Top 12 Team Rankings

It seems like the people don't just want to hear me talk and rant and such. The people want rankings. And I want to give the people what they want, Jalen Rose and Grantland style baby. So without further rambling let's get this rolling.

1. Malvern Prep- Malvern Prep is a real nice squad. They have all the key elements of a contender. The big top three is nicely in place with Jaxson Hoey, Billy McDevitt and Colin Wils (with the freshman Josh Hoey likely to be just as good if not better than any of those chaps). Wils looks poised for a strong jump this year after running some low 4:20 and sub 2 type marks on the track. McDevitt broke 9 minutes for 3k and ran a slew of solid races in 2014. And Jaxson Hoey is really a beast. I don't think people realize just how fast this guy's track season was. As just a sophomore his 1500m converts to 4:11.1, a faster time than Ned Willig, Wade Endress, Tom Coyle and Jack Huemmler ever ran in their high school careers. His 9:05 for 3200m is faster than Dan Coval, Sam Hibbs, Kyle Dawson, Rad Gunzenhauser, Chris Aldrich, Glenn Burkhardt, Josh Izewski and Zach Hebda. He was 12th last year at NXN regionals, ahead of studs like Aaron Gebhardt and just 5 seconds back of Kev James and a Nationals spot. If he makes a leap this year, he could be a top 3-5 guy at NXN and that front runner would be huge. Malvern returns 5 of their top 6 from NXN last season, most of them making the soph to junior jump and some making the 8th grader to freshman jump. They have the most returners out of any of the top teams in the region and are an early favorite to come out of the region and head to Portland. Very intriguing squad to watch this season who will likely stay under the radar all year as they wait to time their peak and don't show all their cards until the season is over.

2. North Allegheny- Ah yes, here we are again. North Allegheny returns a slew of guys who have grown each year for the past three years and are poised to strike and take back state gold. They are led out front by state medalist in track and XC Matt McGoey who I am still convinced is on the verge of a huge performance at one of these meets. Not to sell what he has done short. He has run a few times under 9:20 and close to sub 9:10 which is a very rare mark. We have just been spoiled by the depth of talent at 3200m in recent years. McGoey is joined by Hunter Wharrey and Scott Seel (Seamus Love is not at NA anymore apparently?) who were both top 50 guys at states a year ago. Wharrey was nearly a medalist. Plus NA just continues to churn out guys year after year. They beat Altoona last year at Tri States with a JV squad and they have won the WPIAL basically every year forever. Losing Love definitely takes a little bit of their projected dominance away, but this squad is still the favorite in my eyes to reload behind their top 3 and chase state gold once again.

3. Cardinal O'Hara- Here is O'Hara's last 4 years at States: 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd. That first 3rd place team was a bit like this squad. They had a solid group of guys but on paper it didn't seem like they would be dangerous at all. Then they ended up third at states behind medalist Chris Garrity. From there the dynasty was on and they have had a slew of medalists over this 4 year span (8 with Belfatto coming awfully close last year). They return Pastore, Morro and Ryan James from last year's third place squad to try and beef up that pack with Kev James creating the low stick out front they will need to compete. In order to truly challenge the top team, they need to shrink the gap behind Kev and the rest of the boys, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Ryan or Morro take a step towards the top 50.

4. Conestoga- Alright let me point something out for you kids. Since 2006 the following teams have been responsible for all the top 3 finishes: Henderson (5), North Allegheny (6), O'Hara (4), LaSalle (2), North Penn (3), Coatesville (2), Haven (1), CRN (1). Since the PCL joined the PIAA, they have had a top 3 school every year. District One has had a top 3 school every year as well. 8 teams are responsible for the 24 best finishes of the last 8 years. Haven and CRN were both only just third when the cracked the top 3. Haven and Coatesville haven't been truly relevant since 2007. Three teams have taken all the titles since 2007. Why do I say this?

Because if Conestoga does finish the season where I am ranking them now (third in AAA) it would be extremely historic. It would be the equivalent of what Haven did in 2007, finishing a fantastic stretch to become a historic team. Haven got that top 3 finish because they had 4 guys who finished in the top 50 at states (yes that only got you third that year). Conestoga isn't going to need to be quite that good (this year in my mind as of now doesn't project to be near as deep as 2006) but they will need to continue to progress with their returners. They return 6 of 7 from a fantastic story a year ago including the headliner of that Cinderella story in Andrew Marston who stunned the field all the way to finishing 9th a year ago. He's a top 5 returner at states which puts him in the title conversation really. Especially after some excellent track races including some 9:17ish marks at 3200m. That's real quick. Marston is joined by top 50 returner James Cooper who needs to continue to be a top 50 guy, hopefully replacing Sjoreen's production as a near medalist. Nick Cruickshank will also be key, coming off a 16:21 mark from last year.

If Conestoga can hold off a retooled charge from Henderson and win Districts this season, they will break a streak of 5 straight district one championships for the Warriors. Before that North Penn had taken back to back titles and Coatesville had taken back to back titles. Conestoga has a chance to be a historic team.

5. West Chester Henderson- 2 straight state titles, 5 top 2 finishes over the last 8 years, 5 straight district titles. The boys from Henderson are a historic program. It's hard to rank them this low knowing the potential they have. But look, on paper they lose a real lot including two time regional and state champ Tony Russell and a key contributor since his Freshman year Reiny Barchet. Those two were an unreal top 2 for the Henderson boys. They only return Alex Knapp, 18th place finisher at states and 15:38 man at Districts, from their state title squads. Knapp is very strong and a great XC talent, but he will need help. Gordy Barchet and Will Swart will have to become full force varsity guys and some of their incoming freshman and returning youngsters will have to make a jump for this team to continue to contend at a top level. I expect them to find a way to stay relevant this year in the district and state title conversations.

6. Pennsbury- Here is what I like about Pennsbury. They return Sam Webb, a guy I think is going to have a big time season and they return Alek Sauer, a guy with a ton of potential if he could find that extra bit of strength to go with his unbelievable speed. That's 2/3 of a very dangerous top 3. It reminds me of the Coyle-Stone duo. If Sauer can surprise like Stone did 2 years ago and grab a state medal, Pennsbury is in a great spot. Sauer is a 1:52 guy who broke 16 last year and also improved his mile ability. He is a dangerous weapon. My appreciation for Sam Webb's guts and heart is well documented. Somebody has to step up and replace the void left by Liam O'Connell. They have some guys with potential and the Pennsbury squad has been steadily improving every year since Harriman and Webb began to get good. I expect them to take another big step this year with that extra year of experience at Hershey. Remember last year was their first appearance at states in a very long time (I don't even know for sure if they had ever qualified before).

