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Semi-State Previews--New Haven & New Prairie New Haven Semi State Preview/Predictions

Girls Team Predictions

1. Carroll

2. Fishers

3. Bishop Dwenger

4. Hamilton Southeastern

5. Homestead

6. Northridge

7. Penn

8. Concordia Lutheran

9. Norwell

10. Oak Hill

11. Pendleton Heights

12. Bishop Luers

13. South Adams

14. Huntington North

15. Mishawaka

16. Elkhart Central

17. Fairfield

18. Yorktown

19. DeKalb

20. Delta

Girls Individual Predictions

1. Erin Strzelecki, 12, Bishop Dwenger

2. Addison Wiley, 10, Huntington North

3. Zoe Duffus, 11, Carroll

4. Halle Hill, 11, Hamilton Southeastern

5. Ellie Cates, 12, Concordia Lutheran

6. Monroe Fruchey, 12, Carroll

7. Abbey Gentz, 11, Woodlan

8. Amelia Faber, 10, Homestead

9. Mollie Gamble, 12, Oak Hill

10. Morgan Dyer, 12, Elkhart Memorial

11. Ashlyn Minton, 11, Carroll

12. Julia Dvorak, 12, Homestead

13. Sarah Busch, 11, Bishop Luers

14. Brooke Neal, 12, Penn

15. Leah Keesling, 12, Randolph Southern

16. Mallory Clements, 12, Carroll

17. Carol Haldeman, 12, Fairfield

18. Sydney Lambert, 12, Norwell

19. Haylee Hile, 9, Northridge

20. Sarah Mahnensmith, 11, Norwell

Others to watch: Vera Schafer, Fishers; Elizabeth Barrett, Fishers; Hannah Sale, Fishers; Lydia Bennett, DeKalb; Brooke Hansen, Carroll; Lauren Dibley, Elkhart Central.

Girls Team Preview

Teams in the Mix to Win

* Carroll – The Chargers are the defending state champions and appear to be on their way to their fifth consecutive team semi state title. Junior Zoe Duffus has had a strong season up front, but this is really a team full of frontrunners: Monroe Fruchey, Mallory Clements, and Ashlyn Minton are all outstanding. Carroll will likely score fewer than 60 points on Saturday, which would give them the team championship.

* Fishers – The Tigers are the one team that could give Carroll a run this weekend. Senior Hannah Sale leads the squad this year, with teammates Vera Schafer and Elizabeth Barrett on a similar level. All three could make runs into the top 20 this Saturday. If Fishers cannot best Carroll this Saturday, they are almost a lock to take second.

Teams in Position to Qualify

* Bishop Dwenger – The Saints boast the best runner in Indiana, senior Erin Strzelecki. Katie Woods has been a solid #2 most of the season. Nora Steele returned to action in regional, after missing SAC and sectional. With front running strength and solid depth, Bishop Dwenger should lock up a top six finish this Saturday.

* Hamilton Southeastern – Junior Halle Hill has been running very well up front for the Royals. They ran two different lineups at Sectional and Regional, so they should be fresher than some other teams and ready to race well this weekend. With Hill up front and a roster full of runners with sub-20:00 PRs, HSE should move on to Terre Haute.

* Homestead – The Spartans have qualified for the last seven state finals and we expect them to make it #8 this weekend. Led by co-front runners Amelia Faber and Julia Dvorak, they have a mixture of seniors and freshmen who complete the rest of their varsity roster. They should have two top 20 finishers on Saturday and that should give them enough strength to lock up another trip to the state finals.

Teams on the Bubble

* Northridge – The Raiders always seem to work their way into the state meet discussion, and this year is no different. Freshman Haylee Hile has been running great all season. The two seniors will be key this Saturday, Caitlin Clark and Alison Bache. If they both race well at the #2 and # spots, Northridge should be able to run their way into a top six finish.

* Penn – Senior Brooke Neal has been solid this season. They really need to close the gap between one and two this weekend if they are going to make a push for a state qualifying finish. If they can get the gap from Neal to #2 down to around 30 seconds this Saturday, they will be right in the mix.

* Concordia Lutheran – The Cadets qualified for the state meet last year and many of those runners return this year. Senior Ellie Cates has been superb this year, a podium-level runner. However, the Cadets usually see a 90+ second gap from Cates to their pack. However, with a solid team race they could push for a top six finish.

