Class A State Preview
Class A Boys Teams and Individual Rankings
1. Westmont – Westmont looked in control from the start to the finish of the race last week. They should be the team to beat this weekend. They have a very solid pack and might have a chance to become one of the first teams in recent memory to win state as a team and have no All-State runners.
2. Elmwood-Brimfield – Elmwood-Brimfield should be a solid contender for the team title. They can realistically have three All-State individual runners. That will definitely put them in position to take home the championship.
3. Tremont – The Turks should also be in the hunt for the team title behind Parker Thompson who will be in the hunt to repeat as the individual championship. They will need a strong performance from all 5 runners, but they have a shot if they all put in a great race.
4. Winnebago – Winnebago should be right in the middle of the trophy hunt. Behind Sean Smith, who is favored to win it all, this team can take home yet another trophy.
5. Urbana Uni-High – Uni-High stepped up and ran tremendous last Saturday. With Malcolm Taylor back and healthy, they are also in the hunt for a trophy. If they can repeat their performance from last Saturday, they will be right with the top three.
6. Bureau Valley – Bureau Valley had 4 runners at 16:00 or under at sectionals, and they will need to repeat that feat at state if they want a chance to trophy. They finally have everyone healthy and running well.
7. Carlinville – The Cavaliers had a nice race to win their sectional last weekend. They have a strong chance to trophy, but they will need to have their 4-5 runners close the gap if they want a chance to trophy.
8. Beecher – Beecher surprised many this past weekend taking 2nd at the PBL Sectional. They have a very potent 1-2 punch with Paarlberg and Nykasa, which might put them in contention for a top 5 spot.
9. St. Joseph-Ogden – After taking 3rd at sectionals this past week, St. Joseph-Ogden looks for their pack to move a bit and maybe slide into a top 5 spot if they can put one last race together.
10. Newman Central Catholic – The big question with the Comets is whether or not Jake Trancoso is healthy. If he is, they can easily be in trophy contention, but if he is still ailing, this group of teams is just too tight to place high without Trancoso at his best.
11. Bloomington Central Catholic - The Saints seemed to struggle a little at sectionals on Saturday but they still feel they will be in contention for a top 10 spot at Peoria. This should be within their reach if they can put together a good race.
12. Stanford Olympia – It is hard to judge how good Olympia is since they were overshadowed by two of the top three teams in state over the weekend. They are definitely a strong team and can definitely compete for a top 10 spot.
13. Ottawa Marquette – Ottawa Marquette surprised many at the very strong Aurora Sectional to finish in the top four, and their depth paid off big for them. At state however, their gap may be too big to overcome.
14. Sparta – Led by Wade Reeves, the Bulldogs have a nice tight pack that should help them land in the top 15 next weekend.
15. Lawrenceville – Lawrenceville has quietly put together a nice year and they hope to cap it off with a top 15 finish. Led by Graham Morris, this should be easy for them to accomplish.
Best of the rest: Robinson, Canton, Rochester, East Richland, Metro East Lutheran
1. Sean Smith (Winnebago) – Smith has been undefeated against Class 1A runners, and look for him to finish out his high school career with an Illinois Cross Country State Championship.
2. Tom Pacey (Paxton-Buckley-Loda) – Pacey has looked very strong the last half of the season, and he should compete with Smith for the title. In fact, he may surprise the field and take the championship.
3. Parker Thompson (Tremont) – Thompson would love to defend his championship, but his injuries this season has hampered him from reaching the same level as last year.
4. Alejandro Montoya (Elmwood-Brimfield) – Montoya has been lights out the past few weeks. He just seems to improve every race he runs and could break into the top three with a great race.
5. Matt Paarlberg (Beecher) – Paarlberg looks like he is back from his injury issues. With his race on Saturday, he made a statement that he is one of the elite in the state.
6. Blake Delong (Hillsboro) – Delong ran away with his sectional in Edwardsville, and he would love to follow that up with another stellar performance at the state cross country meet.
7. Justin Rehfeldt (Rockford Christian) – Rehfeldt looked strong in his runner up performance at the Aurora Sectional last weekend. Look for Justin to make a push for the top five.
8. John Curran (Bloomington Central Catholic) – Curran is capable of making a run at the top 5, but there are some awful strong runners rated in front of him. He should be happy with a top ten performance at state.
9. Ryan Brown (Shelbyville) – Brown has steadily improved during the tail end of the season, and he would love to cap it off with a top 10 finish.
10. Brian Peterson (Olympia) – Peterson has had a strong season this year, and looks to not only finish individually in the top ten, but he also hopes lead his team to a top ten finish.
11. Nick Skromme (Ottawa Marquette) – Skromme has flown under the radar for a good portion of the year but look for him to come up big next Saturday.
12. Malcolm Taylor (Uni High) – Taylor seems to be healthy, and if healthy, he could be dangerous. He could push for a top 10 finish.
13. Scott Janusick (Hall) – Janusick looks to become only the 2nd Hall runner in the past 20 years to become All-State in Cross Country. If he runs like he did on Saturday, he will deliver.
14. Will Cross (Delevan) – Cross has become a top 15 contender with his great races late in the year. He should continue this trend to break into the top 15.
15. Tony Young (Elmwood-Brimfield) – With his team in the title hunt, Tony Hunt will be looked upon to have a big day. If he can push into the All-State positions, he will help make his team a lock for a trophy.
16. Alec Shunk (Rochester) – If Shunk can put it together on Saturday, there is no reason to think he is not capable of a top 10 finish.
17. Graham Morris (Lawrenceville) –Morris has regained the form that he had earlier in the year before his injury. He should push for a top fifteen performance if he can put together another great race.
18. Dylan Reyes (Sterling Newman Central Catholic) – Reyes is running with a lot of confidence right now, and he would love to cap off his first Cross Country season with a top 20 finish.
19. Griffin Nykassa (Beecher) – Nykassa hopes to bounce back and have a good race in Peoria. He is capable of top 15 performance if he is hitting on all cylinders.
20. Bo Muzikowski (Chicago Hope) – Bo Muzikowski looks like a top twenty performer and if he can duplicate his performance on Saturday, he should become an All-Stater.
Best of the rest: Sando Mazza (Walther Lutheran), Jared Summers (Teutopolis), Wade Reeves (Sparta), Jordan McCarty (Auburn), and Ryan Creegan (Oregon)