Like teeth in a shark's mouth, Mount Tabor keeps replacing departed seniors with vastly improved younger runners.
|Mount Tabor (NC)|
|1) Brad Walter||15:48.46||20|
|2) Kenny Kneisel||16:02.00||31|
|3) Michael Madden||16:49.00||142|
|4) Ian Nickel||17:11.87||226|
|5) Ryan Armstrong||17:23.70||282|
|6) Grayson Campanaro||17:47.00||405|
|7) Isaac Ingram-Edwards||17:50.55||429|
The biggest jumper on either the boys' or girls' list is Mount Tabor, and for a simple reason: we got tired of them greatly exceeding predictions. There is simply no way the Spartans end up as the 14th-best team in the state, which is what the database predicts for them. This team has strong returning 3200 results from the spring, owns the 2nd-best track record for improvement, and has an average All-Classes final ranking of 3.7 over the last 3 years (and 5.8 over the last 5). In 2013, NCRunners predicted them 9th in the preseason, as Coach Cromwell made it a point to mention while on the podium collecting the team's 4A runner-up trophy. That kind of intensity and passion rubs off on the team, which gives Mount Tabor arguably the best culture of hard work in North Carolina. 4 seniors graduated from the 2013 team, and the 2014 projected roster has 4 more; very few programs can sustain success with that kind of attrition. Depth could be a big concern with only three sub-17 returners (and 2 under 10 minutes in the spring), but the Spartans have made it a habit to discover a new budding star nearly every fall season. If they make the same summer leap that they have over each of the last 3 offseasons, count on these guys to be in the mix at the state meet once again.
2013 XC Returning Ranking: 14th
2014 Outdoor Returning Team 1600 Ranking: 8th
2014 Outdoor Returning Team 3200 Ranking: 4th
5-Year Improvement Plan: 16.360 (2nd)
3-Year Improvement Plan: 23.849 (2nd)