Boys Indoor 3200m preview: Distance Aces Are Ready To Go



The winter hibernation is over for many of the top cross country runners and hopefully, their off-season training has done them well for the indoor season. Regardless of how well the fall went, there are going to be some guys who are not on par. At the same time, there will be others that step up and take advantage of the opportunities in front of them.

Liam Newhart (Jr., Oak Park-River Forest)- The state runner-up during cross country made some massive strides in the fall. Newhart was a kid that people knew about as a good athlete, but he turned himself into an elite athlete. He enters this year with a PR of 9:32.23, a mark he should smash when he debuts on the track this indoor season. 

Camyn Viger (Jr., Plainfield South) - The Cougar's top runner has had an excellent start to his season up to this point and creates some major intrigue on what events he will focus on this season. He opened his 3200m journey this past weekend at the D117 Clash at the Coliseum Meet where he ran 9:13.23. He could lower that mark to under 9:10 if he runs the event again this indoor season.

Zac Close (Jr., Naperville Neuqua Valley)- The Wildcat's aerobic beast was part of that race at the D117 Clash at the Coliseum Meet. He took 2nd in a great battle with Viger and finished with a mark of 9:14.60. With longtime coach Paul Vandersteen retiring after this season, expect Close to try and get his coach one last big moment before he leaves. 

Gavin Genisio (Jr., Benton)- This is the best start to a season that we have ever seen out of Genisio who is known to be more of an 8/16 kid, but showed out in the 3200m at the MVP Vibefest Meet running 9:09.42 for the distance. Could we see the 1A XC State Champ focus on some longer distances?

Ethan Hogan (Jr., Columbia)- Hee has had a terrific start to his track season after a superb season on the grass. He ran a solo 9:13.31 this past weekend at the Knights Boys Indoor Invite and showed that he will be a name to watch. It would be awesome to get a matchup between him and Genisio this indoor season. We will have to see what happens. 

Dylon Nalley (Jr., Marion) - The 2A State Champ from the fall was arguably the top dog during the season. Running 14:03 in October, the junior showed that he was not playing around. While he hasn't had a great start to his season this year, you can never count out a runner of his pedigree.

Oliver Burns (Sr., Plainfield North) - He had an amazing indoor season last year in the event running 9:23.24 to take 2nd at Top Times. Following an XC season that saw him finish 5th at the State Meet. There are some high expectations for him. Expect to see him below 9:20 this indoor season and for him to be a contender for a Top Times title.

Riley Newport (Sr., Dekalb) - He seems to have more of a focus on the 800m and 1600m this indoor season but was the second-best returner from outdoors last year in the event. He is just someone who needs to be mentioned. He didn't have the xc season he wanted, which may cause him to be a little more hungry in the longer distances.

Honorable mentions: Quintin Lowe (Sr., Batavia), BJ Sorg (Sr., Plainfield South), Trey Sato (Jr., Grayslake Central), Evan Nosek (Jr., Maple Park [Kaneland]), Dylan Ybarra (Jr., O'Fallon), Luca Arcuri (Sr., Park Ridge [Maine South]), Mac Kittrell (Sr., Chicago DePaul College Prep), Joe Schwartz (Sr., Waterloo), Will Kozlowski (Jr., Chicago Lane Tech)