The Five Boys Storylines To Watch For at DNIP 2022

Championship 3200m time-

With bad weather and certain athletes going AWOL for a chunk of the calendar season, there is a vibe that something major could erupt. The field of 15 young men will feature some of the most talented distance runners around. Luke Wiley (Sr., Warren) and defending champion Drew Rogers (Sr., Herscher) sit atop as favorites to not only win but perhaps go under 9:00.

Wiley will certainly be motivated in going after an improved effort after running just 9:14.67 at the Arcadia Invitational several weeks ago. His personal best of 9:02.22 (en route at New Balance Nationals Indoor) suggests he will be among the state's list leaders by the end of the evening.

Rogers on the other hand has a resume that lists a swift 8:57.78 from last year's winning effort. Rogers could be a little rusty after missing the entire '21 post-season cross country festivities and all of this year's indoor season. But recently, he has shown some signs of what could be. Is his 9:18.12 winning effort good enough to produce a similar performance as he wants? It all will depend on weather conditions, his personal fitness in real-time, and the opening pace.

Tim Neumann (Sr., Downers Grove South) may have been waiting for this moment to steal the biggest track race of his life. Though he has run sub-9:20 during the indoor season, the focus has been on improving leg speed and speed endurance in shorter races. Neumann could be the guy to surprise us all.

Riley Newport (Jr., Dekalb) put in an ambitious seed time of 9:10 even though his lifetime best is 9:27.25. In his defense, he did run 14:15 for three miles in cross country and the arrow in his recent track performances (4:17, 1:58) is a cause to celebrate.

Logan Seger (Sr., St. Thomas Aquinas, KS) is the top returning distance runner from the state of Kansas. Had there been Nike Cross Nationals last year he would have qualified. His personal best is 9:09.07 from last year and sports a 9:19 this spring. Seger has the good foot speed and will be in line to place among the elite corps.

Keep an eye on Caden Simone (Sr., Lincoln-Way Central), George Cahill (Sr., New Trier), Ryder James (Sr., PBL), and Andrew Hauser (So., Rock Bridge, MO). These individuals add tremendous value to the field and will make this a race to remember.