Boys Top 25 XC Countdown: #13 Leesville Road

#13 Leesville Road

Key Losses

Ian Hixson

Zachary Ohmann

Key Returners

Preston Jones

Colby Crenshaw

Andrew Macemore

Jamal Mohamad

James Blizzard

In 2017 Leesville Road peaked perfectly at the NCHSAA 4A Mideast Regional meet to take 5th place and qualify as a team for the State Championships.  Prior to the meet the were not projected to qualify, but six of their top 7 boys set PRs on the day that mattered.  The Pride went on to go from 5th place in the region to 7th overall in 4A and return all but their #2 Ian Hixson and #3 Zach Ohmann.  This fall they'll still be relatively young with a lot of strong sophomores and juniors looking to make up their top 7.

The teams top returner will be rising senior Preston Jones who ran 16:07 last fall and ended the 2017 season as the Prides fastest boy.  Jones had a big season as a junior dropping his PR down from the low 17s to the low 18s.  On the track Jones dropped 10 seconds off his 1600m PR running a 4:29 both indoors and outdoors.  Jones was under 17 minutes in all of his regular season races last fall, and will look to be a sub-16 minute guy during the 2018 campaign as well as a leader of this semi-young squad.

The teams #2 returner will be rising junior Colby Crenshaw who ran 16:29 last fall as a sophomore.  Crenshaw's sophomore year was his first time running XC for Leesville and he was able to end the season as the teams #4 runner.  Crenshaw improved his track PRs last fall running 10:02 for the 3200m and 4:46 for the 1600m.  

Andrew Macemore had a big breakout last fall as a sophomore dropping his PR by 91 seconds going from 17:53 down to 16:32 ending as the teams #5 guy.  Macemore returns with similar track PRs as Crenshaw after running 4:47 and 10:15 last spring.  He broke 17 four times as a sophomore and ended the year as the teams #5 and placed 66th at the 4A State Championships.

A likely member of the teams top 5 this fall is going to be rising sophomore James Blizzard after having a monster 2018 track season as a freshman.  Blizzard ran 4:38 for the 1600m and placed 8th in the event at the 4A East Regional.  He was the teams top 1600m runner last spring as well and also sports a 3200m PR of 10:11.  As a freshman Blizzard was just outside of the teams top 7 with a 17:54 PR.  He seems to have got it figured out on the track and should be inside the teams top 5 this fall.

The team will also return junior Jamal Mohamad and senior Hayden Reed who were in the teams top 7 last fall.  The pair return with PRs of 17:02 and 17:03 from the regional meet a year ago.  Mohamad had a big year on the track running 4:40 for the 1600m.  They'll also return Will Bell who was the teams #8 runner last fall with a 17:13 PR, but was the teams #3 1600m runner on the track with a 4:42 season best as a junior.  Mac Jacobs, Jack Fuhrer, Quinn Conrad and Ethan Ebbighausen will also fight for a spot within the teams top 7 this fall.  

I think this team's going to have a tight 1-5 gap this fall as they have no true frontrunner, but a very competitive group of guys.  Last fall when they were at their best they finished with a 17 second 1-5 split at the regional meet, then a 23 second gap a week later at the state championships.  They'll be a team to keep an eye on heading into a highly competitive 4A Mideast Regional where the Pride always seem to be at their best.