ShaZam Championship Preview: Division 1 Boys

Date: November 6th, 2020

Location: Three Sisters Park; Chillicothe, IL


7:15am- Facility Opens

10:45am- Warm Up Course opens for Flight 1 (#6 and #7)

11:15am- Boys Flight 1 (#6 and #7) Check in at Start Line 

11:15am- Warm Up Course opens for Flight 2 (#4 and #5) 

11:30am- Boys Flight 1 (#6 and #7) RACE

11:45am- Boys Flight 2 (#4 and #5) Check in at Start Line

11:45am- Warm Up Course opens for Flight 3 (#2 and #3)

12:00pm- Boys Flight 2 (#4 and #5) RACE

12:15pm- Boys Flight 3 (#2 and #3) Check in at Start Line

12:15pm- Warm Up Course opens for Flight 4 (#1 and Individuals)

12:30pm- Boys Flight 3 (#2 and #3) RACE

12:45pm- Boys Flight 4 (#1 and Individuals) Check in at Start Line

1:00pm- Boys Flight 4 (#1 and Individuals) RACE

Shazam Club Decoder: HERE

Final Season Rankings: HERE

How to follow: Twitter-- @milesplitil ; Instagram-- @milesplitil

Teams: (this is officially a club sponsored event, but for clarity purposes for the media and fans, we are using high school names)- #1 Stanford Olympia, #2 Elgin (Harvest Christian Academy), #3 Elmwood, #4 El Paso-Gridley, #5 Chicago Latin, #6 Aurora Central Catholic, #7 Niles (Northridge Prep), #8 Rockford Christian, #9 Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond, #10 St. Joseph Ogden, #11 Monticello, #12 Freeburg, #13 West Chicago (Wheaton Academy), #14 Herscher, #15 West Hancock, #16 Tolono Unity, #18 Benton, #21 Shelbyville, #23 Effingham (St. Anthony), Macomb

Outlook: Typically this would be the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) state championship weekend. When the powers that be made a determination to limit the season to the sectional round, it opened the door for any entity in the best interest of the kids, to put on a championship end of the season meet. Brad Henz and Adam White, the pillars of Shazam Racing, delightfully stood up and put in a bid to get it done. After several months of strategic planning and following all the right protocols, here we are! 

This current model has allowed for the possibility of a "true" championship as 19 of the 20 clubs featured come in ranked. More than rankings are a cache of battle-tested runners who are ready to strut their stuff one final time in 2020.

The Spartan Cross Country Club (Stanford-Olympia HS) is the team to beat led by ace Charlie Kistner who is an individual candidate looking at a top-five placement. His teammates behind him are very formable in Logan Wheeler and Owen Dare. It will come down to the back end of the pack and who can close things out. The undefeated Spartans will face a fellow unbeaten team in the Elgin Holy Cow Athletics (Elgin [Harvest Christian Academy]). Don't be deceived by very sluggish looking times as most of them were run at the 5k distance on a tremendously difficult layout. The Three-Sisters course is tough but not as arduous at HCA- strength will be a big factor during the middle mile. Matthew Olech is the main man and if you forget the damage he presents against the team's scoring average, Holy Cow should be fine and within a top-four trophy spot. 

The individual battle could possibly be the greatest race that the Division 1 (1A) Classification has ever seen as a total of six of our premium 25 ranked athletes will toe the line. If anyone has any hopes of being crowned as the first boys champion of the weekend, they will have to go through the powerhouse Drew Rogers of Herscher. The defending 1A IHSA state champion has been on fire all season long as he has blazed his competition and has remained as our #1 runner in the entire state all year.

Rogers had an amazing day last weekend at the Elgin Harvest Christian Academy Sectional as he easily took first place as the coasted to a new course record. The real test will be if Rogers can have the fastest time on the weekend. Him racing son Friday will be a disadvantage to see that though.

Miles Sheppard of West Hancock will attempt to dethrone Rogers as he has also had an excellent season up to this point. Sheppard was undefeated as he entered the sectionals with multiple wins such as highly rated Fiker Rosen (Quincy HS) in 3A. He had an unexpected loss this past weekend at the sectional round losing to Charlie Kistner of Stanford-Olympia but expect him to bounce back this week.

Also watch out for Layton Hall of Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond, Justin Mumford of Trenton Wesclin, Ryder James of Paxton-Buckley-Loda, and Charlie Kistner of Stanford Olympia as they all will be in the mix in the top group.