7. Mount Lebanon- Lebo has consistently been an impressive team. They usually run better at States then WPIALs in my opinion, which is encouraging. They have a really strong pack and I expect Todd Gunzenhauser to take a big step forward this year. Maybe it is just the name, but I liked what he was developing into during track. He was a top 5 miler in a very good district. Ian Bruan was really solid last year as well. He was their top man at Hershey. Lebo has JV guys who can step in and fill rolls (they will need to) and has the benefit of racing the best team in the state multiple times to help bring out the best in their team. They need to improve their pack up a bit into the top 50 mix and maybe develop a more clear cut front runner. If they do that, they will be a very dangerous team in 2014.

8. GFS- This is probably too high for GFS, but I'm a big fan of this program and their guys. I think Grayson Hepp is going to have a pretty solid season for them this year in cross. Plus Nick Dahl may end up becoming a real super star. He has already run the equivalent of 9:15 for 3200m this past summer. That's crazy good. GFS has had multiple top teams at NXN regionals over the year and has a young team with loads of potential to improve. They will be pushed by Malvern Prep's elite squad and I think they will turn some heads by season's end. The Independent League is deep and strong this year and that should help GFS take a big step.

9. Cumberland Valley- CV has been the most consistent team in District 3 over the past decade. They always have a competitive squad but haven't been able to break through for a top 5 performance at states, despite some really strong guys. Their young team gets another year older in 2014 Yahya Soliman, a top frosh a year ago, helping lead the way with Owen Seeber helping out along side. They return 4 of their top 5 and should compete for a district title once again.

10. Freedom- Freedom returns 6 of 7 and their entire top 4 from last year's 12th place team. After experiencing an entire year up at the top of the state, the D11 boys should be a much more experienced team, hungry to prove themselves. They are a great under dog story led by top 50 finisher Ben Zeigler. Their spread is great, but their pack needs to move more guys into the top 50 if they are going to be true contenders.

11. Downingtown West- DT West is probably still a year or two away from competing for a state title, but they have been developing a lot of young talent at the District Meet in the JV and Varsity races. A lot of their top returners are mostly rising sophomores which means this team is very young. The return their top 6 guys from an 8th place D1 team last year which makes them instant contenders for a state spot next year. But it is unclear how their youth and inexperience will hinder them going forward towards the difficult state course and the pressure of the moment.

12. CRN- To have them at 12th is probably just silly. They will develop into a top 10 team no doubt, they were just two points out of 4th last year and return 3 of their top 5 and 3 of their top 7. However, they benefited a lot from front runner Ross Wilson and sub 16 man Rob Simmons who both will graduate. That means it's time for Brian Arita and Sean Griswold to take a big step towards the medal spots. Arita was great last year at states with a top 40 finish and will need to continue to improve. CRN will be back at states, that seems almost certain. The question is what will they do when they get there? They will either need to develop a star front runner, or continue to increase their depth if they want to be back in the top 5 of the state. The past 2-3 years have been a fantastic stretch for CRN, probably their best teams in a very long time considering the quality of the top teams in recent years. Can they continue to build on their past success? We shall see.

What's next for Henderson?

What becomes of Henderson?

The boys from west Chester are back to back state champions. But their chances at a three peat seem unlikely. How good should we expect the 2014 warriors to be?

Look Henderson loses a lot from one of the best distance squads in state history. Obviously they lose Anthony Russell, one of the best xc men in state history but they also lose Reiny Barchet who was 5th last year and an all American as a junior. He also ran sub 9:05 and 4:10ish. Then you lose two more sub 9:20 guys in Strat and Collins plus a sub 16 guy in Moy. That's a squad and a half right there. Most teams would kill to have a combination of those guys over the  span of a decade.

But Henderson is well coach and consistent. Should we call this a rebuilding year or a reloading year?

If we think about the two teams closed to this Henderson squad in ability I'd say it's probably the Coatesville national champ squad from 06 and (if we don't count the 2012 Henderson squad) the Ohara squad from 2012 (also could argue 2008 north allegheny because of their great depth as well).

Coatesville graduated their entire top 5 in 2007 and returned a 6 and 7 who were not sub 16 nor were they top 50 guys at states. The strength of Coatesvilles national championship was honestly dependent on 5 guys and they were fortunate those 5 guys were clutch and consistent.

But without those 5 guys in 2007 Coatesville stunned everyone by finishing 2nd at the state championships, beating out North Allegheny and Upper Dublin both of whom were favored heavily over the cville crew. That was where the whole rebuild vs reload thing started.

Coatesville went on to promptly never be relevant on the top stage again. Somehow they have faded into complete obscurity with 0 medalists since 2007 and Connor mclaughlins top 40 performance in 2010 being the closest mark.

North penn in 2007-2008 was the last back to back champion before wch got the double golds. North penn was an interesting story just to pull of the double. It wasn't like Henderson in 12-13 who returned a significant portion of their top 5 after their first title. North penn lost two of their top three guys who were state medalists and returned Brad Miles (coming off an injury as well I think) and then a group of guys who was solid but not sub 16 or well under 10 minutes or anything like that.

But north penn picked up Sam Bernitt from the soccer squad, turned him into a top 10 guy at states and won another state title as their guys continued a steady progression to the top. That squad went about 6 deep and was really carried above lasalle and north allegheny (the best team in the state that year) thanks to huge performances out front a solid day by Quintrell and Stauring (always came through at states and regionals without fail).

That year they graduated 3-6 on their roster and had a bit of a large drop off down to 7. I mean at leagues that year my teammates and I beat all their Jv guys and trust me I was never a quality cross guy.

But north penn used Miles and Bernitt fire power (1-2 at districts) and a slew of newbies (young Chris Trimble and Dan Davis plus a big day from David Delong) to stun for 2nd overall behind the eventual state champs. (Can't remember who that was exactly, but I feel like it was a team that also won states last year).

Then north penn lost miles and Bernitt and Delong. Their top 3 and literally the heart and soul and firepower of their team. They couldn't recover from that. Except they did. They were 2nd at districts again. The next year they were back on top of the state.

