Varsity Kansas

XC: The Grandest State Previews In The Land

By Taylor Eldridge

I’ll keep updating this preview throughout the day on Friday, so keep checking back.

No time to waste, let’s get right down to it.Class 6ABOYSProjected Top 101. Roy Wedge, Lawrence2. Andrew Stevens, S.M. South3. Ryan Hocker, Olathe East4. Aaron Pope, Washburn Rural5. Neil Metler, Derby6. Aaron Thornburg, S.M. Northwest7. Joseph Springer, Lawrence8. Sterling Spencer, S.M. Northwest9. Robbie Martinez-Garcia, W. Northwest10. Justin Scott, B.V. WestProjected Team Finish1. Lawrence2. Washburn Rural3. S.M. South4. S.M. Northwest5. Campus6. S.M. West7. B.V. West8. Lawrence Free State9. Derby10. W. Northwest11. W. East12. MaizeGIRLSProjected Top 101. Avery Clifton, Washburn Rural2. Emily Hornbeck, Derby3. Dani Walker, Maize4. Amber Green, Derby5. Lisa Imgrund, S.M. Northwest6. Triana Thompson, Junction City7. Brenna MacDonnold, Olathe East8. Amber Eichkorn, W. North9. Mandy Hollis, Junction City10. Christina Smith, ManhattanProjected Team Finish1. Washburn Rural2. Manhattan3. Olathe East4. S.M. South5. Derby6. B.V. West7. S.M. West8. Goddard9. S.M. Northwest10. Maize11. Olathe South12. Dodge CityArea Team Preview

Campus Boys

Running order: Bryant Keirns, Brock Nooney, Nick Ward, Chris Kelly, Cooper Clark, Jeremy Shear, Kyle Smith.X-Factor: Nick WardOutlook: The team is a long shot to win the team title, but to get a trophy is not out of the question. Keirns and Nooney will need to run good races and likely place in the top-15 for a chance. But the real question is what Nick Ward will show up? If he is running at peak form, than I think Campus has a real shot to get in the top-3.

Northwest Boys

Running order: Robbie Martinez-Garcia, Daniel Herbert, Andrew Johnson, Kevin Crafton, Max Surmeier, Michael McCormick, Drake Brown.X-Factor: Daniel Herbert & Andrew JohnsonOutlook: I think RMG is going to run solid and get in the top-10. That means it will be up to Herbert and Johnson for the team score. How well those two should determine how far up Northwest can climb. You sort of know what you’re getting from No. 1 and No 4 and No. 5, but how those 2 and 3 slots shake out is crucial for Northwest.

Derby boys

Running order: Neil Metler, Brandon Lewis, Vontez Long-Curry, Darren Dawdy, Craig Compton, Jake Nugen, Max Runyon.X-Factor: Brandon LewisOutlook: Derby is feeling pretty lucky to be in the state meet right now, but they won’t take it for granted. Metler is going to give a huge edge to Derby over East with a top-5 score likely. I think VLC, Dawdy and Compton have all been pretty solid this season and they are going to finish right around expected. But the real question mark is the freshman, Lewis. He has such great potential that he can really give Derby a good shot to finish in the middle of the pack if he runs well.

East boys

Running order: Aaron Heil, Will Marsh, Jesse Parker, Jacob Seamster-Davis, David Perales, Tanner Follis, Quentin Brown.X-Factor: Will MarshOutlook: East’s lack of a big time runner hurts them here at the state meet, but I still think its depth will play out well. Heil is going to be consistent and get top-20, but can Marsh run a great race again and join him? He’s sort of been all over the place this season, but I think he breaks through and joins Heil in the top-20. The team should be finishing right around Derby once again.

Maize boys

Running order: Ryan Hopkins, Eli Ybarra, Daniel Van Sickle, Landon Kilgore, Brooks Rummery, Kris Jacobsen, Richard Nance.X-Factor: Ryan HopkinsOutlook: Probably are fighting an uphill battle at state. They are a good team and getting to the state meet is a great accomplishment for this team, but they are going to have to run outstanding to get in single digits. Hopkins will set the tone and put a good score first for Maize. If he can sneak in to the top-15, Maize will be looking good but if he is middle of the pack then the Eagles will likely be fighting for a team finish in the top-10.

Derby girls

Running order: Emily Hornbeck, Amber Green, Valerie Nielson, Lindsay Cuadra, Brenna Kleman, Claire Cox, Kaitlan KlemanX-Factor: Lindsay CuadraOutlook: I think Derby is probably the best shot from the Wichita are at a team trophy. You know Hornbeck and Green are going to be up there and likely top-5 or 6. And Nielson has been pretty consistent and should provide a solid third score, but the potential lies in Cuadra. She has shown flashes at time, but if she can put it together for Derby at the right time, then the Panthers might sneak up and snag that third place trophy.