Girls Individual Preview

This race features two of the most decorated individuals in Indiana. Bishop Dwenger senior Erin Strzelecki has been as dominant as any female runner in recent history. She regularly competes against all-state runners and, even so, she regularly has 1-minute winning margins. Last year she was state runner-up, but she has reached a completely new level this season.

Huntington North sophomore Addison Wiley is running cross country for the first time this fall, after winning the state 1600-meter championship this spring. Wiley has been improving throughout the season and ran a dominant 17:53 regional championship race last weekend. While Strzelecki is the clear favorite, Wiley might be the biggest threat in Indiana to be able to compete with her.

Besides Strzelecki and Wiley, there are several other podium-level runners in this field. Carroll junior Zoe Duffus has been running very well, as has Concordia senior Ellie Cates. HSE junior Halle Hill has also been racing very well. This is a loaded field of individual all-state runners.

Boys Team Predictions

1. Concordia Lutheran

2. Fishers

3. Homestead

4. Hamilton Southeastern

5. Penn

6. West Noble

7. Bellmont

8. Goshen

9. Westview

10. Columbia City

11. Oak Hill

12. New Haven

13. Wabash

14. Northridge

15. Mishawaka

16. Pendleton Heights

17. NorthWood

18. Huntington North

19. Frankton

20. Wapahani

Boys Individual Predictions

1. Luke Combs, 12, Lapel

2. Reece Gibson, 12, Concordia Lutheran

3. Izaiah Steury, 10, Angola

4. Matthew Mitsch, 12, Yorktown

5. Drew Hogan, 10, Goshen

6. Braden Sweet, 11, Southwood

7. Dereck Vogel, 12, Wabash

8. Jared Neff, 12, Homestead

9. Wilson Whicker, 12, Concordia Lutheran

10. Landon Wakeman, 12, Columbia City

11. Drake Kropf, 12, Concordia Lutheran

12. Jordan Garlinger, 11, Bellmont

13. Drew Smith, 12, Fishers

14. Keagen Stuckey, 12, Homestead

15. Mariano Retzloff, 10, Penn

16. Eric Swinson, 12, Hamilton Southeastern

17. Neil Terrell, 12, Elkhart Memorial

18. Cole Johnston, 10, Goshen

19. Austin Liepe, 12, East Noble

20. Will Clark, 11, Fishers

Others to watch: Matthew Leppert, Fishers; Spencer Carpenter, Westview; Colten Cripe, West Noble; Jose Quinones, Elkhart Central; Donald McArdle, Homestead; Jack Moore, Northridge; Isaac Fuelling, Bellmont; Jaylen Castillo, Fishers; Kobe Milledge, Snider.

Boys Team Preview

Teams in the Mix to Win

* Concordia Lutheran – The Cadets have been incredible this fall. They have been ranked #1 in statewide rankings virtually the entire season, as they remain undefeated for the 2019 campaign. They have developed some depth at 6-7 over the past month, which helps them considerably over the next two weekends. Gibson, Whicker, and Kropf are outstanding frontrunners. Gibson could challenge for the individual title this Saturday and Whicker and Kropf are both solid top 10 candidates.

* Fishers – The Tigers have a very strong group of upperclassmen this year. Senior Drew Smith and juniors Will Clark, Jaylen Castillo, and Matthew Leppert could all be top 20 and receive individual recognition this Saturday. Fishers does not have an individual in the mix to win semi state this weekend, but they should have multiple runners in the lead/chase pack. With a great team race, they could win this weekend – and they are among the contenders for the team state title next weekend.

* Homestead – The Spartans have been amazing this fall. This is likely the best boys CC team in Homestead history. They are co-led by seniors Jarred Neff and Keagan Stuckey, who should both be top 20 this weekend. Junior Donald McArdle has also been having a strong season. Homestead was a little under the weather last weekend at regional. When healthy, this team is a clear podium threat. With a great team race this weekend, they could challenge for the team title.

Teams in Position to Qualify

Outside of the three teams listed above, there are several other teams that could grab a top six spot. Beyond Concordia, Fishers, and Homestead, however, we are not comfortable saying that anyone else is currently situated in a qualifying position.