And what happened next? Right when north penn seemed like they were invincible? They disappeared from the state landscape. They have not qualified as a team since their state title and jack Macauley has been their only top 50 finisher (small sample size here admittedly).

So the moral from these previous two examples? Just when you think a team is untouchable everything can change. But the moral also is great teams and great runners have a lasting impact. The key is to have guys on your team who remember running with those guys and remember what it takes.

Now look not every team falls off. North allegheny has been 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 4th and 2nd since 2007. In 2007 they were led by two seniors who carried the team with top 12 finishes. The next year they were better. They were 12th at nationals and one of the best teams in the state despite being a disappointing 3rd at states. They lost 3 key seniors from that squads top 5. The next year north allegheny was even better. They finished 2nd at states. They only had one guy in the medals but they still beat out the absurd pack of lasalle. And they just kept turning over the roster and being good. Now they are the favorites to add another title crazy enough. Those great Baldwin teams from 09-10 are rolling in their proverbial graves. Same with that Lebo squad from 11. Those teams just found ways to win. Wpial title after wpial title.

But really the team that reminds me most of this Henderson squad is Ohara the last two years. Ohara was probably less than a second from being back to back champs in 11-12 and were 5th at nationals as a team, second best finish in state history. They returned a big slew of guys in 11 and competed outstandingly for the title in 12. Then they lost 3 of their top 5 including their top 2 (at least their top 2 at states). Ohara would be solid the next year but I'm not sure anyone really expected them to be a clear cut 3rd in the state behind two very good squads. Ohara had a fantastic year and despite being young they remixed the roster, nick smart grew into his own and kev James embraced the front runner role. Now Ohara, despite losing 2 of it's big 3 (and that big 3 was huge in their success on and off the trials) is poking it's head in at the party saying, hey we are gonna try and be in the conversation to win another state title if that's cool with you guys.

But Henderson somehow returns less than Ohara did, less than north penn did, less than north allegheny did and maybe even less than Coatesville did (but probably not). Alex knapp is the line returner from 2013s title squad. He was fantastic last year but now he instantly becomes the leader of the team and the #1 guy with a fair bit of pressure on him.

I remember Andrew Mahoney well. He's the Coatesville guy who returned in 2007 and made that team believe. He kept them hungry and kept them on top one more year before he graduated and things fell off. He was perfect for that roll. That's the kinda guy Henderson needs in the lockeroom.

I personally am a big fan of knapp. As a sophomore he quietly steadily progressed all season, earned the honor of running at states and then straight up saved Henderson at regionals and helped them punch their ticket to nats when he was their #3 tht day. In 2013 he again calmly continued to progress each race to the point where he was sub 15:40 and 18th at states. He has never had the flashy track times but clearly he excels on the trails. He could definitely be top 10 at states next year.

Then who's next? Gordy Barchet comes back from injury. He was a strong runner when healthy and could easily have been inserted on the state championship team in 13. He's not far from sub 16 already. Will Swart is a strong runner as well, he's just had the misfortune of being buried in one of the deepest rosters of all time.

There also is rumor that Henderson will be reloading a few freshman with serious potential. Something like Reinys 14th at districts as a freshman could be coming?

Unfortunately we don't quite have a perfect picture of hendersons roster because they eliminated the jv race at districts (an extremely sad moment for me personally as that is where my season peaked 3 straight years and I'm sure that's the case for a lot of runners on good teams but I'm getting off topic).

But look in 2011 Henderson was 1st at districts and 5th at states (despite not having their best day) and that team lost their #1, #2, #3 (Barchet due to injury), and #4 from a second place team at states. They lost the meat of their roster and turned it into a contender.

In 2006 Henderson was second at states behind the legendary Coatesville squad and lost their 2,3 and 5. The next year, despite having two top 20 guys in the state, they failed to qualify for states.

It's cross country! Anything can happened!

(Hopefully nobody is too mad about reading a big long post where I basically said, "yeah no idea what is going to happen with Henderson this year". I'll tell you what I think now, they will be competing for top 5 in state and tops in d1. Just so you won't feel too let down. They are my 4-7 team in the state right now if I'm ranking squads. Which I might be soon. Stay tuned.)

Is the junior jump real?

Sophomore to junior jump?

Look over the years I have convinced that this thing is real. Juniors are statistically far superior to their sophomore selfs. For example in 2013 the aaa Sophs to hit the medal stand started and ended with jake Brophy. In fact there were just 3 Sophs in the top 50 (and one was 49th by the way). In 2012 you had Webb, abert and kev j on the medal stand. In 2011 you got Caleb wakely and Brent Kennedy. That's a total of 6 medalists in 3 years. 6/75.

Over that same span there have been a lot of juniors. 11 in 2011, 7 in 2012 and a whopping 12 this past year. The state champ has been a junior twice over this stretch and a runner up all 3 years! In 2012 out of those 7 juniors 3 were top 5 guys.

So for those of you keeping score at home that's 30/75 compared to 6/75. And the stats would hold pretty strong with a larger sample size (I just don't have the time or resources at this point to check as I'm literally the etrain these days as a commenter wittily pointed out). I believe Conner Quinn was the only sophomore medalist in 10 before winning the state title and leading juniors to 3 of the top 4 spots. The 30/75 for juniors isn't too far off the seniors who are 39/75 over this stretch. And juniors are beating seniors 2-1 in state titles and 8/15 to 7/15 for top 5 performances. A soph hasn't been top 5 since McNally on 05 was 3rd.

Don't even get me started on freshman over this stretch. Brophy was the first one to even be in the medal discussion for a medal in a long time. None in the top 50 most of the other years (brophy is probably the first top 50 frosh since McNally was 13th in 04).

Look it makes sense. There is a natural physical and mental maturing process that needs to happen here. The state course is nasty and it tears you up if you aren't fully prepared for it. You grow a lot physically from your soph to junior year. You get stronger and adjust to mileage. You get a sense of direction. You want to run fast to impress girls because you are really in to them now. It all contributes (admittedly at varying levels. The girls thing is hugely important obviously the rest is up for debate).

So what does this mean? Well first off all it means I'm quite dim for putting Zach seiger so far down on my top 50 list (as another commenter astutely pointed out). About 10 of this years medalists (give or take a couple) are going to be juniors and seiger is far and away a top 2 returner for Sophs at states. About half the top 5 will be juniors if history is any indication. Whoops.

