Girl Races -
8:10 AM - Girls Varsity Class A (Team Championship)
9:25 AM - Girls Varsity Class AA (Team Championship)
10:25 AM - Girls Varsity Class AAA (Team Championship)
12:25 PM - Girls Reserve Race
Last year's race provided plenty of action on the girl's side. Kayla McCulloch (12) of East Noble, ran to a second place finish in the Class 3A race last year with a time of 18:26.9. She has already bested that mark this year. As she returns as a senior, she looks like the favorite to grab the win in the 3A race.
But, she won't be alone, Shelby Riehle (12), of LaPorte finished just 3 seconds behind her at last year. Riehle has not raced yet this season, so this may be a test for her as well. These two should be battling it out until the end and should make for a strong race all the way through.
Other girls to look out for in the 3A race, are Karina James (9), Morgan Dyer (11), and Shelby Bullock (12), and Jordyn Boyer (12). This race will be very competitive, and we should get a good look at who can step up and make a statement.
Boy's Races -
8:40 AM - Boys Varsity Class A (Team Championship)
9:55 AM - Boys Varsity Class AA (Team Championship)
10:55 AM - Boys Varsity Class AAA (Team Championship)
11:25 AM - Boys Freshman/Soph. (Team Championship)
11:55 AM - Boys Reserve Race
With several boy's races, there will be plenty of action! Since there are several races, we are going to discuss each race separately and highlight the individual title contenders.
Boys Varsity Class 3A
The top 4 finishers last year were all seniors. Now that there out, there are rising stars that look to come up big at the end of the race. The top returner in the 3A race, Mitchell Rans (12) of Caston, ran 16-flat, good for 5th place finish last year. Just behind him was Logan Pietrzak (12), Trevor Braden (12), and Genesio Christofanelli (11). This 3A race looks wide open, and it will be interesting to see who can outrun the rest of field to the title. Christofanelli has the best time so far this season, on a fast course from the Rudy Skorupa Invitational, but Rans hasn't had to race real fast yet and has just cruised to his three wins so far this season. He'll be on the hunt for another one Saturday.
Other boys to keep an eye on in the 3A race, are Lucas Guerra (10), Gabriel Sanchez (11), Kent Yoder (12), and Jack Acton (11). These are some rising elite runners, and there's not a better race to make a statement at than at New Prairie.
Boys Varsity Class 2A
Last year Reece Gibson (11) took the 2A title by nearly 10 seconds with a time of 16:00.03. Unfortunately, Gibson won't be able to defend his title, as it looks like FW Concordia is at the West Noble Invite this weekend. So it looks like Kyle Lawson of Bellmont will step into that top returner position. Last year he was 6th in 16:39. So far this season he has been just under 17 minutes, so this weekend may be his chance to start getting his quick feet back into the groove.
Other boys to look out for are, Josiah Mortorff (12),Tim O'laughlin (11), and Blaine Johnson (11). These boys have their work cut out, but their current times suggest that they come out of New Prairie with a new PR.
Boys Varsity Class 1A
The 1A race looks to be a great race. Carson Bakker (12) ran to a first place finish last year with an impressive time of 16.27.4. He looks like the clear favorite to win this race this year.
Valparaiso won the title last year. 3 of the top 7 were all seniors, with 2 of them going sub 16:15. This year they have a strong team, but look for other team's to contend for the team title.
Lowell finished 3rd last year, with a strong senior duo leading the varsity squad. They do have Gabriel Sanchez (11) who looks to grab his first major victory. The Lowell team has a strong team as always, with some rising stars in the making.
Last year, Lake Central finished 13th but they have a few rising stars that could boost their overall placing. Isaac Beatty and Logan Russell lead the team. Look for Lake Central, to make a strong run for a Top 5 finish.
Whoever comes away with the victory may be the early favorite to clench the state finals trophy this fall.
Other Title Contenders:
Valparaiso swept both boy's and girl's race last year. They look like the favorite once again this year, with the team led by twin's Emily Worthington (10) and Sarah Worthington (10).
Look for Penn to make a strong run. Penn has a strong varsity squad led by Ellie Jankowski (12) and Brooke Neal (11). Penn will need some girl's to step up in order to compete with defending champ Valparaiso.
Just like the boy's race, whoever comes away with the victory may be the early favorite to clench the state finals trophy this fall.
Other Title Contenders: