Potential darkhorses


People who you think can crack the top ten regardless of in-season finishes.


Charlie Ellenbecker - Monona Grove


agreed and maybe Freitag of Madison LaFollette is another dark horse.


Thomas Miller of Homestead and maybe Ricky Perez of SPASH, he was top 10 last year but has fallen off my radar a little bit


Speaking of radar, how about Jack Radar? :wink: Or is he not enough of a dark horse?


I’d say he is a tan horse.

Perez on the other hand, probably doesnt qualify, since was clearly on the radar from last years podium finish.


Jack Rader has been on the radar for a while. He is second generation Big Eight according to super poster @westharrier and he’s high up on the all time sophomore 3200 list.


Liam Belson would be a shocker but if it happened it wouldn’t be that shocking in hindsight for on the right day this guy to kick his way into the top 15 even though his current times ytd are in the wrong zip code. he has run a lot of big races already in his career.


Jack’s dad John ran for Verona back in the early 80’s when they were still a D2 school in the Capitol Conference not the Big 8. Funny thing is Gus’s dad also went to Verona but did not run cross country. Verona might be the only school in the state to send teams to state in all three divisions. D3 1973, D2 1974-1991, D1 1992-
Jack was ill at the Stoughton meet while Gus was on a college visit. Why the WCCCA would drop their team all the way down to 15th is beyond me. Maybe they should get on track talk and find out what’s happening. I do like West, Arrowhead, Neenah top three now. Middleton has shown vulnerability but not that much.


Highly unlikely!


@riplips he has thus far proven to be a “special” track talent in the 800 and had run a decent mile and did well for his cross team as a freshman and sophmore. although he isn’t running well yet this year he is one of the only guys not in the current top 50 who has the talent for top 15 (maybe not top 10) and his team really needs him to come through for them. I like Liam as a true darkhorse using his 154 speed to pass 10 to 15 guys in the final 800.


I know there’s a lot of D1 dark horses however my dark horse is D3 New Glarus/Monticello’s Kyle Fredrickson. No state experience but has beat Brian Matthews this year at River Valley and was very close at Fennimore until he went down at the end and didn’t finish. This could be an issue but is most likely not. If he’s healthy he has a chance.


Ansel Fellman, Kenosha Bradford. 1:59/4:27/9:41 as a sophomore. Been at the top of most of his races but finished 24th at Midwest.


Sophomore Zak Sather from Eau Claire Memorial. He was a 4:47/9:58/16:46 freshman. Won the Old Abe in 16:21 and BRC in 16:39. He’s winning some races against quality people.


Sun Prairie’s Justin Hodges has really come on strong recently. He was right in there with Newcomb and Farrell at conference and threw down a respectable 15:56. Granted, I don’t think he will be nearly that close to those guys at state but if he puts together a good race he could crack into the top 10.


Thomas miller homestead. hard to call him a darkhorse especially with Zen calling homesteads top 2 guys the best 1 2 punch in the state (i view consensus views middleton here) but clearly he is not a favorite to finish top 10 or even 15 yet he may medal. as a junior he peaked poorly in track in the 3200 after some top early season times but he is an improved senior now and trains daily with the potential silver medal finisher Bosley and has a legitimate shot at sneaking in for a medal which given where he was a year ago qualifies him as a darkhorse.


Yes, according to our poll 18% of people believe Jack Rader will finish top 6 in comparison to Thomas Miller who only scored 6%.

As a disclaimer I have and always will be a Middleton fan. I think Jack Rader is a great runner and has a very bright future especially after his 9:25 sophomore time. I just think Jack has hit somewhat of a plateau while Miller is still on the rise. This could be part of the Middleton plan.

On paper, Middleton has a 9:13-9:25 combo at the front. Homestead is 9:21 and 9:40. La Follette 9:01-9:48. Also the South Milwaukee guys make a pretty good case at 9:39-9:39 apiece.

Funny the first three – Middleton, La Follette and Homestead – each had their 1-2 account for 10pts at Midwest.

I don’t know if Jack can get top 10 this year. Has the ability but I think down the stretch here he is looking more like a 10-20 placer. I think Miller has an upper bound of as high as #8 on the right day and I think he’ll be the one who gets a “senior boost” and do something extraordinary. Kid seems like a grinder who had to really work hard to get where he’s at. It’ll be close.


Jack was ill at the Stoughton Invite and is still suffering some lingering effects from that flu bug. Despite is solid showing at Big 8’s he is actually a much better runner than he showed that day. I talked with him and his dad after the race and he said he did not feel 100% during that race. I do think with two weeks to recover completely and get his full strength back he will be a podium guy this year.


He definitely did not look like himself at the awards ceremony. Hopefully he recovers to add another Big 8 runner to the top 10.

Could Big 8 get 5 runners on the Podium?


@riplips how many runners are on the podium (medal)?