Scouting Reports: Neuqua Valley

Neuqua Valley boys cross country team has been one of the stronger programs in 2A over the past several years. The Wildcats finished third in 2011 and saw four of their top six runners including Mark Derrick who went to the University of North Carolina (9th at state) and Taylor Soltys (10th). Two returners that will need to step up for NV will be Alekh Meka and NIck Bushelle. Meka a senior finished 49th at state and has the fastest time coming in of 15:05. Coach Paul Vandersteen says that Alekh is doing workouts similar to those that Soltys and Derrick did last summer. He adds that the key for both Meka and Bushelle is how they handle thing at the beginning of the season. Backing them up are a group of seniors; Robbie Hohlman, Mike Whaley, Alex Stowers, Brendan O'Connor, and Sean Meehan. All of which Vandersteen says are hungry and ready to make a difference.

Also in the mix for the top seven will be freshman Connor Horn (4:42) and sophomores Daniel Weiss (4:35) and Matt Horsley (10:18). It will be interesting to see their role on this team because a freshman hasn't contributed to the Wildcat's top seven since Nick Dunn in 2000. If these guys do run with the top group Vandersteen says it probably won't be until early October.

If the first meet of the season is an early indicator of where this squad will be come state, they should be happy. The Wildcats won the Hinsdale South Hornet Invitational over some solid teams like New Trier and Palatine. Mekha was second in 15:16.20 while the remaining four finished in the top thirty. It was a quality win early in the season and great momentum for NV moving forward. 3A will be tough once again with York standing as the premier team in this class, but I think Neuqua Valley can make their way into the top five with a deep, experienced team. 

Coach Paul Vandersteen Says...

We had another great summer. However, we need to work on our consistency throughout the season before we can even think of being on the trophy stand this year.  We have a great group of freshmen and sophomores that will be very good in a couple years."
2012 Returner's Top Times


Neuqua Valley High School 970
  1) Alekh Meka   15:05.00 34
  2) Nick Bushelle   15:17.00 63
  3) Robbie Hohlman   15:48.00 190
  4) Mike Whaley   16:10.70 333
  5) Alex Stowers   16:12.20 350
  Average Time: 15:42.58 -- Total Time: 1:18:32.90 -- 1-5 Split: 1:07.20
  6) Brendan Oconnor   16:18.00 392
  7) Sean Meehan   16:58.75 760

Boys 3200 Meter Run

9:53.25 Meka, Alekh   Upstate 8 Valley Division - Boys   2012-05-10
10:17.84 Horsley, Matthew   Upstate 8 Valley Division - Boys   2012-05-10
10:20.24 Livingston, Matt   Saxon Invitational   2012-04-07
10:26.95 Mehio, Omar   Saxon Invitational   2012-04-07

Boys 1600 Meter Run

4:33.85 Meka, Alekh Saxon Invitational 2012-04-07
4:35.35 Bushelle, Nick Saxon Invitational 2012-04-07
4:35.62 Weiss, Daniel Upstate 8 Valley Division - Boys 2012-05-10
4:46.09 Baker, Mike Saxon Invitational 2012-04-07

More Coverage