The 4A West is ripe for the taking, and Lake Norman returns enough talent and leadership to be a contender for the title.
|Lake Norman (NC)|
|1) Ty Sauerbrey||16:28.00||86|
|2) Jack Mastandrea||16:42.00||124|
|3) Wes Anderson||16:56.00||160|
|4) Wyatt Fedorka||17:07.00||199|
|5) Jacob Ennis||17:13.00||231|
|6) Jack Mueller||17:24.00||285|
|7) Bradley Bocker||17:37.00||341|
Sometimes a team changes spots in these rankings because of something about that specific team - moving up by demonstrated improvement, or dropping due to the loss of a big senior class, for example. In other cases, a team changes places because of something about the teams above or below them. This is the second case: in a situation where the next 4 teams in the rankings are very similar, Lake Norman simply got leapfrogged by a few teams that showed more impressive signs of improvement. Nonetheless, this is a solid team and an underrated program that has been steady in its improvement over the last 3 years. If some of the work ethic shown by graduated senior Patrick Sheehan has rubbed off on the younger runners, then this team has the potential to win a wide-open 4A West regional with no clear favorite entering the season. The Wildcats are even capable of finishing in the top 10 in the 4A state meet with a strong performance, which would be impressive considering the team lost 3 seniors from the 11th-place squad in 2013. Despite those losses, the team is still quite deep, and it is very likely that Lake Norman will have at least 5 guys that are well under 17 mintues this year. There are 5 more seniors in the returning top 7 that will be leaving after the upcoming school year, and a two-year loss of 8 graduates may herald a down year in 2015. For thta reason, the motivation should be very strong to max out the team's potential success this fall.
2013 XC Returning Ranking: 15th
2014 Outdoor Returning Team 1600 Ranking: 27th
2014 Outdoor Returning Team 3200 Ranking: 23rd
5-Year Improvement Rating: 4.238 (26th)
3-Year Improvement Rating: 5.127 (21st)