None

Where do you feel your team should be ranked?: 30th

Coach Clark's Outlook: It is hard to know exactly what they have been doing for training during this time, but from what I have been hearing from some of the top guys, they have still been working hard. This team will be lead all season long by Nicky, who is looking to have the breakout season he was hoping to have on the track in the Spring and is hoping to finish higher than his 21st place finish at the State meet last year. We lost some big names in Luke Sikora, arguably our top runner last year, and Eli Ginsburg who was also consistently in our top four. I am not sure if we will be able to quite fill those shoes, but the team is young and it is impossible to say what they could accomplish with hard work.


18. Effingham (St. Anthony)

Head Coach/Coaches: Eric Zeller

Last Year's Finish: 8th place- St. Anthony Sectional

Key Returners: Brian Dust (Sr.), Griffin Elder (So.), Conlan Walsh (So.), Noah Tegeler (Sr.), Ty Weidman (Sr.)

Projected Top 7: Dust, Elder, Walsh, Tegeler, Wiedman, Austin Faber (Sr.), Nick Wiedman (So.)

Carson's Outlook: Another sneaky team with a solid front runner and then a strong 2-5 pack around the 17:00 range. Elder and Walsh's development will be a key factor to this team as they ran close to the 17:00 barrier as freshmen.


17. Paxton-Buckley-Loda

Head Coach/Coaches: Dustin Franckey

Last Year's Finish: 7th place- St. Anthony Sectional

Key Returners: Ryder James (Jr.), Ashton Goss (Sr.), Daniel Busby (Jr.), Liam McMullin (Sr.)

Projected Top 7:James, Goss, Busby, McMullin, Keegan Busboom (Jr.), Paul Cleary (Sr.), Jesse Barfield (Jr.)

New Additions: Unknown

Unexpected Losses: Unknown

Carson's Outlook: The Panthers barely missed the state meet last season and will be back for vengeance. Lead by the superstar Ryder James, they will have a good 2-5 pack that will be looking to break the 17:00 barrier, if they run together then this is a very sneaky team.


16. Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond (Arthur)

Head Coach/Coaches: Lyle Dorjahn 

Last Year's Finish: 6th place- St. Anthony Sectional

Key Returners: Layton Hall (Sr) Logan Beckmier (So)

Projected Top 7: Hall, Beckmier, Jace Green (Jr.), Lyle Adcock (So.), Jacob Adcock (So.), Jacob Duzan (Fr.), Connor Edmonds (So.)

New Additions: Jacob Duzan (Fr.), Jesus Corona (Fr.)

Unexpected losses: none

Coach Dorjahn's Outlook: Team feels they have unfinished business after missing state qualifying by 25 points in the loaded Effingham Sectional.  Hall feels the same way after a disappointing 35th place effort at state after being All-State as Sophomore. Expect significant contributions from Beckmier, L. Adcock, and Green.

Beckmier comes off a solid rookie campaign (Top frosh at Tuscola, StJO, Patriot, Regional, Sectional [23rd OA]). Adcock runs 46th at sectional in the mud with one shoe. Green seeking to atone for disappointing performance at sectional. We're seeing vast improvement from Jacob Adcock (Lyle's twin). Jacob Duzan is a Jr newcomer and looks like he will contribute. Connor Edmonds is improved from his freshman campaign and our lone freshman Jesus Corona will contribute later in the season. 

This group has high expectations for performance in 2020!