Teams on the Bubble

* Hamilton Southeastern – The Royals ran two different lineups in sectional and regional, so it is difficult to interpret their tournament results thus far. Senior Eric Swinson is having a strong season and should be in the lead group of runners this weekend. If sophomore Nolan Satterfield runs this weekend and competes well, HSE should be in good shape for a state qualifying finish.

* Penn – The Kingsmen are still a young team, led by sophomore Mariano Retzloff. With a strong team race, they could finish top six. However, they need to shrink the gap between their frontrunner and their varsity pack. Last Saturday, Retzloff was over 30 seconds ahead of Penn’s #2 runner. If they can shrink that down to 15-20 seconds, they are much better qualifying position.

* West Noble – The Chargers looked very impressive last weekend, running their best race of the season at their home course regional. Senior Colten Cripe has been a solid frontrunner all year. If they just run a solid team race, they should be able to advance. The two freshmen on the back end of their varsity lineup could be the key to advancing this weekend.

* Bellmont – The Braves have had flashes of brilliance this fall, with last weekend’s dominating regional win at Marion at the top of the list. Junior Jordan Garlinger is running very well in October, with fellow junior Isaac Fuelling and senior Kyle Lawson close behind. If the 4-5 runners put in a good race this weekend, Bellmont could be on their way to Terre Haute.

* Goshen – This young Redhawks team dropped an impressive race on this semi state course four weeks ago at the New Haven Classic, immediately shooting up the semi state rankings. Sophomore Drew Hogan has been on fire ever since, with classmate Cole Johnston running well at #2. What Goshen does not have is a ton of depth, typically running a 90-second gap from one to five. If they can pull that closer to 60 seconds this weekend, they could grab a qualifying spot.

* Westview – The Warriors have been one the state’s top programs over the past half-decade. Despite an injury to frontrunner Spencer Carpenter for most of September, they have battled their way back into the bubble conversation. Big key for them: for most of the season, they have had a 1-minute gap between their #4 and #5. They need that gap to be cut in half this weekend in order to have a chance at advancing to state.

* Columbia City – This is likely the best Eagles team in school history. They are led by a trio of seniors – Landon Wakeman and Nathan & Nick Mills. Their key this Saturday will be the performances of their sophomores at the 4-5 spots. If those guys can run in the low 17s this Saturday, Columbia City will have a chance at making their first ever trip to the boys state finals.

Boys Individual Preview

Three individuals stand above the rest in this field – Lapel senior Luke Combs, Concordia Lutheran senior Reece Gibson, and Angola sophomore Izaiah Steury. Combs and Gibson are on the short list of contenders to win the state title next weekend, so that will make this an interesting matchup this weekend. Without knowing individual race strategies, I would not be surprised to see Combs, Gibson, and Steury break away from the lead pack somewhere in the third or 4th kilometer and then see Combs and Gibson side by side over the final half mile. We give the slight edge to Combs to win this Saturday.

There are some other interesting runners in this lead pack. Yorktown senior Matthew Mitsch has put down some amazing performances this Saturday. He has proven to be a hard runner to shake in the latter parts of races. Goshen sophomore Drew Hogan seemed to come out of nowhere a month ago and emerge as one of the best sophomores in Indiana. Some other key upperclassmen to watch on Saturday include: Southwood junior Braden Sweet, Wabash senior Dereck Vogel, Homestead senior Jared Neff, and Concordia senior Wilson Whicker. There will likely be a lead pack of 10-15 guys through the first 2 kilometers – and we expect these names to be among the runners in that group.

