What Sophomores Are Primed To Breakout In 2019?

Cross country can be difficult for athletes entering high school who have never run the 5K distance or never run track or cross country before. We looked for some rising sophomores that seemed to break out on the track compared to their cross country PRs.

We highlighted a few athletes who's breakouts on the track stood out to us.  You can find the complete comparison for the top 500 returning sophomores with their track credentials in the links below.

Full Sophomore Boys Cross Country To Track Comparison

ATHLETE 5000M 800M 1600M 3200M
Logan Kolander 18:40.7 4:45.99 10:16.0
James Elkan 17:13.7 02:12.8 04:41.0 09:51.9
Ryan Motondo 17:14.0 02:16.5 04:31.5 10:38.7

Logan Kolander (Covenant Day School) ran 18:40 as a freshman only breaking 19 minutes twice in the season.  He was on Covenant Day's varsity squad and placed 29th at the NCISAA State Championship.  On the track Kolander stepped his game up big time running 4:45 and 10:16 in the 1600m and 3200m.  He should be able to crush his 18:40 PR early int he XC season.  Kolander is now at Myers Park for his sophomore year winning his first 2 Mile race for the Mustangs.

James Elkan was part of Cary's state championship squad last year as a freshman with a seasons best of 17:13.  With a big graduating class Elkan will now be one of the top guys in a strong program.  He had success running 4:41 and 9:51 on the track last year and could be in the lower 16 minute range this fall as he looks to step up for the Imps.

Ryan Motondo (Walter Williams) progressed down to a 17:13 5K last fall after starting out with a 22 minute season opener.  Motondo continued that success on the track clocking a 4:31 1600m qualifying for the 3A state meet as an individual.  Now a rising sophomore, Motondo should become one of the top faces in the 3A Mideast over the next three years of his high school career.

ATHLETE 5000M 800M 1600M 3200M
Sarah Mitchell 19:33.90 2:29.39 5:08.02 12:31.41
Caroline Blanton 19:31.33 2:28.50 5:14.51 11:24.29
Ana Cubillo 20:21.39 2:23.37 5:22.74 12:21.00

Sarah Mitchell (Grace Christian School) was good as a freshman in cross country running 19:33 at NXNSE.  She was also 2nd in the NCISAA 3A Girls State Meet.  But on the track Mitchell took things to the next level.  She broke out at the outdoor state meet running a major PR of 5:08 for the 1600m placing 2nd behind 8th grader Ryann Aycock.  Mitchell also ran a 11:24 3200m at the end of the track season.  Her times could certainly be in the lower 18 minute range this fall if she can run as well as she has on the track.

While 19:31 is certainly great for a freshman, Caroline Blanton (Marvin Ridge) proved to be capable of much faster after a strong track campaign.  Blanton began the 2018 XC season running 22:32 and dropped 3 minutes off her time over the season.  On the track she continued to improve running 2:28, 5:14 and 11:24.  She should be a frontrunner for a young Marvin Ridge program for years to come.

Ana Cubillo (Green Hope) improved as her freshman cross country season went on a year ago starting out running 23:03 and getting down to 20:21 at the 4A Mideast regional meet.  Cubillo had a great year on the track running 2:23.3 in the 800m and 5:22 in the 1600m.  She didn't race in the championship season, so those times certainly could have been even better.  She should be on the Falcon's top 7 this fall and into the 19 minute range as well.