Bulletin Board Material

Alright I came out with a new interactive post idea. Let's give it a shot. Here's the game. Pick a team, any team. Paste them in the comment section. Then I will tell you if I think that team will make states or not as of this moment in time. If I say yes, great. I've likely jinxed your team and I apologize, but at least I've got confidence in you. If I say no, then boom: you've got one more thing to throw on the metaphorical (or literal) bulletin board.

I'd encourage people to share their thoughts on why they think I'm wrong or right in my prediction. Hopefully, no one takes offense if I give them a "no" and they use it to their advantage! It's nothing personal, all good fun to get talk going. Let's have fun with this and stay competitive this summer. A lot can change between now and November!

70 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I had a feeling this one would make an early appearance. Probably an unpopular opinion, but I currently have Shanahan on the outside looking in for states. There's a ton of talent so they definitely have the potential, I just want to see a bit more consistency. Tell you one thing, they seem very well built for Lehigh's course.

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    2. A lot depends on how Josh Hoey strategizes his season. He won Ches-Monts, which I think took too much out of him before the District meet. He may want to avoid racing after mid September to ensure he is as fresh as possible.

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    3. Can confirm this is NOT the case. I watched Hoey cruise to his win a chesmonts, then saw him doing a workout on Unionville's track post race as I was cooling down. The kid just wanted to get ready for track early, which, after beatin Principe in the Boston race, may have been the best decision for him. I truly believe Shanahan can contend for a state title, but I also believe they could not make states. As been said, alot of this team is contingent on Josh's dedication to the hills, however, it also contingent on the health of Mcgrory and Yoquinto. 1:57 and 4:33 guys who barely got healthy for districts. Keep those two healthy, with Hoey in front, plus Jonah breaking out like he did this spring, an this team could give CRN a scare. A lot of if's in this equation though.

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    4. Well something has to give, because clearly the 18 day gap between Ches-Monts and the District 1 meet was not sufficient.

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    5. Hoey and Hontz from Rustin battled it out for that Chesmont title and both of them paid the price for that epic duel with tired legs when Districts came around.

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    6. Uhh do you remember when you were 17 years old? To imply that Hoey and Hontz were still tired 18 days after Chesmont's is ridiculous.

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    7. Ever hear of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)? It affects young and old people alike - I've heard of infant runners getting bad soreness a week or two after a hard 5k or grueling long run.

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    8. Josh Hoey 1:49.37/4:08.59 (thru Junior year) Brandon Hontz 1:58.04/4:23.4 (Career)

      Brandon is a very talented runner who had a great HS career; I wish to take nothing away from him. But I'm not sure as athletes these two young men should be discussed in the same paragraph.

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    9. If you check online though, Hontz has better 400 and 3200 PRs, showing great range.

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    10. First off, Hontz went 1:57/4:19 as the best runner Rustin ever produced. But PR's aside, both battled at Chesmonts then had bad races at districts which means DOMS is a real possibility.

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    11. Runners the quality of Hoey and Hontz are not suffering from DOMS 18 days later. Athletes their age tend to rebound in days not weeks.

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    12. DOMS can impact anyone, even after a hard workout.

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    13. Rustin has had some very good runners over the past five years and Hontz is only one of them. DOMS is total nonsense.

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  2. Spring Ford? Hard luck 6th place at districts two years in a row.

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    1. I've currently got Spring Ford slated for a state spot. I'm really rooting for them after the close calls and I'm hoping they use that as motivation. They aren't a lock because some demons are hard to exercise, but I think this group is a talent bunch with sleepers who could step up in that top 5.

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    2. Spring Ford has performed well at the Foundation meet in the past (8th in 2015 and 6th in 2016). If they get over their curse of the District meet they could easily place top 10 at states.

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    1. This is another good one. They get hit pretty hard by graduation, but I've got Carlisle going back to states this year. I've got faith in their program and think they have some really intriguing young talent. A lot of top teams in D3 graduated key pieces as well so it's not like they start the year in a big hole. It will be tight like it always seems to be in D3 but I've got Carlisle advancing.

