Trying to figure out who is the best team is nearly impossible without running any races, but OHRunners has tried to do just that (solely based on last year's results and returning runners). Today we take a stab at the Preseason Division 1 Top 10 Boys Teams, Preseason Regional Top 5 Teams and the Top 10 Returning Times.
Medina looks to repeat as the state champion, and as of now they are looking pretty good to do so. Medina loses three of their runners from the state championship squad, but is ready to reload with many talented runners waiting for their chance to shine. Individual State Champion Donny Roys leads the way for senior laden Medina followed closely by fellow seniors Lucas Walters, Jake Boyert and Ryan Fallow. Medina will also have three sophomores chomping at the bit trying to make the varsity squad, that all ran sub 17:10 as freshman. This looks to be a great mix of experience and young talent that many coaches are looking for.
Centerville, last year's runner up, is looking to stop Medina from repeating as state champions this year. Centerville loses four of its top 10 runners from last year and three runners from its state runner up team, but will have no problem reloading with the great amount of depth that they have with carrying over 100 athletes on the boys team. This is another senior laden team with seniors Shawn Roberts, Eric Schmidt, Matt Montavon, and Logan Wright returning. These four seniors will look for seniors Tom O'Connell and John Heinrichs, sophomores Domenic Fish, Nick Ruschmann and Austin Gregory, and even freshman Collin Franks and Chase Coale to step up and fill out the remainder of the varsity spots. This is another team that has a great mix of senior experience and young talent that proves to work out well in the post season.
3. Pickerington North
Last year this was a young team, with one senior, one junior, four sophomores and a freshman running at the state meet. This year Pickerington North will be an experienced team with one senior, four juniors and a freshman leading the way. This may not be Pickerington North's year to win the state title, but they may have a great shot at placing high at the final meet of the season (and running on your home course will bode well to at least qualify to the state meet). Pickerington North has four juniors that all have run sub 16:50 in Daniel Garleb, Greg Black, Mitchell Phillips and Nick Hissrich.
4. Brecksville-Broadview Heights
After a solid fourth place finish at the state meet, BB Heights looks to pick up where they left off. BB Heights loses half of the their top 10 runners, but only loses their top scorer and their two displacers from their state meet team. Senior Sal Caroniti looks to lead a veteran crew this season. Brett McAdams and Dave Jacobson will look to dip below the 16:00 barrier, which would help BB Heights be a contender for the state championship title.
After finishing 10th last year at the state meet, Mason looks to make the jump to a contender this year with their experienced youth. Mason only loses one runner from their state meet team last year and will be lead by sophomore stud (and Outdoor 3200m winner) Zach Wills. Ed Carlin will provide the senior leadership for this group that will likely be made up of mainly juniors and sophomores.
6. Hilliard Davidson
On paper Davidson looks like a big contender for the state title, returning all but two from their state meet team. There has been a rumor that they have lost one of their top runners, which could be a big blow to their team title hopes. If all three of their seniors that are under 16:40 and their two juniors, one of which is a sub 16:30 runner, and one of which is a sub 17:00 runner, return, then Davidson will have a shot to make some noise at the state meet. And even if Davidson were to lose a talented runner, they have a large pool of runners in which to fill out their varsity squad.
After losing their top two runners (and the 10th and 11th place scorers at the state meet) Hoover could struggle, but will likely rebound nicely and stay competitive at the state level. Senior Zach Goulet looks to lead Hoovers strong pack that came in just under 17:00 last year. If this strong pack of juniors and seniors can drop some time together by the post season, Hoover will look for a return trip to the state meet and a possible shot at finishing in the top 5.
8. St. John's Jesuit
After a fifth place finish at the state meet last year, St. John's Jesuit is looking for a repeat performance. The loss of Joe Miller will be tough to replace, but senior Kevin Yarnell seems up to the task. Senior Chris Madaras and Sophomore Greg Turissini will look to break 16:00 this year and create a nice 2-3 punch to go along with the front runner Yarnell.
