2011 Freshman Class is a Good One


I am pretty amazed that this year I already know the names of 3 freshmen boys cross country runners before October. These guys are off to a great start and we can look forward to following their accomplishments out on the course for 3 more seasons.

Joe Suarez Plainfield East, 15:10 at Detweiler
Matt Plowman York Right on top of Palatine Course Record dueling with Brown
Graham Brown Palatine 15:40 at Detweiler and Palatine Freshman Course record.

Got any other class of 2015 runners to promote? (Even Boo! Self promotion is encouraged)


Uhhhhhmmmmm…David Rodriguez of Hersey? Remember he was the junior high state champ for the AA 2 mile (with a low 10:3x). Saw his name with a 15:48 finishing second behind Mroz at the Palantine soph race results (though the guy is a freshmen).

Also, as a stalker of middle school results, I think next year’s boys freshmen class is something to think about when they go to high school. Maybe it’s all the fabulous racing weather so far this year, but middle school times of all the big invites have been just unusually fast in terms of depth. I remember the days when going sub 12 for 2 miles in middle school was a fairly big deal (okay, that may be a stretch, 11:30’s definitely), and I thought our class now was actually pretty good in retrospect to other years. Now a time in the 11:30’s might not even land you with a top 25 medal in a big invitational like Parkside.

Not saying there’s going to be any individual stud that looks to crack at Virgin any time soon, but the level of competition looks to be pretty promising.

Maybe I’m blowing hot air here, but since we’re talking about this freshmen class being so good, I’d thought I’d hype up the next one.




Rodriguez ran 15:32 at Detweiler so I think he qualifies in the freshmen to watch category.


Freshmen to watch for (thanks to slicksebhat)

Joseph Suarez (Plainfield East)
Graham Brown (Palatine)
Matthew Plowman (York)
David Rodriguez (Hersey)
Sergio Llanes (Plainfield East)
Turner Kelly (Oswego East)

Plus, Austin Cash of Pekin and Brydon Groves-Scott of Edwardsville (not listed as elite, but will probably be on the lineup for two state-bound teams)


Keep an eye on a kid in the Edwardsville area named Luke Cox. This summer, as a 9yr old, he ran a 2 mile cross country style race in 13:11. He already has a mile PR of 5:30. It’s definitely too soon to know how good he will be by the time he gets to HS, but at this point he is pretty good.



Hmmmm…sounds promising. I remember Matt Degroot being good like that at around that age, and now his times are speaking for themselves thus far. High school is a transition that I definitely know affects people differently. Names on the IESA results and IHSA results 4 years later are different for a reason. I mean, you’ve got people like Jereme Atchison, Garrett Sweatt, and apparently Malachy as well from taking a look at the IESA results almost 4 years back who are both really good throughout middle and high school. But then you’ve got middle schoolers who fade (sadly, due to burning out for some) and then you’ve got top high schoolers who either you don’t see their names on those results or are there, but way back.

It’s funny because I remember having similar pr’s in the 2 mile and mile as that Luke kid at one point (7th grade, a little different from the age of 9), and if he improves kind of like I did throughout the years, his 2 mile pr will drop pretty tremendously as he grows older while his mile pr will drop, but not quite as substantially (even if you divide the drop by two to get the mile pace). I’m taking his pr’s as a positive sign that he has room for improvement and that he isn’t doing the crazy mileage that could cause a kid his age to burn out in high school. Otherwise, his 2 mile time would probably have been faster relative to his mile.

For now, I’ll keep my eye out for another kid in the Edwardsville area named Ethan Townzen (he’ll be a freshmen next year just in time to fill in Sweatt’s roll as the stud in the south). Right as I thought Matt Degroot was gonna win IESA this year, Ethan has come along and won a couple of big middle school invites (Dunlap and Parkside). Seems like he has what it takes.

Anyway, I’ll end the middle school conversation at that, just let them mature before I say anything else, and stay true to the subject of this year’s freshmen.


Turner Kelly is a boss, 15:43 at ACC Charger Invite. Definitely one of the top freshman in the state!


From Peoria today:
46. 46 Elijah Green 9 HUNTLEY 15:36.63 5:13
47. 47 Matt Plowman 9 ELMHURST YORK DUKES 15:36.84 5:13
56. 56 Brydon Groves-scott 9 EDWARDSVILLE 15:43.62 5:15

Also there is other Yunk in 8th grade right now that has gone sub 11.


I can attest to this as well. I met him this summer at a road race and saw him a few times throughout the summer. I was really impressed with him and felt the need to give him some love.


TKelly… Wow, love that kid. He’s annoying as heck, but also one heck of a runner. The only problem I could see him facing is injury, since he’s very small, and hasn’t completely developed yet, but he is extremely solid. Also, he ran a 16:20 something at Detweiller at Woodruff, which for a freshman, is obviously fairly respectable. I talked to him and he said that ACC Charger runs way faster than Deweiller, but I can still definitely see him getting down below 15:40 come state, if Oswego E. trains him well and keeps him injury free. Also, knowing what he did over the summer, I hope he doesn’t burn out because he did a lot more than most freshman I know of.

Another freshman to look for in the future, I’d say is Daniel Weiss, NV. He got 4th f/s at Lockport today, and has consistenly improved since the beginning of the season, he finished second in 10:59 (2mi) at Hornet in the freshman race, 4 seconds behind Graham Brown, Palatine. Plus the kid’s one of the most competitively driven kids I’ve ever known, his last mile is almost always spectacular. He came from a middle school program that was terrible too, and I think he has a lot to offer in the future.


He’s my teammate, whatta stud, all 5 feet, 90 pounds of him!


Haha I miss that kid. Daniel Weiss from Neuqua Valley is another to watch for.


Don’t forget Jesse Reiser of McHenry (33rd with a time of 15:27)


oops, I must have missed him.




I can also attest to the overall ballerness of Turner Kelly. Kid is a stud


Nathan Dale is Yorks number two he was 11th at palatine. He and Plowman could be a great one two punch


Nathan Dale isn’t very good?? Nothing like Matt Plowman


Turner kelly’s a pretty solid runner… VERY aerodynamic. No, but seriously has a lot of drive and determination and will be pretty solid over the long term.