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  4. North Allegheny? Dan McGoey and T.J. Robinson will be key this year. Turkovich a junior and Philips a senior have yet to break 17 and will need to do so at Coopers Lake if they want to regain their title. Rene Abdalah, brother of multi-time State Champion Marianne Abdalah has a PR of 17:51 but could step up as the 5th guy.

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    1. First of all, wanted to say nice analysis in there. Good info on abdalah, I didn't know about that. I've got North Allegheny making states as well. I think the WPIAL has 4 great teams on paper and NA is going to have to really work just to get out of Coopers Lake, but I have a hard time betting against these guys. I think McGoey is gonna have a big year as well.

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  5. Boyertown? Nobody is talking about them, but they should be.

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    1. Watch out for Christian McComb and Todd Barton - two underrated young gunslingers on an up and coming Boyertown squad

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    2. I'll start by saying I don't have Boyertown making states as of right now. It's really hard to make it out of district one. That being said, I think this Boyertown squad is an excellent sleeper pick that needs to be looked at seriously. I'm excited to see how they match up with league opponent Spring Ford as I think the Spring Ford pack is what Boyertown will need to be better than to make states and the teams, to me at least, seem built in similar ways. McComb I think is a real name to watch as I mentioned in my D1 returners post. Lots to be excited about, but lots of teams to jump in the standings as well. D1 is loaded.

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  6. Central bucks east and west

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    1. Let's do CBW first. I've got these guys out, but I think I may have them 6th on paper. I believe in 2014 and 2016, I picked West as one of my first teams out and they made it through to states anyway. They lost their top 3 from 15 and still made a run to 3rd at districts in 16 so clearly they can reload. I just think this year it will be tougher. Ben Bunch is my name to watch. Want to see if this guy takes a leap. Also interested if any of their 800 talent can become a weapon in XC.

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    2. As for CB East, I also have them missing out. They have the pieces to do it and some guys who have state experience as well so they could be a dangerous team in '17. I considered them for a state spot but ultimately have them just missing. This team still as a lot of talented young guys and should not just contend this season but also in '18.

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  7. How about the West Chester trio of high schools

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    1. Henderson is tops in West Chester but they don't have enough this year so they'll miss states for the first time since during World War II. WC East has a couple of solid guys but not enough so maybe top 20 at districts. Defending Chesmont champs WC Rustin graduated everyone and are rebuilding, top 30 at districts would be an achievement.

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    2. Alright playing catch up here so let's run through the teams. First off, Rustin. I don't have Rustin going to states as of now. They had a great season last season, but they lose some big names from that squad. This is still a big season for this program as they can make a big statement by finishing well on the chesmont yet again.

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    3. I don't have WC East in my states 5 as of right now either. I will say that I think this team is going to be really interesting. East is a solid program who even in "down years" as been a factor for top 10-12 in the always loaded D1. I wouldn't be surprised at all if East is getting state qualifying buzz at some point or another on this blog during the fall.

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    4. I have Henderson slotted for states as of right now. I think they will get it done, but they are not a lock. Having Smucker as a front runner is a real X factor especially while some of the other top teams are developing their front running prescence. I think it will be close, but if you have to bet at someone when you haven't seen any teams race, it makes sense to pick Henderson right?

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  8. Lebo? they gonna implode at wpials like usual?

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    1. Lebo looks like they have the potential to be a top 10 team in the state. Problem is, I think the WPIAL is so good they won't make it out of districts. I think this team is going to come out of the gates looking good and if they survive Coopers they could be a factor at states. People will be upset for me saying this but, as of right now, I think Lebo would have a better shot at making states from D1 than D7

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    1. I don't have CR South slated for a state spot right now. But I will say this team has done a lot of great stuff recently, especially on the track. Unfortunately, they are caught in CR North's shadow a lot of the time. I'd like to see them have a big season and hopefully mix it up at the top of their league against North and Pennsbury among others.

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  10. Mifflin County.

