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The Journal Gazette

  • File photos Snider's Jesse Hamlin, right, and Northrop's Jack Brokaw, right center, return with state championship experience for their junior seasons.

  • Cole Powers was Carroll's top finisher for the defending state champion Chargers with a 10th-place finish at the state finals last season.

Friday, August 11, 2017 1:00 am

5 to watch season prevIews

Boys cross country

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

Carroll proved last season that it didn't need powerhouse front-runners to win a state title. A 10th-place finish from Cole Powers certainly helped while the scoring five were all in the top 40.

Another year of experience will only help for the Chargers.


Cole Powers, Carroll: The junior was the top finisher for the Chargers at last year's state finals with a 10th-place finish.

Zeb Hernandez, Warsaw: The junior finished 24th overall at state last year and was the runner-up at the New Prairie semistate with a season-best 15:51.2.

Jesse Hamlin, Snider: The junior finished 35th at state last year after a break-out sophomore season.

Reece Gibson, Concordia: The sophomore finished 43rd at last year's state finals, the second fastest freshman in the field behind Ceno Christofanelli of Crown Point.

Draven Thompson, Carroll: The junior finished 32nd at state last year as the second-best returner from the state meet for the Chargers.


Carroll: The Chargers are the defending state champions and return four of the seven from the championship squad (Powers, Thompson, Connor Goetz and Cory Waldron) and a healthy Weston Miser, who is expected to contribute in the defense of the title.

Concordia: The Cadets return four of the seven runners from last year's fifth-place team at state; one of the three graduates included Noah Steffen who finished seventh overall.

Northrop: The Bruins return three members of last year's 15th-place team: Jackson Brokaw, Conner Bayne and Nick Derickson.

Warsaw: The Tigers finished eighth at the New Prairie Semistate last year, 21 points behind sixth-place Chesterton, but return all seven runners.

Huntington North: The Vikings finished seventh at the New Haven semistate but return six of the top seven runners, including front-runner Brock Spahr.


Newcomer potential: Homestead freshman Donnie McArdle has a personal best of 16:42, which ranks second on the team when counting returnees.

New coaches: Former Bruin Sam Bird takes over at Northrop.

Double-duty: Bellmont sophomore Kyle Lawson posted the 11th fastest season-best for a freshman last year with a personal-best of 16:37.5.

Legendary: Until Carroll's title last year, the only other Fort Wayne team to win a boys cross country state title was North Side in 1968.

Preseason rankings: A few area teams were named to the preseason top 50 based on returnees and previous results: No. 2 Carroll, No. 21 Warsaw, No. 22 Concordia, No. 27 Huntington North, No. 31 Snider, No. 35 West Noble, No. 39 Northrop, No. 43 Homestead and No. 49 Bellmont.