It also could mean jake brophy should be in title talks. A soph hasn't won states since miller in 03 and he was an all timer. Sophs don't win states. Juniors win a lot honestly. Gottesfield Quinn miller and Russell since 2002. Plus shearn Molino beveridge and dunkelburger on the aa and a lists (oh goodness imagine counting the juniors from that 2011 aa race? I'd still be counting ...).

Plus you have to watch out for Jaxson hoey who had a killer track season and becomes a real nationals threat as both a teammate and an individual. He doesn't race at states so it will be hard to declare him as pas best guy next year (the aaa guys have a huge advantage when deciding who the best guy was in the state, but Dustin Wilson earned the title pretty easily in 2011 I would say), but would it surprise you that much if he became a 15 low stud? Not for me.

And of course there is my personal sleeper pick dom perretta. I see big things out of this guy this year. He was doubling and tripling like a maniac last year and still running solo 1:52 and 1:54.0. And being pissed off about the 1:54.0 double gold. This guy expects to win the state title in cross and with another year under his belt he's going to go toe to toe with griffin Molino.

Fun fact Sophs swept the aa track races last year thanks to perretta and Dominic don't call me huckleberry hockenbury. And there were 3 Sophs a top the aa 3200m race. So watch for hockenbury kachman and loevner to do big things this year as well.

So after pointing out what I did above you are probably saying ... Wait etrain I thought Sophs never did anything? Well suck on that those guys were state champs. Yes that's a fair point, maybe a tad agressively states though, you might want to calm down a tad.

What happened on the track this year in aa was something special. A really impressive group. But track is different than cross. The end of your soph year is closer to your junior year than you think. Your 16 by then in most cases and that may be the magic number. Plus (and don't take offense to this aa guys) aa has less overall talent then aaa and the cream rises to the top faster. It's why I chose to keep my stats strictly on a aaa basis. Doesn't mean that aa Sophs won't make big jumps as juniors (heck yes they will) but it's just a different scenario.

Also one last point: the state course is really hard, hills and things like that complicate the picture a bit. Strength, maturity and poise are more important. Look at Matt kacyons progression and tell me he didn't grow up a lot from soph to junior year. His improved tactics got him about 70 places higher at states in one year.

I will say this, however, we can expect there to be sophomores who are studs. You'd have to go back to 2006 to find a group without a sophomore medalist and that was thanks mostly to an incredible senior class with a few very good juniors to steal the remaining spots. There is almost always a top 7-12 sophomore to take note of.

2007- miles 10th
2008- ayers 8th (excellent soph class with 4 in the top 20)
2009- hibbs 12th
2010- Quinn 20th
2011- Kennedy 7th
2012- abert 12th
2013- brophy 8th

So somebody who was a freshman last year is almost definitely going to be a top 15 guy in the state. Your guess is as good as mine on who that will be (my early pick is somebody like Matt scarpill or Eric Kennedy) and likely the best soph in the state will be calmly running in a gfs jersey away from the Hershey madness states weekend (nick Dahl).  Honestly the top soph may not even emerge until the end of the season. That's how it works most years honestly.

So get excited for what our Sophs will grow into and get excited for what our freshman may become.

Oh and seniors too. They tend to do pretty well I guess.

Team State Champions: What Does It Take?

As we look ahead to 2014, the state landscape is still being molded and taking shape, which leaves the door open for sleepers to emerge and take a hold on the race for gold in November. But what kind of pieces do you need to have to become a state championship team? For staters it helps to run for Henderson, north allegheny or north penn who have combined for all the state championships since 2007 and a lot of the runner up finishes as well. Ohara recently has made a name for themselves with 4 straight top 3 finishes but no titles. Lasalle before them was quite impressive with a pair of top 3 finishes of their own. In fact since the pcl joined the piaa, they have had a team in the top 3 every year at states (just haven't been able to get the gold). But yeah they should probably only send one aaa team, that seems pretty fair.

There is no sure fire recepie for being a state championship squad. Conventional wisdom is you need a big name front runner in the top 10. That holds true for the most part. The top finisher in team scoring has led his team to a title 5 times since 2006 with Dawson, montijo, Gil and Russell twice achieving the feat (notice I said team scoring as montijo was 6th in that race but 1st in team points). But it doesn't mean you can't win with a tight pack. Macauley was 17th overall and his north penn squad still toppled ohara in 2011.

Spread is important as well and people race about it but some super small spreads (like lasalle in 2009) have sometimes failed to get the job done. You need about 4 to 5 guys in the top 50 with 2 to 3 medalists. The medalist counts since 2006 go 3, 3, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, and 5 from the national champs (5 in the top 18 overall that year!). Nobody has had more than 3 besides cville possibly in state history I'd have to check the books.

And if you have the most medalists it's tough to stop you. That's why crn was able to sneak up and knock na down to 4th two years back, they had basically 3 medalists and Zemet was just the 1 for na. Na was much deeper through 5 guys but it didn't matter because the race had been decided out front.

Ohara had 3 in 2012, the same as Henderson, when they were barely beat out. They also had 2 to north penns 1 in 2011, including two in the top 11, but they were again barely beat out. I think Ohara was the best team that year in the state, but hey they didn't get the gold so I guess it's hard to argue. You can win without having the most medalists.

Some other fun facts about medalists while we are talking about it. Henderson had 3 guys in the top 13 at states and had to settle for second in 2006. They basically had the equivalent of the north hills monster out front and then will Kellar (as a freshman admittedly) and still barely fought off haven for 2nd. That's how good a year 2006 was. And oh yeah speaking of north hills they had 3 in the top 11 in the state (and top 13 or so in the region) and couldn't even get a team to qualify. Holy moly. Hatboro horsham might have the most medalists for a team that's never podiumed in recent years. Comber, Quinn, hibbs, hibbs (not hibbs though), and topper all grabbed medals. I think they have had a medalist every year since 2006 besides 2008.

Teams with medalists every year since 06: Henderson, north allegheny, and uh ... Yeah I think that's it off the top of my head. Keep in mind only district 1,3 and 7 have had a medalist every year since 2006 so that's saying something. I didn't thoroughly check that though so I could be wrong but I think d2 missed in 2007, d11 missed in 2007, d12 did before the pcl days, and d6 did in 06 and 07 (basically all the years before wade endress came along and made those guys very relevant again. That dudes impact I think goes underrated sometimes which is why I ranked him so high on my list.)