Goddard girls

Running order: Megan Ballinger, Courtney Maddux, Julie Randall, Sarah Irsik, Tiana Hacker, Meredith Skidmore, Briana Pina.X-Factor: Julie RandallOutlook: The team beat Derby at league and would have likely won a regional title if Irsik had ran, but I think Derby’s two studs at the top will be the edge this time. Ballinger will be up there in the top-10 likely, but it will likely come down to Maddux and Randall’s races. They’ve been outstanding all season and they’ll need to be one more time if Goddard wants to pull a shocker.

Maize girls

Running order: Dani Walker, Mary Kranick, Kelsy McNay, Najai Hill, Alex Johnson, Sarah Allen, Corinne Penner.X-Factor: Kelsy McNayOutlook: Walker will be in the top-5 and Kranick and Hill have proven over the course of the season that they are going to be consistent and put up good scores. But McNay, on the other hand, has been all over the place. She missed some of the season and returned and was running really well. If she can get back on track, she has the potential to be the team’s No. 2 runner but if she’s not than she could just as easily be  the fifth score.Class 5ABOYSProjected Top 101. Cameron Sprague, Hutchinson2. Adam Porter, McPherson3. Josh Munsch, Hays4. David Thor, Bishop Carroll5. Javier Segura, Topeka West6. Seth Tophoj, Hays7. Cliff Kissling, Bishop Carroll8. Morgan Riggs, Liberal9. Brooks Ballou, Bonner Springs10. Chris Wise, HutchinsonProjected Team Finish1. Bishop Carroll2. McPherson3. St. Thomas Aquinas4. Liberal5. Topeka West6. Hutchinson7. Mill Valley8. Kapaun Mount Carmel9. KC Turner10. Newton11. Gardner-Edgerton12. Topeka SeamanGIRLSProjected Top 101. Mackenzie Maki, Kapaun Mount Carmel2. Kaelyn Balch, Bishop Carroll3. Ashley Washburn, St. Thomas Aquinas4. Clarissa Johnson, Gardner-Edgerton5. Anastasiya Menestrina, Bishop Carroll6. Rubi Torres, Great Bend7. Meagan Wilderson, St. Thomas Aquinas8. Libby Renzin, St. Thomas Aquinas9. Shannon Ahlstedt, Newton10. Page Miller, PittsburgProjected Team Finish1. St. Thomas Aquinas2. Bishop Carroll3. Newton4. Hutchinson5. Great Bend6. Gardner-Edgerton7. Bishop Miege8. Lansing9. Kapaun Mount Carmel10. Pittsburg11. McPherson12. Topeka SeamanArea Team Preview

Bishop Carroll boys

Running order: David Thor, Cliff Kissling, James Hampton, Andy Schepis, Gage Garcia, Logan Sageser, Spencer Bailly.X-Factor: The freshmanOutlook: Thor and Kissling will be up there int he top-10 no doubt and I think Schepis will bounce back with a solid race at state. But if Carroll is going to lock up a state team title then they need good production from the frosh: Hampton, Garcia, Sageser and Bailly. If two of those four put up solid scores, than I think Carroll wins the team title no sweat.

McPherson boys

Running order: Adam Porter, Caleb Porter, Morgan Peterson, Nikolous Rempe, Preston Mossman, Sklyer Janda, David Shorman.X-Factor: Morgan PetersonOutlook: You know that Porter is in the top-2 no matter what. And you know his younger brother, Caleb, is probably going to step up to the big stage, as well. But how well Peterson, a senior, step up? He’s been a little sketchy in recent weeks, but I think he puts together his best race of the season. If he does, than Mac might make some noise and slide into that second team slot ahead of STA.

Hutchinson boys

Running order: Cameron Sprague, Chris Wise, Seaver Williams, Tyler Williams, Derek Mitchell, Shane Goetz, Steven Banz.X-Factor: The Williams’ brothersOutlook: Sprague should be top-3 no matter what. Wise should be top-10. That sets the stage for the Salt Hawks’ No.3-No. 5 to make something happen. If they are going to pass up Mac, than they’re going to have to have good races from both Williams in the 3 and 4 slots. It should be a close race, but the Salt Hawks are going to have to run outstanding to get higher than 4th.