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    1. There have been some amazing D6 battles in recent years where only one team makes it out of AAA. Mifflin County and State College should be super memorable this season. As of now, I don't have Mifflin County making states. I think they are a little inexperienced and might be a year away from their peak. However, the core of this team didn't run like youngsters during the spring and they could speed up that timeline this fall as well.

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    1. I have Downingtown West making states. They were very deep last year as proven by their Carlisle Invitational runs and some other invites where they rested key pieces. I also feel good about this squad developing talent the same way they did with someone like Tyler Rollins who had a breakout spring. I may overestimating this team based on reputation, but I feel good about slotting them at states for now.

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    1. I don't have Conestoga making states as of right now. I will say that, on paper, they've already got one of the hardest things to find which is a great top 3. Now they need to fill in the pieces. I'm really impressed with how this squad has essentially completely turned over the roster from their district title season and emerged as a legit state threat a short while later. If they can cultivate a bit more young talent to round out the varsity squad, I think teams will be justifiably concerned about Conestoga heading into district week.

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  13. Cumberland Valley?

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    1. I've got Cumberland Valley getting back to states this year. Even facing a ton of obstacles last year, they nearly made states. Hopefully, they can keep that core healthy and return to the top of the district. A lot of turnover at the top of D3 this year so it should be an exciting race not just for the state spots but also the district championship. I expect CV to be in it to win it this year.

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  14. Rickie Fowler?

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    1. Definitely my favorite question of the post. Rickie has been super consistent this year, popping up almost any time I click anything on Penntrack. I thought at some point he would tail off or maybe get burned out, but the guy has somehow turned it up a notch in his summer training. At this rate, I expect to see him not just at states, but probably nationals as well. I don't think anyone can escape the presence of Rickie right now.

      I will say, he's gotta step up his endurance. After about 10 seconds, I usually find myself looking past him and onto other teams.

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    2. LOL, Fowler is a beast.

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  15. Chances of CRN making NXN?

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    1. Depends how they do on the downhills of Bowdoin Park - you've gotta find the right sweet spot. A common characteristic I've noticed among the teams that make nationals is they attain the right downhill velocity.

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    2. I heard in 2012 after states as a tune up for regionals, WCH and OH ran a 3200 on the track at WCH to exploit level ground training at race pace but that they also did downhill training together to focus on velocity. It paid off as both made it to nationals that year.

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    3. I started downhill velocity training today. I'm feeling it in my quads.

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    4. What were your maximum and average terminal velocities? That goes a long way in telling whether downhill velocity training will pay dividends at states and nationals; I can scope out who does the training from a mile away based on their performances at the aforementioned meets.

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    5. It's a long season so I don't get on the watch until camp starts.

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  16. North Penn. Daniel Santiago (one of top 5 guys last year) did not run Districts. If he runs this year, they will have all top 5 guys back. Otoole and Grace made states, Cataldi just barely missed out states, Johnson and Santiago are veterans. I think they can be top 3 in Districts behind CRN and DTW.

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    1. I've got North Penn making states as well. I like this team and think they've got a lot of talent on the roster. Admittedly, I thought they would be contenders last year but I may have just been a year early jumping in the bandwagon. Don't forget NP has won an XC state title as recently as 2011 but has struggled to make it back to Hershey since.

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    1. I don't have Pennsbury among states, but I've been really impressed by how this program has developed into a top 10 team every year. They need somebody to step up as a front runner and maybe it will be one of their track guys. I wasn't expecting Kersten to be a state medalist this past year, but he ran clutch and stepped it up. Interested if someone will follow in his footsteps. Watching Scratchard and Sauer closely to start season.

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  18. BUTLER
    Excellent #1 runner
    state experience
    most varsity runners return

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    1. I have Butler making states. As is probably obvious by now, I'm very high on the WPIAL teams for 2017. I feel like Butler has the potential to be awesome. Dressler looks poised for a big year. They've got the front running in Beveridge and Brady. Proved they can peak. Picked up experience. Lots to like here. However, top 4 in WPIAL is very strong so can't count any chickens.

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  19. Don't forget Robbie Hays. The senior has a 4:37 to his name from the recent track season. Butler has a great top 4 and could try and knock off Seneca Valley if a #5 steps runner emerges.

