2020 Class A Boys Pre-Season Preview: #15-#11

Expect a line of teams fiercely fighting to team respect this season as they race to get and stay among the top 10.

15. Freeburg

Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Carl Florczyk / Darren Pierce, Maggie Buchmiller, Erika Bainbridge

Last Year's Finish: 17th place- State Championship

Key Returners: Evan Wilkerson (Sr.), Cade Smith (Sr.), Keary Thompson (Jr.)

Projected Top 7: Wilkerson, Smith, Thompson, Kye Trautman (Jr.), Colin Van Pelt (So.), Evan Schlichting (Fr.), Aidan Parrish (Fr.)

New Additions Evan Schlichting (Fr.), Aidan Parrish (Fr.)

Unexpected Losses No unexpected losses.

Where do you feel your team should be ranked?: This is such a hard question to answer because there are many great programs around the state. We are confident that we can compete at a high level with three of our top five runners returning from last year's team.  With the work ethic, I am seeing thus far this summer, we are confident that our team can compete at a strong level this fall. 

Coach Florczyk's Outlook: As a coaching staff, we are so proud of our guys, as they have been dedicated to their training and have demonstrated a strong work ethic, even with all of the obstacles posed by COVID-19. I think it's a reflection of the culture of our program, which was established by our alumni, and now it's being carried on by the current athletes. We have great leadership from our captains and seniors. We are very blessed to work with each and every one of our athletes.  

With the restrictions in place, summer workouts have looked different with small groups, staggered start/finish times. We have also had to battle the oppressive heat and humidity here in southwestern Illinois. We have had to start workouts very early in the morning (6am!) in order to get all groups done by 9 am before the heat and humidity gets to be too bad. Even with these challenges, our runners have worked extremely hard and been super positive.     

One of our top runners, Evan Wilkerson, has taken his training to another level. He was due for a breakout season as a junior in track, however, with the cancellation of the season, he wasn't able to have those opportunities. He has been training hard thus far this summer. We expect him to have a breakout season as a senior this fall. I believe he has the capability of being an all-state caliber runner this fall. Cade Smith, another senior, has been a 3-time varsity runner for us. He has been working extremely hard and has been showing tremendous leadership. I believe he is set up for a strong season. I can see him being in the mix for all-state this fall. Keary Thompson, a junior, continues to get stronger and stronger. Look for big things from him. I believe we could have a top 3 that is very strong. I believe we have great depth that will help to solidify our top 5/top 7.  

Our goal is to always be competitive within our Conference, Regional, and Sectional. It is always our goal to qualify for state and to compete on a high level. There are many terrific programs around the state. It is our goal to be in the mix with those great programs.


14. Urbana (University)

Head Coach/Coaches: Rachael Brewer

Last Year's Finish: 6th place- State Championship

Key Returners: Aryan Lalwani (Sr.), Alex Dolcos (Sr.)

Projected Top 7: Lalwani, Dolcos, Aniket Gargya (Sr.), Henry Laufenberg (Jr.), Ray Jones (Sr.), Joel Armas (Sr.), Nicholas Phillips (Sr.)

New Additions: Unknown

Unexpected Losses: Unknown

Carson's Outlook: The Illineks have been on a roll in recent years with a top 10 placement at the state meet, this year we could be seeing the same. Aryan Lalwani will look to be one the classifications premier runners looking for a top 5 finish at the state meet, followed by Dolcos and Gargya who will be looking to break 16:00 this season the real question will be how close can their 4th and 5th runner be to them? If the two can work on staying within 30 seconds of Dolcos and Gargya then a top 10 finish should be in the books for Urbana University.


13. Glen Carbon (Father McGivney)

Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Jim Helton /Russ Hart

Last Year's Finish: 15th place- State Championship

Key Returners: Tyler Guthrie (Sr.), Brandon Ahring (Sr.), Tanner Fox (Sr.), Noah Beltramea (Sr.)

Projected Top 7: Guthrie, Ahring, Fox, Beltramea, Riley Strack (So.), Andrew Dupy (Sr.), Nolan Shearer (So.)

New Additions: Diego Pacheco (dual sport soccer/#4 runner as a sophomore), Bryan Shearer (senior/past soccer player)

Unexpected Losses: None

Coach Helton's Outlook: Tyler Guthrie (15th/15:20) returns from an All-State 2019 State Championship race.  He did a nice job of continuing to train through the track season, and actually ran a PR 1600m (4:29) in May.  He has had a consistent summer, and I look for him to continually PR this fall. 

Brandon Ahring also had a strong winter/spring/summer giving us a good 1-2 punch.  Sophomore Riley Strack/Senior Tanner Fox was injured last year, and are healthy.  Seniors Andrew Dupy/Noah Beltramea and Sophomores Nolan Shearer/Evan Rybak has been consistent this summer. 

Diego Pacheco was a dual-sport athlete for FMCHS as a sophomore, and last year he concentrated on soccer only; this year we may see him do both again.  Bryan Shearer is out for the first time and gaining early success. Already two of our invitationals at SIUE have been canceled.  We are training with the hope of competing this fall.


12. Rockford (Christian)

Head Coach/Coaches: Randy Moore

Last Year's Finish: 23rd place- State Championship

Key Returners: D' Artagnon Beaver (Sr.), Stephen Thomas (Sr.), Benjamin Capriola (Jr.), Ethan Walsh (Jr.), and Addison Elliott (Jr.)

Projected Top 7: Beaver, Thomas, Capriola, Walsh, Elliott, Weston Forward (Fr.), Aidan Sosnowski (So.)

New Additions: Weston Forward (Fr.)

Unexpected Losses: None

Coach Moore's Outlook: The boys have done the work on their own this summer. Beaver and Thomas have been outstanding leaders. The boys will be ready to race if given the chance to compete.


11. St. Joseph-Ogden

Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Jason Retz / Terri Rein

Last Year's Finish: 18th place- State Championship

Key Returners: Brandon Mattsey (Sr.), Charlie Mabry (Jr.), Elijah Mock (Jr.), Lukas Hutcherson (Sr.)

Projected Top 7:Mattsey, Mabry, Mock, Hutcherson, Luke Stegall (Jr.), Carson Maroon (Fr.), Caile Kellenberger (Sr.)

New Additions Carson Maroon is an incoming freshman who broke 5:00 in the mile this spring in a time trial. Cailer Kellenberger will be a senior who ran for us as a freshman.  He's back with us for his final year.

Unexpected Losses: None

Coach Retz's Outlook: These men know what it's like to work for each other. Regardless of what the season looks like, they'll be ready for when their time comes. Their bond and culture have renewed our men's teams.  It's obvious their love for each other through their actions and commitment to the sport.  We are working to be better every day.  Our number one goal is to make better people, this team is proving that daily.