Kapaun Mount Carmel boys

Running order: Tim Wescott, Tony Baldessari, Cody Saunders, Matt Ayres, Kory Glasgow, Sam Breitenbach, Alex Lievens.X-Factor: Kory GlasgowOutlook: They got here without a true No. 1 runner and if they are going to surprise some people, they’re going to have to do it on its depth. Wescott and Baldessari were solid last week and Saunders and Ayres should be pretty reliable scores at the state meet. But Glasgow has some good high-end potential and that’s what Kapaun needs to tap into if they are going to finish in the middle of the pack.

Newton boys

Running order: Laban Lalouette, Austin Lettau, Joel Gouvion, Dylan Koerner, Dilan Winter, Jerek Shoemaker, Cody MIck.X-Factor: Laban LalouetteOutlook: Talk about a surprise team, that would be this team. Lalouette surprise everyone and really ran well at Regionals last week. How well he runs this time around at the state meet will see if Newton can repeat its performance. This team has been pretty banged up and sick all season, so it’s hard to tell what to expect. When healthy, Lalouette and Lettau are great runners.

Bishop Carroll girls

Running order: Kaelyn Balch, Anastasiya Menestrina, Christian McCaulley, Brandy Tholstrup, Kristen Sponsel, Natalie Englert, Megan Walden.

X-Factor: No. 3-No. 5 runners

Outlook: It’s hard to believe, but Carroll might be the underdog heading in after being the favorite all season long. Balch and Menestrina match up well and should actually edge the first and second STA girls, but it’s how the 3-5 runners stack up that will determine the team title. If Carroll can get clutch performances from McCaulley, Tholstrup or Sponsel, than they might be raising a team title on Saturday.

Newton girls

Running order: Shannon Ahlstedt, Mallorie Coffman, Erin Loeffler, Laci McCartney, Kelsi Langley, Ardys Woodward, Amy Kondziola.

X-Factor: Kelsi Langley

Outlook: The top three on this team has been amazingly consistent all season long. You know they’re going to be up there probably in the top-15. That puts Newton in pretty solid standing against everyone that isn’t named BC or STA. But the difference might be the freshman, Langley. She popped up last name and ran a great time, so if she can repeat that then Newton will have 3rd place wrapped up sooner than later.

Hutchinson girls

Running order: Madison Schrock, Shalonda Maple, Rachel Seitz, Maggie Heck, Erin Allender, Jeni Page, Kylie Sieple.

X-Factor: Shalonda Maple

Outlook: This might be the surprise team of the meet. I like the depth that the Salt Hawks have and I think they sneak up on Newton if its not careful. It really depends on how Maple and Schrock run. If they can at least stay somewhere close to the Newton girls, than a trophy might be theirs. Maple ran probably her best race of the season last week, so if she can repeat it than Hutch will make things interesting.

Kapaun Mount Carmel girls

Running order: Mackenzie Maki, Marie Schaller, Veronica Kolejakova, Bridgette Volliere, Katie Hand, Megan Crawford, Melissa Davied.

X-Factor: Katie Hand

Outlook: Maki will be either 1st or 2nd and Schaller should be in the top-20. After that, it’s a big unknown for Kapaun. They stepped up and ran well last week, but they’ll need to turn it into another gear for this meet. The key might be Hand, who has been up and down this season. If she can peak at the right time, than Kapaun might be able to finish in the middle of the pack.Class 4ABOYSProjected Top 101. Evan Landes, Mulvane2. Riley Woodward, Wamego3. Tony Weiss, Baldwin4. Nikki Trooien-Smith, Mulvane5. Nick Lockwood, Mulvane6. Hudson Phillip, Wamego7. James Wilson, Abilene8. Israel Mendoza, Ulysses9. Austin Hinchley, Desoto10. Sam McDaniel, Scott CityProjected Team Finish1. Mulvane2. Wamego3. Desoto4. Baldwin5. Clay Center6. Ulysses7. Hesston8. Hugoton9. Valley Center10. Anderson County11. Santa Fe Trail12. PaolaGIRLSProjected Top 101. Molly Milbourn, El Dorado2. Morgan Wedekind, Valley Center3. Cheyenne Becker, Pratt4. Kristin Strecker, Topeka Hayden5. Bridgette McCormick, St. James6. Haylee Steffen, Abilene7. Amy Feldkamp, St. James8. Ellie Sheridan, Desoto9. Brielle Lund, Clay Center10. Rachelle Harmon, HoltonProjected Team Finish1. Baldwin2. Desoto3. Clearwater4. Wamego5. Topeka Hayden6. Clay Center7. Valley Center8. St. James9. Buhler10. Chanute11. El Dorado12. Andale