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BOYS DISTANCE PREVIEW!!

To start 2024, we’re previewing all 16 events heading into the track & field season. Performances listed reflect an athlete’s best mark on TFFRS from last season. We also have accompanying podcasts that can be heard on Apple or Spotify.

 

800 (4 returning medalists)

Caleb Winders - 10 - Bloomington North - 2nd at state, 1:52

Martin Barco - 12 - Martinsville - 3rd at state, 1:52

Matthew Kim - 12 - Fishers - 4th at state, 1:52

Weston Hulen - 12 - Crown Point - 9th at state, 1:54

 

Of note:

Joey Ashman - 12 - Franklin Central - 1:53

Nick Cook - 12 - Wapahani - 1:55

Jaden Goins - 12 - Harrison - 1:55

Mason Schmitz - 9 - HSE - 1:55

 

Outlook: The top three returners seem far and away ahead of the field in an event where 18 of the top 25 performers from 2023 graduated. Bloomington North sophomore Caleb Winders burst onto the scene with the winning 4x8 anchor before doubling back with a runner-up individual finish in the open 800. Martinsville senior Martin Barco nearly won this event from the slow heat, and Fishers senior Matthew Kim also doubled back from 4x8 duty in the open 800. Barco and Kim both had successful fall seasons with All-State finishes in cross country, and Winders showed flashes of brilliance but is clearly more of a mid-distance runner. It seems likely this trio will have earlier races at the state finals again this year. Hamilton Southeastern freshman Mason Schmitz ran 1:55 the summer prior to starting his high school career and could break Winders’ freshman class record.

 

1600 (4 returning medalists)

Martin Barco - 12 - Martinsville - state champion, 4:07

Cameron Todd - 12 - Brebeuf - 2nd at state, 4:08

Caden Click - 12 - Noblesville - 4th at state, 4:10

Max Malloy - 11 - Elkhart - 9th at state, 4:15

 

Of note:

Will Conway - 12 - Floyd Central - 4:05

Kyle Montgomery - 12 - Center Grove - 4:16

Ben Perschon - 10 - Lake Central - 4:18

 

4x8 decisions:

Ian Baker - 11 - Brownsburg - 4:14

Jack Turnbull - 11 - Zionsville - 4:18

 

Outlook: Barco’s return as state champion coupled with the nationally elite emergence of Brebeuf senior and cross country state champion Cameron Todd makes this an event with a lot of possibilities this spring. The two could have another showdown after finishing first and second last year, perhaps with the opposite result, or Todd could defer to the 3200 and even take a shot at the state meet record. Floyd Central senior Will Conway, second at the state cross country meet, ran 4:05 in the sectional (eighth all-time in state history) and has the best performance of any current athletes, though he scratched this distance prior to last year’s state meet. On top of that trio, 4x8 decisions loom for a number of potential individual medalists from cross country podium teams like Brownsburg and Zionsville.

 

3200 (6 returning medalists)

Tony Provenzano - 12 - Carmel - 2nd at state, 8:54

Ryan Rheam - 12 - Bloomington South - 3rd at state, 9:03

Will Conway - 12 - Floyd Central - 4th at state, 8:57

Cameron Todd - 12 - Brebeuf - 5th at state, 8:58

Sam Quagliaroli - 11 - Fishers - 6th at state, 9:06

Shane Conroy - 11 - Portage - 7th at state, 9:06

 

Of note:

Max Malloy - 11 - Elkhart - 9:12

Sherjeel Khan - 12 - Brownsburg - 9:13

Alex Pinckney - 12 - Christian Academy - 9:15

Liam Bauschke - 11 - Mishawaka - 9:18

Chris Ross - 12 - Greenfield - 9:19

 

Big fall seasons:

Kyle Grove - 12 - Carmel

Aaron Richter - 11 - Elkhart

Calvin Seitz - 9 - Jasper

Samuel Spees - 12 - Zionsville

Neal White - 11 - Columbus North

 

Highly unlikely to run at state:

Martin Barco - 12 - Martinsville - 8:57

 

Outlook: Currently, four of the top 25 all-time performers over the longest distance are still in high school with the aforementioned trio and Carmel senior Tony Provenzano whose 8:54 from the state finals ranks 14th all-time (though just four in his school’s history). A dream match-up between Todd, Conway and Provenzano all fresh at the state meet is a possibility, though it’s also possible that none of these four are fresh because of either the 1600 or 4x8. Six returning medalists is an unusually high number, and if Barco’s presence in the 1600 and Winders’ in the 4x8 scatters the field then this could be a year that an athlete runs under 9:10 and doesn’t earn a medal. Emergence this fall of distance runners from some of the “usual suspects” like Carmel or Columbus North could fortify the field even more.

 

4x8

Last year’s champion Bloomington North returns three of four legs, though Kyle Clark led off in 1:54 and will not be easy for the Cougars to replace. Winders’ 1:50 anchor is certainly repeatable and his presence in a loaded class makes  BN a difficult contestant for the next three years. Fishers is the biggest challenger with three legs back from a 7:43 team that was the fastest fourth place squad ever. The Tigers have run under 7:45 every year since Covid and hold the longest podium streak at six seasons. Oak Hill, sixth last year in 7:46, is the only other school with three back from a podium team.

Zionsville and Carmel both broke 7:40 last year and both graduated a 1:50 and a 1:53 leg from that race. Zionsville could reload with junior Jack Turnbull who ran 4:18 last year over 1600 meters and finished All-State in cross country. Carmel has a lot of history in this event with first, second and third place finishes in the last six state meets, including three teams under 7:45 in that time frame. Brownsburg could be an interesting group as well; the Bulldogs were eighth last year with two back and could add Ian Baker who ran 4:14 for 1600 and finished in the top ten at the state cross country finals. Even without Baker, Brownsburg likely has a deep enough roster of distance runners to go substantially under 8:00 and score points.

 

For more, subscribe to the Indiana Runner Podcast.

 

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