Really I think depth is awesome and very valuable, but somewhat overrated at the state meet. Henderson was super deep and it was very important to their title hopes. 6th man tie breakers ended up being a factor two years in a row. I get that. Henderson had something like 12 guys in the top 50 over the last two years. Coatesville didn't even do that back in their legendary 06 season. Henderson also had 7 guys sub 16. A mark that you can't put the asterix next to like you can for the top 50 spot (the 2012 and 2013 Henderson teams were competing at a time where the three class system slightly decreases the competition. Gosh I dislike the three class system I'm sorry)

But really I think you need a big 3. I can't name the #5 guys on most teams that won titles and really I struggle with some of the 4s. But the best teams usually have 3 guys that you lean on to get you the title. The teams with better depth do better at the national meets. Think 2008 north allegheny. One medalist and that was 20th place. But at nats they were 12th. Even Ohara who battles tough with 2 in the top 11 but no super power to compete with Russell and Barchet used their depth to get 5th at nats. Those teams all never got a state gold even if they got revenge.

North penn was the king of the big three. Montijo Hoagland and miles in 07 were very good as a trio. Then it was miles Bernitt and Quintrell. Then Macauley Davis and Trimble. Heck in 2012 Henderson needed a big day from rimkis to get Barchet moving and get a title. He had a huge day to run with k James and that's a big part of why they won the title. I already mentioned the big three of crn and it was a big three for Ohara this year that kept them in the top 3 teams when the dust cleared. Henderson had the title on lock this year but knapp emerging into a top 20 guy really clinched the thing.

So which team has the best top 3 this year? Cuz that's who I think will win themselves a state title.

XC Top 50

So I types this on my phone on the way to work. Almost 100% forgot someone or messed up some numbers somewhere so please fill me on your feedback because I literally just did this for fun on the train using memory. So yeah feed back please.
1 Kev James
2 Colin abert
3 Sam Webb
4 Jaxson hoey
5 Jake brophy
6 Dominic hockenbury
7 Griffin Molino
8 Casey comber
9 Zach brehm
10 Jeff van kooten
11 Dominic perretta
12 Aaron gebhardt
13 Matt mcgoey
14 Andrew marston
15 Nick Dahl
16 Sam ritz
17 Alex knapp
18 Will kachman
19 Sebastian curtin
20 Eric Diestelow
21 Paul power
22 Brad foust
23 Sean helverding
24 Kyle gonoude
25 Connor holm
26 Jon Perlman
27 Dom stroh
28 Hunter wharrey
29 Will loevner
30 Alek Sauer
31 Billy mcdevitt
32 Nate Morgan
33 Zach seiger
34 Brian Arita
35 Alex Milligan
36 Mike kolor
37 Todd gunzenhauser
38 Jack tidball
39 Dylan eddinger*
40 Zach skolnekovich
41 Elias Graca
42 Colin wills
43 Will spong
44 Gordy Barchet
45 Sean Weidner
46 Jacob Connors
47 Kyle shinn
48 Eric Kennedy
49 Scott seel
50 josh smith

NCAA Championships

The men of Oregon are chasing an NCAA team title once again! Always exciting to have a distance based team mixing it up with the sprint power houses to try and grab a win Outdoors. It's not going to be easy, but they will have the home track advantage of Hayward field on their side!

The upcoming NCAA meet is set to be one to remember across the board. The 400m should be super exciting with Arman Hall of Florida, who split 43 high this year, racing Deon Leondore who has run 44 and change from scratch this year. Sub 45 man Mike Berry of Oregon will compete for the title as will Brycen Spratling of Pittsburgh.

In the 800m two of PAs own will be in the hunt to make it to the finals and grab an All-American spot. Sam Ellison of Upper Dublin ran 1:47.60 to tie his PR in the regional qualifying meet and comes in as a top 5 seed at this meet. He also split a 1:46 anchor leg at Penn Relays to help get his team the Wheel in the 4x8. Luke Lefebure of Stanford is the other PA alumn in the hunt. He has run 1:47 this spring and grabbed an NCAA championship this year indoors in the DMR.

Edward Kemboi is likely the favorite in the event coming in with an open PR under 1:46. Brandon McBride is also one of the top guys to watch with multiple sub 1:47 marks. Florida has 3 national qualifiers for the second straight year including Sean Obinwa and Andres Arroyo (a freshman who ran 1:47 last year as a Senior in high school). The last high schooler to run 1:47 was Elijah Greer who won the NCAA title last year as a Senior at Oregon so perhaps a title is in young Andres's future when the dust clears.

Harry McFann of Columbia, Patrick Rono of Arkansas and Boru Guyota of Oregon are other names to remember as sleepers for the finals.

The men's 1500 is going to be a very exciting field. Leading the way is defending champion Mac Fleet from Oregon. He has the kick and the home crowd advantage to put him a great spot to repeat as champion. However, he will have his hands full with Law Lalang of Arizona who last summer dropped his PR to a very quick 3:33, considerably faster than the PRs of everyone else in the NCAA (keep in mind the NCAA "record" is Merber's 3:35 from a few years back).

Peter Callahan of New Mexico has a fantastic kick and will be dangerous if the pace is kept slow. He was a national champ at Princeton in the DMR but has not been able to burst through in the 15 and establish himself as an individual. Perhaps this is his year.

Jake Hursyz and frosh sensation Ben Saarel will represent Coloardo in this race. Sub 4 milers Mike Atchoo of Stanford and John Simons of Minnesota will be on the line as well. Brandon Kidder's 3:38 is one of the top times in the NCAA this year and he will look to take home the title for PSU. Also worth noting is Jordan Williamsyz who split 1:46ish at the World Relays and ran 3:56ish indoors for 1 mile. He could give Nova an individual title after the 1500m final is over.

Top 50 List

So clearly I am lagging way behind on getting up the info for why all these guys are awesome and I think there isn't a point in hiding this list when who knows how fast I will be able to get everything up for it. So here we go. The top 50 list with 25 honorable mentions, officially. If you have any questions about why or how or PRs or achievements I'd be happy to elaborate. 

Remember it's all subjective stuff here! There is no right or wrong answer!

