Illinois XC 2014: Preseason Rankings

3A Girls Individual XC Preview: Nothing Is Guarranteed Tony Jones Aug 31, 2014

Despite 9 out of 10 and then 21 out of 25 runners coming back for a brand new season, it is like playing a game of Russian roulette. In other words, it is incredibly hard to predict what is going to happen with the flock of runners. You see girls have a different maturing process than the boys. Last year 11 freshmen and sophomore girls earned all-state honors as opposed to two on the boys side (no freshman)… the moral to a long story is while there are a bevy of top returning talent, it is NOT a guarantee that such talent is going to paint the picture status quo.

Class 3A Boys: Super 30 Pre-Season Preview Tony Jones Aug 26, 2014

"There are so many good teams but not enough time"- a wise quote from a high school historian who proclaimed that when a sport is good there is not enough time to really enjoy it. The upcoming boys large classification may fit that bill. A new star was born last year when Hinsdale Central joined the elite class and won their first state championship going away. This year it should be another great cast of scenarios for us all to follow and enjoy.... strap it up and make the time!

3A Girls Team Cross Country Pre-Season Preview: #1-#15 Tony Jones Aug 25, 2014

The cross country scene on Illinois' biggest stage is expected to be MAJOR this season. Consider the fact that defending state champion Glenbard West lost only one girl in its top seven (albeit the great Madeline Perez) and did not even contest themselves after the IHSA season. The Lady Hilltoppers will be in the proverbial catbird seat once again with the likes of a hungry and national teams like Naperville North and New Trier on their heels. Thus the pre-season hype is ready to explode. Don't forget about the hunters lurking just down under and waiting for their opportunity to pounce on those who they catch slacking.

3A Girls Team Cross Country Pre-Season Preview: #25-#16 Tony Jones Aug 24, 2014

This season teams will experience a log jam along the food chain... their will be some traditional mainstays such as Prospect, Lyons Twp., and Sandburg looking to get back to their rightful place in Peoria in November. They are going to have their hands full with emerging teams from the conference level all the way through the sectional round. Only those poised enough to handle the treacherous path will earn a spot on the famed Detweiller Park starting line.

2A Boys Individual XC Preview: Pick Your Poison Tony Jones Aug 22, 2014

Illinois has witnessed some great pair of twins over the years. It started with Todd and Mark McCalister of Deerfield in the late 1970s. They were monster runners for the 1977 team that smashed their way to a state title 71-134 over Elmhurst (York) and cementing their place in IHSA history as one of the best teams in state history as well as the US. The gravy didn’t stop with the McCalister’s as perhaps the greatest duo in IHSA history toed the line from 1995 to 1998 in the Jorge and Eduardo “Ed” Torres twins of Wheeling. Jorge won three titles and Ed finished in the top 10 three times. Don’t forget about Matt and Eric Dettman of York, they were instrumental in helping their team win the 2004 state title finishing second and third. The Dukes would go on to win the first Nike Team National title. Now in present time Jake and Luke Hoffert, the serious and business-like twins of Yorkville, are ready to put a final stamp on their high school careers and legacy. After finishing third and fourth last season and then tearing up the 3A track ranks over the spring, BIG things if not incredible aspirations will be expected from this pair.

2A Boys Team Cross Country Pre-Season Preview: #1-#10 Tony Jones Aug 21, 2014

Class 2A is going to be a league to watch from top to bottom once the post-season kicks off. Yorkville is the defending champion followed by the seething runner-ups from Lansing who beat the Foxes once last year. Illiana Christian is counting down their exit from Illinois to Indiana as a school. Before they head east they want a state championship in their trophy case. Upstart Wheaton Academy is a team that is lurking in the shadow and will have something to say about the climate in November. Overall, cross country is going to be fun to follow!

2A Boys Team Cross Country Pre-Season Preview: #20-#11 Tony Jones Aug 21, 2014

Being middle-class always come with changes. For this year more than any other time since the three-classification system was adopted in 2007 there has been more shuffling than in any time. For example, Chicago Jones moves to 3A because of enrollment changes as does Lisle (Benet Academy). Initially Hinsdale South was slated for 3A but an oversight by the IHSA will keep in 2A for at least another season. Chicago Latin, a tiny private school, makes the jump from 1A. They earned a trophy on the girls side last year.

