No. 19: Downers Grove North (IL)
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Analysis: Downers Grove North has been stacking the deck for the past two years. This could be the year where their work flips on its head.
After two straight third-place finishes at the Illinois State Class 3A Championships, the Trojans look to be the team with the inside track to a state title. With four returners back, including the team's top two runners, seniors Caden Weber and Ryan Eddington, Downers Grove North might be the favorite in Class 3A.
Plainfield South also returns its two top runners, but the difference here will be depth. Downers Grove North also returns its No. 5 from the state meet, junior Grant Schroder, and senior Zachary Bender.
After gaining experience over the last two seasons, this third year could be the charm for this Illinois program.
Biggest Question: Putting practice into execution on race day.
A team believing it's capable of success is half the battle. Executing will be the other half. Not every result will or should go the Trojans' way this season, but by November, if this Illinois team has all its cards figured out, a trophy could follow.