Top 50 All-Time Rankings 
  1. Craig Miller, Maheim Township 2006
  2. Chris Spooner, Lewisburg Area 2004
  3. Tom Mallon, Central Bucks South 2010
  4. Paul Springer, Unionville High School 2007
  5. Tony Russell, West Chester Henderson 2014
  6. Drew Magaha, Upper Moreland 2012
  7. Ian Fitzgerald, North Hills 2004
  8. Kyle Francis, Bensalem 2014
  9. Max Kaulbach, GFS 2008
  10. Wade Endress, Altoona 2011
  11. Ross Wilson, Council Rock North 2014
  12. Vince McNally, Conestoga Valley 2008
  13. Jason Weller, Boyertown 2007
  14. Ned Willig, Great Valley 2012
  15. Mark Dennin, Boyertown 2008
  16. Hong Cho, Wissahickon 2011
  17. Colin Martin, Fox Chapel 2014
  18. Sam Havko, Fairview 2009
  19. Dustin Wilson, Chesnut Hill Academy 2012
  20. Ryan Gil, North Allegheny 2011
  21. Max Norris, Harriton 2013
  22. Luke Lefebure, West Chester Henderson 2011
  23. Jake Walker, Elwood City 2006
  24. Jeff Wiseman, CR South 2014
  25. Brad Miller, Manheim Township 2006
  26. Tom Coyle, LaSalle 2013
  27. Michael Palmisano, Upper Dublin 2009
  28. Nick Crits, Wissahickon 2008
  29. Connor Manley, CB West 2011
  30. Jamar Jones, E&S 2007
  31. Brendan Shearn, North Schuylkill 2013
  32. Bobby Micikas, Crestwood 2009
  33. Alec Kunzweiler, Cumberland Valley 2013
  34. Steve Hallinan, O’Hara 2004
  35. Joey Logue, Pennridge 2014
  36. Dan Lowry, LaSalle 2008
  37. Jeff Weiss, McGuffey 2005
  38. Radford Gunzenhauser, Mount Lebanon 2010
  39. Brad Miles, North Penn 2010
  40. Jimmy Tarsnane, Perkiomen Valley 2009
  41. Ken King, Connellsville Area 2005
  42. Reiny Barchet, West Chester Henderson 2014
  43. Zack Montijo, North Penn 2008
  44. Thomas Kehl, Father Judge 2010
  45. Ian Gottesfield, Henderson 2004
  46. Dominic Deluca, Dallas 2014
  47. Joe Beveridge, Bishop McDevitt 2009
  48. Kyle Dawson, Coatesville 2007
  49. Chris Aldrich, Henderson 2008
  50. Will Kellar, West Chester Henderson 2010
  51. David Mock, Westmont Hills 2004
  52. Kyle Moran, Abington 2011
  53. Ben Furcht, Lower Merion 2009
  54. Rico Galassi, Holy Cross 2013
  55. Jack Huemmler, Strath Haven 2013 
  56. Ryan Smathers, North East 2013 
  57. Aaron Kauffman, Red Land 2006
  58. Sam Hibbs, Hatboro Horsham 2012
  59. Mike Booth, West Mifflin 2004
  60. Vinny Todaro, Big Spring 2013
  61. Ben Ritz, Germantown Academy 2013
  62. Glenn Burkhardt, Unionville 2011
  63. Andrew Rotz, Central Dauphin 2007
  64. TJ Hobart, Baldwin 2009
  65. Zach Hebda, North Hills 2011
  66. Andrew Stone, LaSalle 2013
  67. Wil Bailey, Penn Hills 2012
  68. Tommy Gruschow, Trinity 2011
  69. Matt Fischer, Unionville 2010
  70. Nate McClafferty, Conrad Weiser 2011
  71. Andrew Lobb, West Chester East 2007
  72. Josh Izewski, CB East 2008
  73. Keith Capecci, CRN 2006
  74. Greg Williams, Henderson 2004
  75. Sam Luff, Emmaus 2005

More Top All Time Stuff

Trying to get things up as fast as possible so I'll just keep churning these out when I can.

70. Nate McClafferty, Conrad Weisner- 4:11.37 (30th), 1:54.65 (175th)                                  McClafferty was a part of a glory era for Conrad Weiser which began in 2008 when the squad surprised at the District 3 championships and flat out dominated the field. McClafferty was 19th as a sophomore and was the team’s 5th man. As a Junior, McClafferty continued to impress. The Conrad Weiser boys grabbed a second straight district title with McClafferty as the team’s #2 man taking 7th overall in a quality field. 
Outdoors McClafferty turned heads when he upset Ed Schrom to win the 2010 District 3 1600m Championship in a time of 4:19.92. Nate proved it wasn’t a fluke the next weekend at states when he dropped his time to 4:14.79 for 5th place (tops among Juniors). Although he wasn’t known for his cross country achievements, in 2010 Nate rounded out his career on the trails with his 3rd straight top 20 finish at the District 3 championships. He finished with a PR sub 16 for 5k as well.
In 2011, McClafferty was a force on the track. Indoors he nearly stole the Mile championship when he put on a huge move with 800m to go. His mark of 4:15.24was second to Wade Endress’s near record setting 4:13.34. Outdoors, McClafferty continued to roll. He ran 1:54 in the open 8 and anchored his team’s 4x8 to a second place finish at Districts in a blazing time of 7:50. The 4x8 effort and a lost shoe nearly cost him in an individual trip to states, but he grabbed a spot with a 3rd place finish in the district final. In the final he dropped his PR all the way down to 4:11.37 with a blazing kick to catch and pass Ned Willig for 2nd, however, his effort was not quite enough to beat the record setting day of Drew Magaha, who ran 4:07. 
McClafferty is now attending Duke University where he has dropped below 4:10 and run 1:51. Also worth noting, Nate was a Latin convention champion at 1600m before he became a stud on the state level. Gotta rep Latin.
Outdoors McClafferty turned heads when he upset Ed Schrom to win the 2010 District 3 1600m Championship in a time of 4:19.92. Nate proved it wasn’t a fluke the next weekend at states when he dropped his time to 4:14.79 for 5th place (tops among Juniors). Although he wasn’t known for his cross country achievements, in 2010 Nate rounded out his career on the trails with his 3rd straight top 20 finish at the District 3 championships. He finished with a PR sub 16 for 5k as well.
In 2011, McClafferty was a force on the track. Indoors he nearly stole the Mile championship when he put on a huge move with 800m to go. His mark of 4:15.24was second to Wade Endress’s near record setting 4:13.34. Outdoors, McClafferty continued to roll. He ran 1:54 in the open 8 and anchored his team’s 4x8 to a second place finish at Districts in a blazing time of 7:50. The 4x8 effort and a lost shoe nearly cost him in an individual trip to states, but he grabbed a spot with a 3rd place finish in the district final. In the final he dropped his PR all the way down to 4:11.37 with a blazing kick to catch and pass Ned Willig for 2nd, however, his effort was not quite enough to beat the record setting day of Drew Magaha, who ran 4:07. 
McClafferty is now attending Duke University where he has dropped below 4:10 and run 1:51. Also worth noting, Nate was a Latin convention champion at 1600m before he became a stud on the state level. Gotta rep Latin.
69. Matt Fischer, Unionville- 9:03.01 (15th), Outdoor 3200m 2010
Fischer is one of many strong runners within the Unionville family. One of his first big time races came in 2008 when he ran well under 16 minutes at the District championships, finishing in 15:49 in a stacked field. Outdoors Fischer ran 4:21 and made the state championship final. However, he was unable to finish the finals, suffering from a serious leg injury that would end up carrying through to his 2009 XC season. 

