The Internet Home of Track & Field

Midwest Region
Terre Haute IN November 10, 2007


Midwest is very strong,
even without Michigan and Wisconsin

by Steve (steveu) Underwood
DyeStat News Editor

The NTN Midwest Region, having fewer states to start with – and with Michigan and Wisconsin’s state associations not permitting their teams to participate – may be the smallest in number.

But don’t try and tell the teams from Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana that their clash on the Lavern Gibson Championship XC Course on Nov. 10 is less important than any other region.

Clubs representing the top six girls teams in the Oct. 26 DyeStat Midwest Regional Rankings will be battling for a trip to Portland, plus possibly two more in the top ten. Meanwhile, clubs with runners from at least six of the top 10 boys teams will be there, with a possibility of eight. As it turns out, Michigan teams occupied four of the 20 spots in the last male and female top tens, while Wisconsin was not represented.

In other words, this is still going to be a very strong region.

Illinois, Indiana girls will fight it out again

The drama should be particularly high on the girls side, as the top Illinois and Indiana schools have battled for region supremacy all year. For example, three of these teams had an exquisite battle at the Culver Academies Invite Sept. 22, where Westfield IN won and Lake Central IN also shone, relegating Hinsdale Central IL to 3rd. The teams have stayed in that order ever since and their runners are entered in the regional.

On the other hand, while this week’s rankings have not been released yet, there are due to be some big shakeups – but the new lists will likely prove to include more teams whose runners will be competing at Terre Haute. For example, runners from Fort Wayne Central IN and Carmel IN were a strong 3rd and 4th in the IN state meet behind Westfield and Lake Central, and they are entered. In IL, Hinsdale Central IL was upset by two teams in its sectional, Geneva and Lyons Township, both of whose clubs are potential entrants.

Meanwhile, the club from ranked Ohio power Magnificat is entered, but Massillon Jackson’s is not, yet. But there are also clubs from St. Ursula Academy, Hilliard Darby, and Hoover North Canton on the list.

Westfield and Hinsdale both sent their clubs last year, finishing 7th and 17th. Westfield, especially, seems poised to try and improve on that finish. Westfield also ran in 2005, taking 13th, while Naperville North was 4th and may still enter.

Neuqua Valley IL CC Club heads boys entries

The boys race favorite will be the Naperville Neuqua Valley CC Club (Neuqua Valley IL), whose team has been ranked #1 for much of the season. They are led by Chris Derrick, one of the nation’s top runners and who would be a strong individual favorite to win should his team make it to Portland.

The rest of the IL teams are somewhat up in the air as far as ranked entries, with clubs from Palatine and Naperville North still hoped-for entrants. Runners frolm York IL, which will drop a bit this week after losing its sectional to Naperville North, will again enter their Elmhurst XC Club. The traditional Illinois power, of course, has one of the most storied history in the 3 years of NTN. As Kroy XC, they won the first edition of NTN in 2004. Then switching to the Elmhurst name, they were 2nd in 05 behind Saratoga NY, and 10th last year. Tom Achtien, their top man, is another very strong individual.

Ohio will counter with the Medina XC Club and St. John’s Jesuit RC.  The runners' schools are both in the DyeStat Regional Rankings top ten and ran 1-2 in their region last week. Fishers RC, whose team was the Indiana state champ last week, leads the entries from the host state.

NTN Midwest News index