NEW PRAIRIE PREVIEW: New Prairie Semi State Preview/Predictions

Girls Team Predictions

Place / Team / Projected Team Score

1 West Lafayette 120

2 Valparaiso 124

3 Lake Central 166

4 Chesterton 170

5 Warsaw 195

6 Lowell 205

7 Crown Point 207

8 Harrison (West Lafayette) 208

9 Portage 209

10 Rochester 282

11 Wheeler 302

12 Benton Central 304

13 Culver Academies 314

14 Rensselaer Central 316

15 Seeger 407

16 Munster 424

17 Highland 435

18 Manchester 440

19 Maconaquah 446

20 McCutcheon 464

Girls Individual Predictions

1 Karina James Lowell 10

2 Ava Gilliana Valparaiso 12

3 Bailey Ranta Chesterton 10

4 Hailey Orosz Wheeler 11

5 Maddie Russin Crown Point 12

6 Wini Barnett Warsaw 10

7 Lexi Allen Culver Academies 11

8 Jaelyn Burgos Crown Point 11

9 Emma Hellwege Wheeler 10

10 Madilyn Calloway Rochester 10

11 Aubree Foreman Valparaiso 10

12 Kaitlyn Mackovyak Portage 12

13 Mallory Hiatt Rochester 12

14 Hannah Roth Lake Central 12

15 Caroline Jordan West Lafayette 12

16 Alli Steffey West Lafayette 10

17 Jennifer Romero Seeger 10

18 Lilli Greiner Andrean 12

19 Lillian Zelasko New Prairie 9

20 Haley Mansfield West Lafayette 11

Others to Watch:

Janell Robson Benton Central

Grace Aurand Highland

Morgan McCulloch Portage

Kassidy Gregory Kouts

Amzie Maienbrook Rensselaer Central

Marissa Rivera Culver Academies

Hannah Robbins Munster

Mackie McCartney Harrison (WL)

Adelaide Young Brust South Central (Union Mills)

Annabel Prokopy West Lafayette

Girls Team Preview

Teams in the Mix to Win

* West Lafayette – WL boasts a top five all capable of placing in the top 30 individuals, especially if Annabel Prokopy is healthy and in action. If number five can finish near 50th overall, look for WL to bring home the NPSS team title.

* Valparaiso – Valpo has two solid NPSS front runners in Gilliana and Foreman and a very formidable and tight pack at the 3-4-5 spots. If the pack can work to place in the top-40 overall, Valpo will likely be heading home as NPSS team champions.

Teams in Position to Qualify

* Lake Central – Hannah Roth leads LC as a top 10 individual hopeful. The Indians are deep through seven runners and look to move their scoring five into the top 50-60 range overall. If Natalie Kransky is healthy and running, look for LC to advance without too much drama.

* Chesterton – Chesteron’s team advancement chances rest solely on the shoulders of their top runner, Bailey Ranta. The Trojan scoring back is good enough to advance as long as Ranta runs and finishes anywhere near her individual seed.

Teams on the Bubble

* Warsaw – If Warsaw can move their 3-4-5 runners into the top-60 overall (currently seeded between 64-69 overall), they just might find themselves in Terre Haute next week.

* Lowell – Lowell is lead by Karina James who is a near lock to score one single point, so Lowell “only” needs to score four athletes. If Lowell is going to advance, it is all about their 4-5 runners, currently seeded in the top-80, they must push for top-70 overall to increase the odds of advancing.

* Crown Point – The Bulldogs have a great 1-2 punch with Russin and Burgos. As with most teams on the bubble, it is all about the 4-5 runners. The Bulldogs definitely need their fifth runner to move up from the current seed of 97th overall. Ensuring Caitlyn Derwinski is healthy and running well as a third runner is also a must if CP wants to be a State Finalist team.

* Harrison (West Lafayette) – Harrison is a pack running team. Look for their scoring five to place between 28th and 74th overall. If Harrison finds an individual or two to sneak near the top-20 overall or if they put their top five in the top 70 overall, their odds of qualifying would seem to dramatically increase.

* Portage – Portage has a strong 1-2 punch in Mackovyak and McCulloch. If Portage can put their 4-5 in the top 80, they just might extend their team season by another week.

Girls Individual Preview

The NPSS girls individual race will likely be the Karina James show. Look for James to dominate early and often, as she looks ahead to next week as an individual state title contender. The chase pack looking to place in the top-5 will consist of several all-state caliber athletes such as: Ava Gilliana, Bailey Ranta, Hailey Orosz, Maddie Russin, Wini Barnett, Lexi Allen, and Jaelyn Burgos… among many more.