But in 2009 Fischer made a big statement to close out his XC season. After the Unionville boys were just 20th as a team at Districts in 2008, they came back with a vengeance and qualified for the state championships behind strong performances by Matt Fischer and teammate Glenn Burkhardt. It was one of Fischer’s first races back from injury and he helped the team finish 4th. The next weekend at states, after finishing 36th at Dsitricts, Fischer turned heads with a 24th place finish at the state championships. Unionville finished a strong 6th as a team at states, one of their best ever finishes.

After a quiet indoors, Fischer and Burkhardt ran a series of strong 2 miles, highlighted by Fischer’s first trip under 9:20 at Henderson. At Districts, Burkhardt and Fischer rolled on the field. Fischer was leading over the final 800m before fading at the line and being beat out by Burkhardt. The Unionville boys beat the North Penn duo of Sam Bernitt and Brad Miles who were the 1-2 finishers in Cross Country at Districts. The next weekend at States Fischer really made his statement. He hung tough off a very fast pace in an extremely deep 3200m (at the time it was one of the deepest races in state history) and then took off over the final 400m. He closed in about 61 seconds at the bell and ran a blazing 9:03 3200m (#15 in state history). He beat out Footlocker finalists like Gil, Miles and Gunzenhauser in the race as well as strong performances by Alex Monroe and Jacob Kildoo.

At Penn State Fischer went on to have a very successful career qualifying for multiple national meets, including this years Outdoor championships. Fischer has run 14:01 and 3:46 as well as 8:04 for 3k. 

Top 50 Rankings (and 25 Honorable Mentions)

As talked about before, here is the beginning of my top 50 document that I have been working on. Technically this piece is not inside the top 50, these guys are just honorable mentions, but I think these runners deserved a mention, even if they couldn't quite break in at the top. So hopefully you enjoy.

As you might remember, I'm currently in the process of relocating to Long Island and do not yet have WiFi in my house so I'm doing this from a public library guest pass. That's going to slow up the process a bit unfortunately, but I hope you guys can stick with me as I produce these. In the coming week I will be starting work which will diminish my time, but I also should be getting access to WiFi in the near future which will allow me to work from home.

Alright now, let's get down to business here. The numbers in parentheses indicate their rank on the All-Time list in each event. State championships are also listed. There 5 will get us started as we work from 75 on backwards.

75.      Sam Luff, Emmaus- 9:10.14 (51st), 4:16.24 (154th)
Sam Luff ran out of District 11, not one of the typical powerhouse districts, however with help from Tyler McCandless, Rich Ryan and Steve Finley the district competed well against the best from the state in the window from 2003-2005. Luff was 28th at States in Cross Country as just a sophomore after he finished 2nd at the District 11 Championships at Desales in 16:23. As a Junior on the trials, he struggled a bit to get his footing, finishing 3rd at Districts and just 40th at States.

However, the Emmaus harrier would find a way to bounce back big time as a Junior. Luff had a fantastic district meet, winning the 3200m in 9:20, helping his Emmaus squad to states in the 4x8 (they ran 8:02) and then he went toe to toe with Rich Ryan of Easton and ran a PR of 4:16 for 2nd place. Ryan would go on to finish third the next weekend at states in the 16, but Luff would do him one better. Luff ran a PR of 9:10 to sneak his way to a second place medal behind Ian Fitzgerald (the defending champ).

Luff carried that momentum into the XC season the next year. He won his first District 11 cross country title at Lehigh with a time of 15:43, 19 seconds ahead of second place. The next weekend at states Luff went toe to toe with the defending state champ, Craig Miller. Miller, who would go on to win 3 straight XC state golds, took an early lead, but Luff pursued him and caught him at 2 miles. During the last mile, Luff faded, but he had an impressive 2nd place finish in 16:04. Luff finished 21st at Footlocker Regionals the next weekend. Indoors Luff finished 3rd in the 3000m (8:44) behind Jake Walker, who set the meet record. Luff went on to compete at the Penn Relays in the 3000m where he ran a fantastic 8:33.45 and finished second overall. A few weeks later at 3200m, Luff was 2nd at the District 11 Championships as a senior, running 9:13 to finish just behind Tyler McCandless. At states, Luff entered as one of the favorites in a fairly wide open field but folded under the pressure and ending up falling to 15th place. Despite the disappointing finish, Luff still had a fantastic senior season and finished as one of the best District 11 athletes in state history. 
74.       Greg Williams, Henderson- 4:15.49c (124th), XC Team 2002, XC Team 2003, Indoor 3000m 2004
In 2002 West Chester Henderson climbed to the top of the XC mountain when they defeated state legends Council Rock North to claim the title 83-95. CRN had beat Henderson by 5 points the week before at Districts where Henderson was led by it’s exciting one-two punch of Ian Gottesfield (1st in 15:25) and Greg Williams (3rd in 15:34). Both men were Juniors. Henderson had been second as a team the previous year behind Cedar Cliff (Williams finished 50th as a sophomore) and they were hungry to finally get a title at states in ’02. But disaster nearly struck the Warriors of Henderson. Williams, who was out front with Gottesfield early in the race, went down hard just steps from the finish. He was headed towards a sure top 5 finish before his body started to break down. Amazingly, Williams was able to find it in him to crawl across the finish line, giving his team another 50th place finish and helping them edge out CRN for the team title. The team’s 6th man finished 213th overall, which meant if Williams didn’t finish, Henderson would not only have lost the title, but likely finished out of the top 4. On the track in 2003, Williams finished 3rd at Districts and 6th at states in the 1600m.

