2020 2A Boys Distance Pre-Season Preview: Unclassified

There are many good teams in this state: ranked or not ranked. Distance running is king status in this state so that means "average" squads will fight to the end to gain respect and a spot on the mountain top.



Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Kyle Blanchard/ Katrina Johnson

Key Returners: Brooks Harlan (Sr.), Cory Fleeman (Sr.), Kolton Shoemaker (Sr.), Carson True (Jr.), Levi Shook (Jr.), Alec Cross (Jr.)

Projected Top 7: Harlan, Cory Fleeman, Shemaker, True, Shook, Cross, Ian Justice (Jr.)

New Additions: Ian Justice (Jr.)

Unexpected Losses: Cory Roethelisberger (Jr.)

Coach Blanchard's Outlook: I really feel we will have a strong team, Brooks and Cory will be leading most races this season, and our 3,4, and 5 will be pushing each other as well.


Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Forrest Farokhi/Zach Boehmke, Leslie Edmondson

Key Returners: Jacob Barker (Sr.), Sam Lambert (Jr.), Park Mitchell (Jr.)

Projected Top 7: Barker, Lambert, Mitchell, Hudson Coady (Fr.), Emmanel Lakongo (Jr.), Parker Shroeder (Fr.), Nathan Lasersohn (Sr.)

New Additions: Parker Schroeder (Fr.) Hudson Coady (Fr) Michael, Brian, and Jonathan Allison brothers (Fr.) 

Unexpected Losses: None

Coach Farokhi's Outlook: While we have lost several of our top seven runners, the coaching staff is confident in the next generation of runners who aim to fill their role amongst the top group. We have a larger freshman squad this year, including three brothers who may quickly build their way into a Varsity position. Over the last 5 years, we've been consistently sending individual boys to Detweiller; something that hasn't happened at Urbana in decades. If you zoom out, Urbana's progression has continued to trend upwards. Last year we came close to sending a full squad to Detweiller and that's what we are chasing again in 2020. Best of luck to all Illinois coaches. Let's hope we have a season! 



Head Coach/coaches: Chris Friedman/Steve Carter, Amanda Young

Key returners: Eli Blascyk (Sr.), Noah Hopkins (Jr.), Adam Welsh (Sr.), Gavin Dean (Sr.), Brant Adreon (So.), Henry Welsh (So.)

Projected top 7:Those six along with Sam Blascyk (Fr.), Braden Cox (So.), Isiah Hamann (Jr.), Aiden Mohr (So.), and yes I know there are ten here but we are going to have some good depth

New Additions: Sam Blascyk (Fr.)

Unexpected Losses: Owen Button (So.) was a top 14 guy as a freshman last year, moving to Europe

Coach Friedman's Outlook: I'm really excited about this team! They have a great mix of experience and youth. Our core sophomores (Adreon, H. Welch, Mohr, Cox) had some great team races on the F/S level and then got some great varsity experience in the state series.

Noah Hopkins was injured much of the last month of the season last year, but he is healthy and hungry. Eli Blascyk, Adam Welsh, and Gavin Dean are all capable runners and also wonderful leaders and young men. We lack a hands-down front runner so the pack will be really important for us. What's encouraging though is that this group really likes one another, understands what we are trying to do throughout the season, and is willing to put in the work to get to the goal. While our girls have had plenty of state success lately, the boys are catching up to them and looking to emulate their success!


Lake Villa (Lakes)

Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Travis Shepherd/Dan Jazo, Christine Zucker 

Key Returners: Jack Engel (Sr.), Ben Schneiderheinze (Sr.), Nathan Rolla (Jr.)

Projected Top 7: Engel, Schneiderheinze, Rolla, Gavin Murrie (Jr.), Micah Lind (So.), Ty Dwyer (Sr.), and Quin Maloney (So.).

New Additions: NONE

Unexpected Losses: NONE

Coach Shephard's Outlook: This next season is a big one for us. We finished in the top 15 in 2018 and only 1 athlete from that top 7 remains. We have lost a lot of phenomenal runners to graduation. That gives our current runners a big opportunity to step up and continue our tradition. Jack Engel has the potential to be a great low stick for us and I look for him to run under 15:30. Behind him will be a pack of guys lead by Senior Ben Schneiderheinze. Ben has a tremendous work ethic and has improved drastically since his Sophomore year. He is ready to make the leap under 16 minutes. He will be followed by Nathan Rolla, Gavin Murrie, and Micah Lind.

We need to move that pack into the low 16's and faster if we want to reach our potential. I think we should have 10 guys under 18 minutes, giving us solid depth. Many of these guys were alternates on our 2018 team. They know what it took to get down to the state meet and are hungry to get us back to Detweiller. This team will surprise people. How well we do depends on new leadership stepping up, growing our culture, and cementing our tradition. I can't wait for them to get their opportunity.


Chicago Solorio Academy

Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Robert Dron/ Danyelle Dron

Key Returners: Osvaldo Barranco (Sr.), Alejandro Blanco (Sr.), Filiberto Franco (Sr.), Saul Rios (Sr.)

Projected Top 7: Barranco, Blanco, Franco, Rios, Edgardo Rodriguez (Sr.), ???  

New Additions: No additions..unsure of any incoming freshmen

Coach's Dron's Outlook: The group is small (about 18 guys) but they are committed and consistent. It's a great group of high-achievers and the level of accountability is really promising, especially during this time. I think the guys are bought-in and we hope to continue to do big things at Solorio and build on the legacy.


Aurora (Marmion Academy)

Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Paul McLeland / Father Paul Weberg

Key Returners: Anthony Standish (Sr.), Niraj Abraham (Jr.), Charlie Schultz (Sr.), Nick Coffman (Sr.), Joe Fuchser (Sr.)

Projected Top 7:The above 5, plus Mitchell Gratz (So.), Jack Schokora (Jr.)

New Additions: Mitchell Gratz trained last summer too but did soccer. He could be a top-three runner for us.

Unexpected Losses: none 

Coach McLeland's Outlook: This season is all about character. We don't know what the future holds but we want to be Christlike in our running. Train and work hard but be genuine Christian men. Best summer of training in my three years here. Senior leadership is great with younger guys soaking it all in. The strength will be a tight pack. Getting the pack to move up is the key. The boys have modeled to me that we should focus mostly on how we will improve and not all the other teams.