Boys Team Predictions

Place / Team / Projected Team Score

1 Valparaiso 76

2 Crown Point 85

3 Harrison (West Lafayette) 99

4 West Lafayette 136

5 Chesterton 172

6 Warsaw 184

7 Lake Central 216

8 New Prairie 239

9 LaPorte 262

10 Lowell 263

11 Plymouth 333

12 Hanover Central 355

13 Wheeler 359

14 Culver Academies 365

15 Munster 372

16 McCutcheon 375

17 Western 407

18 Frankfort 440

19 Rochester 472

20 Lafayette Jefferson 495

Boys Individual Predictions

1 Gabriel Sanchez Lowell 12

2 Lucas Guerra Highland 11

3 Caleb Williams Harrison (WL) 12

4 Geno Christofanelli Crown Point 12

5 Jack Acton Valparaiso 12

6 Leonel Soriano Harrison (WL) 11

7 Quinton Bock Crown Point 11

8 Cole Raymond LaPorte 10

9 Tim O'Laughlin New Prairie 12

10 Joey Roytan Valparaiso 12

11 Will Shook Chesterton 12

12 Jacob Kissling Warsaw 11

13 Kohler Peterson Covenant Christian (DeMotte) 12

14 Alec Meister West Lafayette 12

15 Tyler Milam West Lafayette 12

16 Bruce Leipart Hobart 11

17 Elijah Stenberg West Lafayette 9

18 Jacob Durr Lowell 12

19 Cole Simmons Crown Point 11

20 Alex Alba Harrison (WL) 12

Others to Watch:

Bobby Woodburn Valparaiso

Ty Puskar Valparaiso

Sam Lechlitner Warsaw

Dylan Draves Chesterton

Logan Russell Lake Central

Bryce Noble Hanover Central

Joshua Baltes New Prairie

Konnor Ray Plymouth

Will Miltenberger Valparaiso

Ethan Vinyard Valparaiso

Boys Team Preview

Teams in the Mix to Win

* Valparaiso – If Jack Acton is healthy and running well, Valpo’s firepower up front and supporting depth will be very tough to beat.

* Crown Point – If CP is going to know of Valpo for the NPSS team win, it is up to Anthony Saberniak and Martin Marquez and the 4-5 spots. Those two guys must push to place in or very close to the top-30 overall individuals.

* Harrison (West Lafayette) – Harrison, like Valpo, has the firepower up front; however, if the Raiders want to win the NPSS team title, their fifth runner needs some solid improvement from the current seed of 56th overall.

Teams in Position to Qualify

* West Lafayette – WL has a nice front pack of three looking to place in the top15-20 range. If their 4-5 pack can run solid and place near the top-60 overall, WL will punch their ticket to State.

* Chesterton – Chesterton has a solid top-2, and a nice pack at 3-4-5. If the pack can move near the top-50 overall, it will be a great day for the Trojans.

* Warsaw – The Tigers have options at their five runner spot. If either Nier, Phipps, or Niebbia have a big day and place in the top-70 overall, Warsaw may solidify a spot to Terre Haute.

Teams on the Bubble

* Lake Central – Lake Central is a pack team. However, they need number five to join or stay closer to the pack in the top 50-60 overall range to have a chance at qualifying.

* New Prairie – NP has a great 1-2 punch, if their home course can help 4-5 improve from outside of the top-100 overall seeds into the top-80 range, NP may steal a qualifier spot.

* LaPorte – The Slicers also need some help at the 4-5 spots to steal a qualifier spot. Ideally, 4-5 move into the top-80 overall range to give LaPorte a chance at qualifying.

* Lowell – Like the girls team, Lowell “only” needs to score four with Sanchez as a near lock for one point. Lowell needs huge runs from Nuccio, Freeman, and/or Carver in order to qualify. If those guys can run with Bakker in the top-90 overall, Lowell might just sneak into the State Meet.

Boys Individual Preview

Gabe Sanchez just does not lose in IHSAA cross country (unless it is to the eventual Foot Locker National Champion, Cole Hocker). Look for Sanchez to win late, per usual. He has given us no reason to predict anything else up to this point. Lucas Guerra has been having a very nice October and has seriously challenged Sanchez on multiple occasions. If anyone is going to pull the upset, Guerra seems to be the guy. But how? I guess we will have to find out. Caleb William and Geno Christofanelli will also be in the lead pack hanging onto Sanchez and Guerra. Both of these guys are near lock All-State caliber, so look for them to battle hard and potentially make a big statement to Sanchez and/or Guerra. Other boys in the lead pack look to be Acton, Soriano, Bock, Raymond, and O'Laughlin.

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