I’ve thought up of a few teams that could contend for top 3, no particular order yet…
Sandburg: They return five of their top 7, also throw in some guys who had some decent success this track season (Gleisner, Walter, Skucas, etc.), and you have what I would consider the team favorite.
New Trier: Despite losing their top 2, I think New Trier will have another solid year. Although their #1 returner from XC (Tarek Afifi) has had some injury problems, they may have a surprise front runner in Josh Rosenkranz, who’s already run 9:25.
York: York is going to have to work at getting a medal this season. Plowman’s already broken 4:10 for the Mile, and hopefully he can remain consistent throughout, which he’s had trouble doing the past couple of years. They have some solid incoming juniors, but I don’t think they’re talented enough quite yet to make York a lock for the top 3.
Hinsdale Central: Okay, I’m a bit biased on this one, but I definitely see a lot of potential in this team. They return four of their top 8 from last year, as well as their most likely #5 runner with a 9:41 3200 time.
Neuqua Valley: Neuqua was dealt a crushing blow last year when their #2 returner Connor Horn suffered a stress fracture that kept him out for the whole season. Luckily, he’ll be back again for the upcoming season and should be their top guy. Michael Widmann also had a solid year running 9:28 for the 3200, as well as their #1 returner from last season Daniel Weiss (4:23 1600)
Buffalo Grove: Return everyone from last year’s team except Steven Salvano. Their #1 runner, Kevin Salvano, should be a favorite to be in the top 15 or so. Also, I think they’ll be getting a solid incoming freshman next year, Mitchell Guittar (could someone verify this?).
Some other teams to watch for will be: Loyola Academy, Naperville North, Lyons Township, O’Fallon, and LW Central