You Asked, We Answered: Pre-Season Q&A

It took a team huddle to answer your questions

On Sunday night, we put up a story on our Instagram, asking you to ask us questions and we'd answer them. Well instead of those answers disappearing in a day, we decided to put them all together in one place for you to read over throughout the season. Obviously we couldn't answer all questions as there were some that weren't relevant or relate to one specific individual. Most of the questions relating to track and field were skipped over as well, just due to wanting to keep this cross country focused for the most part. We did our best to answer any questions not featured privately! 

Who are the heavy favorites to win the XC state title this year?

The favorites going into the season would have to be Carmel, Fort Wayne Concordia, and Fishers. All 3 teams have their strengths and weaknesses and that's what will make this season that much more interesting. It's all about what team can put all the nuts and bolts together, and get the job done at the state meet. Carmel obviously won the title last year and Fishers took home 3rd, so it's no surprise they go into the season as one of the favorites. We like what Concordia has put together, and they have a great shot to steal the title.

What are your thoughts on the Noblesville boys this year?

Noblesville will be one of the teams we keep a close eye on this year. They have not made it to the state finals since 2010, and this year they have a good chance at breaking that streak. They looked like they had the shot last year, but things didn't exactly go their way in Shelbyville. Going into this year, the team has potential to finish inside the top 5. Travis Hickner will be a huge help for the Millers, as he has that state meet experience under him and will be a major front runner in a lot of the races they run. 

Projected All State Top 20?

This will be answered in our pre-season rankings coming out in the next two weeks. We're hard at work putting together our top 15 teams and top 20 individuals for both the guys and girls. We're very excited to release our rankings, and have been putting in some extensive research and thought into every ranking. Stay tuned!

Can we expect to see you guys at Valley Kickoff this year?

I can't say for 100% right now, as we all know things can change. But it is one of the top meets on my list. Love that course so any time I can get out there is great!

How do you prioritize which meets/teams you cover?

This was probably my favorite question to come through out of any. I (Becca) am based out of Indianapolis and am a student at Butler University (Go Dawgs!) so a lot of my personal coverage is based in the Indianapolis area. In short, I look at the meets with the most performances as well as top talent and meets that make geographic sense. For example a big one I typically will tend to go back to as much as possible, the Flashrock Invite in Carmel. This meet routinely has over 1,000 performances making it a priority meet on my list to get to. Now since this meet is in Carmel, nearly all of the top teams in Indianapolis and usually as far as Ft. Wayne make their way here so it gives the opportunity to see a lot of the top teams and individuals which is important. I want to start prioritizing meets that I typically don't get to, so heading down towards like Evansville or Northern Indiana but this involves more travel and planning. So if you have any suggestions for meets in either directions let me know and I'll see what I can do. Our other contributor Logan, will also be going to some meets this year. More in the Northern Indiana and Lafayette area. If there's any certain meets you'd like to see him cover, feel free to reach out to us.

Who's your preseason pick to win the state meet? 

Becca: I'd have to say Gabe Sanchez and Carmel on the boys side. On the girls side, things get a little crazy with how close the team and individuals are coming into the season, but if I have to pick I'd go with Erin Strzelecki and FW Carroll. I know I know, taking the easy picks of last year's team winners and runner-ups from last year, but looking at all the stats, these 4 on pre-season paper look to be the best. 

Logan: I would have to agree with Becca, I think Gabe Sanchez will take the boy's individual title this year. His recent state performance and kick is what I think gives him an edge over anyone else. On the team side, I won't go with the heavy favorite. I'm going to take Fishers, as I like what the team has put together the last few years. With the girl's, I am going to go with Phoebe Bates and Zionsville. I think Phoebe Bates has a strong year and takes home the individual title. Zionsville placed 2nd at the state meet last year, and I think they have a great shot to win it all this year. 

What was the biggest surprise from every semi-state, boys and girls?

The tough part here is by semi-state we've all got a pretty good idea of who's going to be a top dog and who's not. We didn't find a whole lot to be surprising from any of the semi-states so a few of these are just wow performances shown. 

New Haven: The absolute dominance that the Fishers Boys showed was crazy to see. Their top 6 placed in the top 25. I knew they would be really good going into it, but did not expect them to be that good, 63pts to 148pts for Concordia. On the girls side, the super close finish between Hathaway and Strzelecki was so good to see. That final straightaway you can see it all so with these two finishing just two seconds apart that was insane. 

New Prairie: The only thing eye catching with the New Prairie Semi-State would have to be the 3 points separating Valparaiso and Lowell on the boys side.Valparaiso won with 100 points, with Lowell close behind with 103. Going into the meet, it was pretty much between those 2 and Crown Point. We weren't sure what team would come out on top, but we knew that Sanchez would obviously help Lowell tremendously. Other than that, nothing really caught our attention. On the girls side, it was West Lafayette's dominant performance that had everyone talking about afterwards. 3 of there runners finished in the top 10, with Mary Schultz winning the individual title. 

Shelbyville: The most surprising thing out of this meet, was Cole Hocker's 15:05 solo performance. We all knew he was capable of it, but we didn't expect he would drop a 15:05 performance when a 15:45 would've won that day. Another interesting thing to look at is Cathedral went on to win that meet ahead of Carmel. The two teams were separated by 12 points. Going into the meet, we knew these 2 teams would also be state title contenders and when Cathedral won that made us lean towards Cathedral to win the state championship but Carmel ended up coming out on top by 10 points. On the girl's side there wasn't much to take note about. Emma Wilson went on to win, and Zionsville won the meet. Those were both our picks going into the meet so that was no surprise. Wilson did have her SR that meet, running a 17:31.

Brown County: The Brown County semi-state was probably the one with the least amount of surprises. Caleb Futter won on the individual side, running a 15:31 and Bloomington South winning the team title. The only thing that was really interesting looking back, was that the top 3 teams at the semi-state meet all finished within the top 10 at state later that month. Those teams being Bloomington South, Columbus North, and Bloomington North. With the girls, we had Annalyssa Crain run an impressive solo 17:59. The next closest girl was Hannah Sale coming in at 18:38. Bloomington North and Floyd Central had a close team battle, with the two separated by 2 points. Bloomington North would come out on top.

Thank you all for submitting your questions! We will do more of these in the future so stay locked to our socials for the next one.