Boys XC Preseason Rankings: #5

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
  Average Time: 16:39.01 Total Time: 1:23:15.03 1-5 Split: 1:35.24
  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.

Important Data:

  • 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)