Boys Preseason Countdown, Complete from 1-30

16. Science & Math

This is by far the hardest team to predict, because the Unicorns get a new batch of juniors from around the state every year (also the reason for their stellar improvement rating). On the other hand, they lose every class after 2 years, and so they rarely show up well in the returning rankings (which is also the reason for low or non-existent returning track results). That's why this might be a conservative ranking; this Science & Math team has more returning firepower than usual, even before the potential infusion of talent. The defending 2A champions had only 2 seniors in the race last November, and their returning juniors have great experience. If they get in 1 or two top-5 caliber juniors this fall, the Unicorns could be one of the top 10 teams in the state including all classifications, which seems to happen to them every few years. Only one weakness shows up for this team right now: with the graduation of Nicholas Walker, Science & Math lacks a strong front-runner and will be forced to rely on pack running to win, which could put them at a disadvantage against bigger schools during invitationals.

  • Returning Ranking: 24th
  • 3-Year Improvement Rating: 3rd
  • 5-Year Improvement Rating: 3rd
1) Marcus Christensen 16:42.21 97
2) Frank Kenny 16:55.00 144
3) Erik Salgado 17:07.61 208
4) Andrew Spencer 17:17.78 242
5) Spencer Hoffman-Edminster 17:42.80 370
Average Time: 17:09.08 Total Time: 1:25:45.40 1-5 Split: 1:00.59
6) Hoffman-edminse Spen 18:41.00 670
7) Arjun Bhatt 18:50.69 716

17. Millbrook

Another split-personality team, but this one the opposite of Lake Norman. These Wildcats' results from the spring and the history of the program both look much better than the actual returning ranking from 2014. There's a very clear explanation for the discrepancy, though: Millbrook had 4 seniors in their top 7 at the state meet last fall, but since then there has been significant development among the younger runners. Tucker Cera was already a force, and during the spring Luke Gostling made a big step forward. Behind them there are 3 seniors in this fall's projected top 7, which will make an overall loss of 7 scoring graduates in two years - the Wildcats' Improvement rating is really being put to the test!

  • Returning Ranking: 32nd
  • 3-Year Improvement Rating: 6th
  • 5-Year Improvement Rating: 9th
  • Returning 3200 Team Ranking: 11th
  • Returning 1600 Team Ranking: 14th
1) Tucker Cera 15:57.10 12
2) Luke Gostling 16:46.10 112
3) Jack Banask 17:25.80 286
4) Monte Harris 17:43.46 373
5) Evan Hendricks 17:59.23 462
Average Time: 17:10.34 Total Time: 1:25:51.69 1-5 Split: 2:02.13
6) Joey Rivenbark 18:14.55 527
7) Jacob Irving 18:19.24 556

18. Myers Park

There is serious potential among the Mustangs this season. This squad returns 6 of the 7 runners that advanced out of a competitive 4A West Regional and then finished 9th at the state meet. The team doesn't score well in the improvement rating, but that can be a sign of bad luck with injuries. Track results show excellent depth (7 returners under 5 minutes), but only Henry McDonald posted what you would consider a breakthrough time. With 5 seniors in their returning top 7, Myers Park needs this to be a breakthrough season, because some rebuilding is almost inevitable in 2016.

  • Returning Ranking: 12th
  • 3-Year Improvement Rating: 44th
  • 5-Year Improvement Rating: 42nd
  • Returning 1600 Team Ranking: 18th
1) Chris Smith 16:05.00 23
2) Conor McAvoy 16:55.00 143
3) Marshall Williamson 16:56.00 149
4) Henry McDonald 17:02.00 180
5) Jack Martin 17:03.00 189
Average Time: 16:48.20 Total Time: 1:24:01.00 1-5 Split: 58.00
6) Koby Frank 17:04.00 193
7) Mitch Kottkamp 17:28.00 302

19. Lake Norman

This is a tale of two seasons. Returning talent from cross country season says this is a top-15 team, possibly top 10. Returning results from outdoor track, however, tell a different story - the Wildcats don't crack the top 50 in the team 1600 rankings, although they did have a stronger indoor season. So which Lake Norman team will we get this fall? It's a cliche to say that a school needs a strong summer (every team does, of course), but in the case of the Wildcats it really is critical for determining the outcome of the 2015 fall season. With 4 seniors in the projected top 7, leadership will not be in short supply, but a coaching transition can be disruptive to even the strongest-knit teams.

  • Returning Ranking: 11th
  • 3-Year Improvement Rating: 26th
  • 5-Year Improvement Rating: 32nd
1) Jack Mastandrea 16:03.00 19
2) Jacob Ennis 16:33.00 78
3) Zach Clark 17:01.00 175
4) Doug Howard 17:01.00 177
5) Drew Clancy 17:14.00 228
Average Time: 16:46.40 Total Time: 1:23:52.00 1-5 Split: 1:11.00
6) Wolfgang Obrecht 17:45.00 384
7) Evan Harris 17:50.00 416

20. Panther Creek

2011 was the last year that Panther Creek's boys made the cross country state meet, and if you noticed that the Catamounts had three seniors racing at their regional last fall, you might say the chances are slim for them to get back in 2015. Those seniors were #4, #6, and #7, however, and this year's returning top 7 has only one senior - and no juniors. Given that, you could say this Panther Creek squad is actually ahead of schedule (after all, they finished 2nd in the Frosh-Soph Invitational last fall).. Even if the Catamounts don't make the state meet this time around they will have an excellent chance to field a top-15 team in 2016.

  • Returning Ranking: 23rd
  • 3-Year Improvement Rating: 39th
  • 5-Year Improvement Rating: 24th
  • Returning 3200 Team Ranking: 21st
1) Drake Schwehm 16:45.50 108
2) Alec Carlson 16:49.50 123
3) Kyle Fawzi 16:51.00 129
4) Jarred Komyati 17:20.00 254
5) Zack Forgrave 17:55.44 443
Average Time: 17:08.29 Total Time: 1:25:41.44 1-5 Split: 1:09.94
6) Jeffrey Boggess 18:31.70 615
7) Jake Siddiqui 18:38.10 654