CENTRAL CATHOLIC KNIGHTS
Head coach: Mike DeBoy (first season)
2012 results: Did not field complete team
Returning letterwinners: Alex Schafer, soph.
Top newcomers: Cole Buche, fr.; Kameron Kyhnell, fr.
Outlook: Schafer is back after running near the top of the Knights’ lineup as a freshman.
FAITH CHRISTIAN EAGLES
Head coach: Don Obert (first season)
2012 results: Eighth place Harrison Sectional
Returning letterwinners: Joe Wickes, sr.; Troy Weger, jr.; Joseph Green, soph.
Outlook: The Eagles have beefed up their schedule a bit for their second IHSAA season, adding the Purdue and New Prairie Invitationals. Last year’s top runner, Sam Nelson, now runs for Wabash College.
Head coach: Mike Phillips (seventh season)
2012 results: 10th place Hoosier Crossroads Conference; fifth place Harrison Sectional; sixth place Harrison Regional
Returning letterwinners: Patrick Shelton, jr. (18:12); Kevin Bayley, jr., (17:54); Nick Ensinger, jr. (18:17).
Outlook: The Raiders graduated four runners from last year’s postseason lineup, most notably top runner Jacob Payne. Harrison will rebuild around its junior class. Phillips says the young squad has potential for improvement over the course of the season.
LAFAYETTE JEFF BRONCHOS
Head coach: Dave Howell (11th season)
2012 results: Ninth place Hoosier Crossroads Conference; third place Harrison Sectional; third place Harrison Regional; 17th place New Prairie Semistate
Returning letterwinners: Josh Long, sr. (17:02); Quintin Talbott, sr. (18:35); Daniel Feltis, jr. (17:20); Cayce Griffin, jr. (17:08); Zach Vandivier, jr. (16:57); Shane Shipley, soph. (17:57); Greyson Eller, jr. (19:14); Cameron Brown, jr. (21:00); Preston Forestal, jr. (21:51).
Top newcomers: Mitch Dukes, soph, 21:41; Brett Disher, soph., 21:41; Chris Bridges, soph., 22:11; Matt Grammer, fr.
Outlook: The Bronchos return six of seven from last year’s postseason lineup. Howell expects Long, Vandivier, Griffin and Feltis to form a strong pack at the top.
Head coach: Larry Boener (third season)
2012 results: Sixth place Hoosier Crossroads Conference; Harrison Sectional champion; Harrison Regional runner-up; third place New Prairie Semistate; 21st place state meet
Returning letterwinners: Jacob Wethington, sr. (16:34); A.J. Funk, sr. (17:28); Tim Drew, sr. (17:59); Brady Buckles, sr. (18:55); Justin Berryman, jr. (16:57); Travis Shinsky, jr. (17:17); Adam Fields, soph. (17:58).
Top newcomers: Cody Cornell, fr.
Outlook: Despite graduating four of last season’s top seven, the Mavericks want to take a shot at a third straight state meet berth. Wethington and Berryman both posted top-13 regional performances.
WEST LAFAYETTE RED DEVILS
Head coach: Steve Lewark (18th season)
2012 results: Hoosier Conference champion; Harrison Sectional runner-up; Harrison Regional champion; fifth place New Prairie Semistate; 17th place state meet
Returning letterwinners: Cooper Williams, soph. (16:02); Jake Cohen, jr. (16:07); Dom Patacsil, jr. (16:19); Dylan Williams, soph. (16:58); Evan Johnson, soph. (17:07); Dakota Clark, sr. (17:25); Alex Hummels, soph. (17:38); Charlie Randall, soph. (18:08); Logan Berndt, jr. (18:47).
Top newcomers: Leo Bernier, fr.
Outlook: The Red Devils open the season ranked No. 13 on the strength of six returning runners from last season’s state meet lineup. Cooper Williams, Cohen and Patacsil lead a group that Lewark thinks has top-10 potential at the state meet. Cooper Williams is the defending sectional and regional champion.
Around the area
Benton Central junior Akis Medrano (17:27) showed promise after joining the squad mid-season last year. The young Bison return six other letterwinners, including juniors Andy Fry (19:41) and Phillip Vogelwede (19:58) and sophomore Parker Tompkins (19:40).
Carroll seniors Cameron Conn and Patrick Lewis return from All-Hoosier Heartland Conference efforts. The Cougars’ talent will primarily come from the senior and freshman classes.
Manuel Arroyo (17:43) turned in a top-five sectional performance as a Crawfordsville freshman. Tanner Hutson (18:55) and Connor Smith (20:32) also return from last season’s regional lineup.
Fountain Central junior Clayton Corey (18:38) leads four returning runners, but coach Clint Burney expects the Mustangs’ freshmen to be difference-makers.
Frankfort returns its top five, and coach Tim Galati expects his strongest squad since 2008’s state qualifier. Cody Bray (jr., 16:28), Eddie Morales (sr., 16:55), Jesse Ricker (sr., 17:31) and Angel Conde (jr., 17:47) lead the Hot Dogs.
Frontier senior Brenton Stirm will have company this year, as the Falcons’ freshman class will allow them to field a full team again.
Leo Espino leads an experienced top half of the lineup for North Newton. Jesse Anderson’s return from injury will provide a boost.
Senior Jace Horner (19:02) and sophomores Anthony Alsman (17:41) and Beau Balch (20:43) front Rensselaer‘s lineup.
Solomon Heffernan (16:45), a semistate qualifier last season as a sophomore, and senior Austin Meyers (17:42) headline an otherwise inexperienced Rossville lineup.
Connor Million (17:49) turned in sixth-place sectional and Wabash River Conference runner-up performances as a Seeger freshman. Jacob Warrick (18:59) gives the Patriots another all-conference runner.
South Newton juniors Sam Wernert (18:22) and Tommy Ordway (18:49) return following All-Midwest Conference seasons, and classmate Jose Mendoza (19:22) adds to the Rebels’ increasing depth.
Tri-County‘s young squad hopes to step up behind sophomore Austin Schneider (17:24) and junior Elijah Legler (17:39).
Twin Lakes will try to defend its Benton Central Sectional championship with five of seven runners back. Kody Snyder (16:53), Cody DeBoy (17:37), Justin Demiduk (17:46), Edgar Estrada (17:50) and Will Novack (18:08) can build off their many summer miles.
— Compiled by Nathan Bairdemail@example.com