As a Senior, Williams and Henderson faced another threat at the District One Cross Country Championships: Coatesville. The Coatesville squad used a tight pack to finish within two points of Henderson, but a 1-2 finish of Gottesfield and Williams (both in a time of 15:27) got Henderson the nod. The next weekend at states, Gottesfield and Williams seemed poised for another 1-2 punch, but again Williams suffered on the difficult Hershey course. Gottesfield and Williams were 1-2 at 2 miles, but Williams couldn’t hang on the final mile. He finished a strong 15th at the state meet despite his issues. Henderson won the race as a team, giving them a rare back to back championship.

During the 2004 indoor season, Greg ran some excellent races, qualifying him for the state championships in both the mile and the 3k. In the mile, he went toe to toe with state legend Chris Spooner. Spooner’s speed proved to be too much to handle as Williams was beat out by about a second 4:15-4:16. But Williams was not done yet. He doubled back the 3k and, in a difficult and impressive double, was able to snag the indoor 3k state title. His 8:43 was a dominating victory of Steve Hallinan (8:49). Outdoors both Williams and Gottesfield were off the radar, likely due to injury. William’s achievements in XC and his final season of indoor as well as his excellent work in the classroom earned him a spot on the Stanford Cardinals squad.  
73.       Keith Capecci, CRN- 8:27.22 3k, 9:15.20 (103rd)

Keith Capecci is one of the strongest runners in Council Rock North history. And that’s saying something.  In 2005 Keith Capecci gave Craig Miller what was perhaps his toughest ever battle for a state championship. But both runners came from different paths. While Miller was a 2x defending state champion, Capecci was coming off a 38th place finish at the previous year’s state championship. While Miller had won back to back state titles in the 1600m, Capecci was 4th at Districts and 2nd at States in the 3200m. Capecci ran 9:15 to finish second behind Curtis Bixler in one of the craziest state finals in history (9:14.80-9:15.20). Capecci also ran a 1:59 leg to help his Council Rock North team finish 4th at the Penn Relays in the DMR (10:15).

But Capecci had a lot of positive momentum going into the state championship race. He was coming off a 15:07 at Lehigh, one of the fastest times in course history, that gave him his first district title. After Miller took out the pace hard, Capecci ran a hard second mile to get within striking distance of the Manheim Township star. Over the final mile, the strength of Miller was just too much to overcome but Capecci pushed him all the way to the finish. The boys ran 15:30 and 15:34, two of the fastest times ever on that state course lay out. After Miller suffered a collapsed lung, Capecci became the poster boy of PA post season XC. He qualified for Foot Locker Nationals with a 9th place finish at the regional meet and followed it with a 21st place finish at Nationals.

Capecci went outdoors that Spring and ran an 8:27.22 3k at Penn Relays, finishing fourth behind a field that included Matt Centrowitz and Craig Forys as the top two finishers. Capecci’s 3k converts to a 9:04.5 3200m that would put him in the top 25 for so all time. Unfortunately Capecci’s season ended early and he didn’t get a chance to compete at the state meets outdoors that season. He went on to attend Villanova post collegiately. 
72.       Josh Izewski, CB East- 8:30.78, 9:16.03c (115th), Indoor 3000m 2008
Josh Izewski was an excellent distance runner in both cross country and track and field. As a Junior in 2006, Izewski ran 15:39 at the District One Championships earning a 13th place finish. The next week he finished 15th at the state championships. After a disappointing spring season, Izewski was back for XC with a vengeance. He ran a blistering 15:18 at the Viking Course to start off his season. Izewski finished 7th at the District meet in 15:31 and then finished an impressive 3rd at the State meet the next weekend behind future Footlocker finalists Mark Dennin and Chris Aldrich. He capped off his XC season finishing 31st at the Footlocker Regional meet.

Izewski’s 2008 indoor season was likely his best season of work. He usually swam in the winter, but switched his focus his senior year. It paid off as Izewski had a dominate run at 3k, ending with an impressive 8:30.78 state victory over guys like Mark Dennin, Chris Aldrich and Max Kaulbach. Izewski also doubled back to run the 4x800m and anchored his team to 2nd place overall behind a state record performance by North Penn. CB East ran 7:56.93. Izewski went to the National Scholastic Indoor Championship and finished an impressive 5th place. Outdoors Izewski finished 7th at Districts and 15th at States, running a 9:30 3200m at Districts a few minutes after anchoring the CB East 4x8.

Izewski went on to have a very successful career at the University of Florida. He ran 3:53 for 1500m, 8:11 for 3k, 14:02 for 5k and 29:21 for 10k. He qualified for Nationals in the 10k in 2010. 
71.       Andrew Lobb, West Chester East- 1:51.99 (29th), XC Team 2005, Outdoor AAA 800m 2006
At the 2005 XC State Champs, the boys from West Chester East pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent state history. After a disappointing 3rd place finish at Districts, West Chester East beat out Craig Miller’s Manheim Township squad by 1 point for the state title a week later. Lobb was the team’s 4th man at states and finished 44th overall (23rd in team scoring) to help East grab the team gold. He had been 45th the year before. But Lobb’s real value to the East squad was as an 800m runner. After running just 1:59 in 2005 as a sophomore, Lobb ran 1:55.17 to place second at Districts. His seed going into the meet was just 1:58.82. Lobb qualified for the finals at states and stuck his nose in the race. Over the final 100m, he put on a huge kick to slip by Andrew Rotz on the inside and hold off a late charge from Jared Weaver to win the state title in an incredible new PR of 1:51.99.

As a Senior, Lobb had another strong XC season for an 800m specialist. He ran 15:41 at Lehigh and also added a 38th place finish at the state championships. East finished 4th as a team. The following indoors, Lobb finished 5th at states with a 1:54.97 indoor PR. He also ran a key leg on East’s 6th place DMR team (10:41.68). Outdoors Lobb struggled with injuries as he tried to defend his title. He won the District One 800m title (beating future state medalists Matt Wilker, Steve Franks, and Chris Ferry) while also running a key leg on East’s 7:56 state qualifying 4x8. The next weekend at states, he got his squad to the finals of the 4x8 (7:52.22) but nagging injuries kept him out of the 800m individual final.

Lobb had an impressive career that included a signature individual championship, range from 15:41 down to 49.54 and a willingness to sacrifice for his team. His work earned him a spot at the University of Virginia