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  20. Greensburg Salem? I personally think New Castle and South Fayette are the top 2 teams in D7 and Greensburg Salem will be fighting just to make the state meet. They relied too much on their front runners last year. Frankie King had an off day at states, hurting the teams performance and making them the 3rd WPIAL team (behind South Fayette and Quaker Valley). Now King and David Ammons are gone, leaving a huge gap in their top 5. I see one of the dark horse teams (Indiana and Uniontown)taking the 3rd spot at districts. Both of these teams have phenomenal depth and could put their entire team in top 50, which is the top 25% of the field. This includes the number 6 and 7 runners. Indiana is the better choice because they have a good leader in state qualifier Rocco Fanella. The only positive for Greensburg Salem is that they are no longer inexperienced. This might of been the reason why they were bested by Seneca Valley in the 4x800m last year. I know most people have them in the 10 at states once again, but I don't see them making it out of their district meet. Its hard to bet against this team, but upsets do happen so I must as well try to predict them.

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    1. This is s very well said post. I don't have much to add. I've got GS advancing as of right now purely because they have the most proven talent. Having low sticks is really valuable and just means you have develop decent guys at 4-5 to be legit. That being said, losing King and Ammons is huge. Way bigger that it even looks on paper. King was hugely important to that team last year and Ammons as a 5 on that squad was excellent. They'd be lucky to have a 5 like that this time around. They will need to have someone come out of left field to be contenders, but as of now I'm not ready to hop off the bandwagon.

      Personally, I think by WPIAL time I'll likely be predicting Uniontown for a spot although I love the stretch Indiana has had in recent years, starting with that great 4x8 squad from a few years back and rolling through state medalist Sam Lenze who will be a big loss for 2017

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  21. Anyone from the central league?

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    1. I don't have any central league teams making it right now, but this is a great league that would be foolish to count out. We already discussed Conestoga, but I also really like Penncrest. I think Penncrest is a real sleeper. They've got two strong front runners and a lot of young talent behind those seniors. I'm very excited to see these guys make a run as they were state qualifiers within the past 5 years or so and have a proven program.

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    1. I don't have Owen J making it to states, although I gotta say this program has surprised me on more ham one occasion over the past two years. There's their memorable Hershey/Paul Short run from two years back but even last year they were churning out surprising results on the grass and the track. Really solid 2 mile results from this group. I wouldn't be surprised if they are in the top 10 again, especially with Conway as a front runner.

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    2. Hey don't count out these guys they have a lot of heart. They are a team that will run through a wall to win. They will come through and beat out Spring Ford and surprise you a lot more than you ever thought possible. Conway is obviously the front runner but you have equally as talented runners behind him. The 2-7 can run with anyone and they have track times to show it. Don't ever count Owen J out. They are the dark horse of the PA high school league and they will be put on the map this year. Paul Short and Hershey are minuscule compared to what they are about to show this year.

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  23. Not XC related but this is huge track news: http://pa.milesplit.com/articles/218204-nations-top-hurdler-thomas-burns-reportedly-transferring-to-pine-richland

    His PRs are ridiculous -- should shatter a ton of records next spring.

    PA has been lucky the last few years with the Affolder's moving to the state and now Burns.

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    1. It's not really huge news to a distance focused blog.

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  24. I personally followed the non-distance events last season at the state meet because of the interesting team story lines. (North Allegheny/Team Owens, Terrence Laird's DQ, Carlisle's top sprinter/hurdler getting hurt, and Hickory wrecking the relays and throwing events in AA). I am one of the few readers of this blog who follows field and sprinting events as well. Thanks for posting this. Burn's presence will make this year very interesting. Adyen Owens was in a class above the rest last year, pulling off a triple gold at WPIALs. If I'm not mistaken, Pine Richland and NA compete in the same section for dual meets. These 2 will definitely face off a lot next year. Owens will have to work for his next state titles no doubt. He could win a state title in many events so it will be interesting to see what he focuses on. I'll try to keep my comments distance focused, though this is a big deal on the track side of things.

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