9. St. Ignatius
After losing three of their top five runners, many would count St. Ignatius out of being competitive at the state level, but they have a lot of depth and pretty good pack of runners that have state meet experience. This will be a senior and junior laden team for St. Ignatius with juniors Evan Baum and Chris Manuszak and senior Tony Lucchesi will look to run in the low 16:00's or even sub 16:00 and pull the rest of their team along.
People in the southwest are talking about how the LaSalle class of 2011 could be one of Frank Russo's best classes for Cross Country, and that is a lot to live up to with the success that both Frank Russo and LaSalle have had over the years. This class is lead by Travis Hawes, who finished 12th at the Cross Country State meet as a freshman, and Ethan Bokeno, who really came into his own during the past track season. LaSalle also has a strong contigent of seniors who were in the 17:00-17:10 range last year, if they drop time like a LaSalle team usually does they could be a contender in the Southwest region and a contender at the state meet in years to come.
(Assuming all teams that can choose their Region go to the same Region as last year)
Youngstown Region 1
Stuart Edmonds leads this team that could very well have five seniors as their scoring contingent at almost every meet.
Only loses one from their 8th place state team last year, Mentor will look for a return trip to Scioto Downs this year.
Jarod Williams leads this team and if Curtis Hanle and Nick Fresenko can drop some time, they could be a team to compete within the region.
5. Massillon Perry
There are alot of teams that could challenge for the fourth and fifth spots, but not many that have the low to beginning-of-the-middle-of-the-pack runners that Massilon Perry could produce this year.
Tiffin Region 2
2. Brecksville-Broadview Heights
3. St. John's Jesuit
4. St. Ignatius
5. Cuyahoga Falls
If they can find a fifth runner, they may be able to make a trip to the state meet, but they will have to go through the toughest Division 1 Region first.
Pickerington Region 3
1. Pickerington North
2. Hilliard Davidson
3. Hilliard Darby
Looking to not be "the other Cross Country team in Hilliard", Darby has a shot to make it to the state meet from a weak Region.
Another mix of strong Senior and young talent Reynoldsburg will look for a return trip to Scioto Downs in November.
Could be a team to surprise a few here, if they get a draw into the Pickerington Region (like they did last year) they could disrupt some of the Central teams and take a shot at making the state meet.
Troy Region 4
4. St. Xavier
There has been some talk in the Southwest that St. X will be down, but don't count them out as they may lose a lot of senior leadership, but have more than enough depth to make another run at the state meet.
With two quality front runners in Danny Neff and Doug Norris V-B could make some noise come post-season time if they can get their four through seven runners to drop some time.
Top 10 Returning Times
|1.||15:21.06||Donny Roys||OH||Medina||2009||2007-10-27||OHSAA Regional Cross Country Meet -- Tiffin|
|2.||15:29.00||Zach Wills||OH||Mason||2011||2007-09-15||Alliance Running Invitational|
|3.||15:31.00||Travis Hawes||OH||LaSalle||2011||2007-10-13||Greater Catholic League Championship|
|4.||15:35.92||Shawn Roberts||OH||Centerville||2009||2007-11-03||OHSAA State Cross Country Championships|
|5.||15:37.46||Luis Carbajal||OH||Dublin Scioto||2011||2007-09-15||Galion Cross Country Festival|
|6.||15:39.59||Kevin Yarnell||OH||St. John`s Jesuit||2009||2007-10-13||Toledo City Athletic League Cross Country Championships|
|7.||15:49.27||Chase Beckmann||OH||Gahanna-Lincoln||2009||2007-09-15||Galion Cross Country Festival|
|8.||15:52.34||Nate Slaughter||OH||Cuyahoga Falls||2009||2007-09-15||Galion Cross Country Festival|
|9.||15:52.82||Kyle Wheeler||OH||Green||2010||2007-10-27||OHSAA Regional Cross Country Meet -- Tiffin|
|10.||15:53.45||Daniel Garleb||OH||Pickerington North||2010||2007-10-13||Ohio Capital Conference -- Central Division Championship|