2A Girls Team Cross Country Pre-Season Preview: #1-#10 Tony Jones Aug 18, 2014

The theme of the season could be "The Lady Fox Trot" or how about "Chasing the Lady Foxes?" Regardless of what anyone decides to call Yorkville they are going to need to add the word "Dynasty" next to their name. The Lady Foxes indeed are poised to defend their state championship a fourth time. In fact, Coach Chris Muth and company have finished first or secord every year since 2009. Some people are taking about 2015 when then junior class is expected to be even more lights out. But first thing first, there are a few teams lurking in the weeds waiting for an opportunity to dethrone the 2A queens of cross country.

2A Girls Team Cross Country Pre-Season Preview: #20-#11 Tony Jones Aug 17, 2014

The opening day of Cross Country is similar to baseball in that it is so refreshing to see everyone after a nice layoff. It is also a time where all solid teams who have prepared themselves well in the offseason feel they a chance to be successful. The traditionally strong teams (powerhouses if you will) will be in it all season long to duel against the big dogs as well as the emerging pups. The question is which one of these teams can step up from the second tier and become a major force in late October and into November? The answer to the question will have to be answered in a series of tests. Milesplit Illinois will be when happens.

2014 Class 1A Boys Individual Pre-Season Preview Alex Goodlad Aug 16, 2014

This was not an easy individual year to rank. It may be that that the top six previewed are pretty safe picks, with those same six back from last year’s top ten. But everyone else, however, is a complete mystery, with 13 of 25 back who originally finished all-state, plus 29 back from this year’s top 50, many of whom majorly stepped up in track. Honestly anyone in the top 20 could end this season a top ten finisher.

1A Boys Team Cross Country Pre-Season Preview: #1-#10 Alex Goodlad Aug 14, 2014

Today we take a cross examination of the top ten boys teams as we anticipate yet another intense battle between many strong teams that you’ve definitely seen before from last year’s slugfest party! The clear favorite is no surprise: Elmwood *cough* *cough*. But whatever team those other trophies end up going to, it will be a surprise, because the top 2-7 look to be very evenly matched for the most part. Really any team in the top 10 could be in the hunt for a trophy if you added them one x-factor, other things equal. But based solely on returning runners, incoming recruits, and some major guesswork on how state scoring influences things, here is where the teams stand.

1A Boys Team Cross Country Pre-Season Preview: #20-#11 Alex Goodlad Aug 13, 2014

Over in this tier of rankings, we have many cross country teams with a lot of returning veterans that look to place lower by the end of the season. There are other teams listed that have proven themselves worthy of state competition (time and time again in some cases) but are just not cut a break in sectional placement, which we can all say is the flawed reality of the sectional system right now. But who is to say what the top 20 best teams are? It’s arbitrary and that’s why we have these rankings for!

2014 Class 1A Girls Individual Pre-Season Preview Alex Goodlad Aug 12, 2014

Generally in 1A girls, getting anywhere in the 17-minute range guarantees you a top ten finish, and getting anywhere under 18:20 guarantees an all-state spot. Last year however, coaches anticipated a competitive year and they were not disappointed. The top ten cut-off was 17:50 then going up to 18:00 for the first 15 harriers. And finally the all-state cutoff was 18:14. While this doesn’t even compare to what kind of cutoff times we generally see from 2A and 3A, this is still very astounding considering the small size of the schools. And this year, this kind of competition does not look to shrivel anytime soon with twelve of last year’s top 25 all back, including seven of last year’s top ten. And the most crucial component in the extremely competitive landscape is Effingham (St. Anthony) sophomore sensation Anna Sophia Keller. The multi-talented youngster appears to be head and shoulders above her competition. Hopefully, a deep returning field will add a bit of drama along the journey to Peoria and beyond.

1A Girls Team Cross Country Preview: #10-#1 Alex Goodlad Aug 11, 2014

From a team perspective, 2014 is looking like a year of excellent top runners. Many teams have two or three runners who can run in the 19-minute range or below. However, in order to make it or break it for a majority of these teams is either finding a solid fifth runner, or getting their fifth runner from last year down.

1A Girls Team Cross Country Preview: #20-#11 Alex Goodlad Aug 10, 2014

From a team perspective, 2014 is looking like a year of excellent top runners. Many teams have two or three runners who can run in the 19-minute range or below. However, in order to make it or break it for a majority of these teams is either finding a solid fifth runner, or getting their fifth runner from last year down.

Cross Country 2014... On The Verge! Tony Jones Aug 8, 2014

The build up to the official start date of the 2014 cross country season has already been in effect. It actually started as soon as the 2014 track and field season ended for the vast majority of the returning teams and individuals.  Of course each new season begins with its own set of hypeness. Well MileSplit has dedicated to lauch its own hypeness attack.