Central Catholic Knights
Head coach: Mike DeBoy (second season)
2013 results: Did not field complete team
Returning Letterwinner: Alex Schafer (Jr.)
Top newcomers: Mick Krane (Sr.), Bob Krane (Jr.), Cam DeBlasio (Jr.), Nate Kerr (Fr.), Jacob Marin (Fr.), Drake Semyen (Fr.)
Outlook: Regional qualifier Alex Schafer heads a young team that has the potential to be competitive by October.
Faith Christian Eagles
Head coach: Don Obert (second season)
2013 results: Did not field complete team
Returning letterwinners: Troy Weger (sr.), Joseph Green (jr.), Christian Morrison (soph.).
Top newcomers: Ben Devaney (fr.), Joseph Sakel (fr.), Caleb Lendermon (soph.), Tanner Lucas (fr.)
Outlook: The addition of three freshmen and a sophomore give the Eagles expectations of a better season than a year ago.
Head coach: Mike Phillips (eighth season)
2013 results: Fourth at City/County, Fifth at Harrison Sectional, Sixth at Harrison Regional
Returning letterwinners: Unavailable
Outlook: Charlie Brinkerhoff, Erick Borders and Nick Ensinger were semistate qualifers, and the Raiders are expected to return their top seven.
Lafayette Jeff Bronchos
Head coach: David Howell (12th season)
2013 results: Eighth in the Hoosier Crossroads Confernce, City/County runner-up, Runner-up at Harrison Sectional and Harrison Regional, 15th at New Prairie Semistate
Returning letterwinners: Greyson Eller (sr.), Cameron Brown (sr.), Daniel Feltis (sr.), Preston Forestal (sr.), Cayce Griffin (sr.), Zach Vandivier (sr.), Matt Grammer (soph.), Shane Shipley (jr.), Clay Jones
Top newcomers: Leo Bernier, Clayton Slake, Patrick CasaSanta
Outlook: Howell is pleased with his team’s work ethic, noting that Feltis, Griffin and Vandivier from last year’s top five runners have had a high mileage summer. Shipley and Forestal are coming off successful track seasons. Those five are reasons why Howell expects great finishes at the North Central Conference meet and all four weeks of the postseason.
Head coach: Larry Boener (fourth season)
2013 results: Ninth in Hoosier Crossroads Conference; Fourth at Harrison Sectional and Harrison Regional; 16th at New Prairie Semistate
Returning letterwinners: Justin Berryman (sr.), Adam Fields (jr.), Cody Cornell (soph.)
Top newcomers: Will Persin, A.J. Dimmitt, Carson Minick, Rian Egan
Outlook: With only one returning senior letterwinner, Boener says McCutcheon will need the youngsters to step up and run well this season. A move to the North Central Conference raises hopes the Mavs can challenge for the conference championship and earn their 10th straight appearance at the New Prairie Semistate.
West Lafayette Red Devils
Head coach: Steve Lewark (20th season)
2013 results: Won Harrison 6-way, Western Invitational, City/County, Hoosier Conference, Harrison Sectional and Regional, New Prarie Semistate; Ninth at state
Returning letterwinners: Logan Berndt (sr., 16:54 top time; All-Hoosier Conference, All-Sectional), Jake Cohen (sr., 16:15, all-conference, all-sectional, all-regional, all-semistate), Jae Kwon (sr., 18:18), Dom Patacsil (sr., 16:16, all-conference, all-sectional, all-regional), Alex Hummels (jr., 17:20), Evan Johnson (jr., 16:15, all-conference, all-sectional, all-regional), Charlie Randall (jr., 17:22), Wesley Taylor (jr., 18:05), Cooper Williams (jr., 15:40, all-conference, all-sectional, all-regional, all-semistate, all-state), Dylan Williams (jr., 16:39, all-conference, all-sectional, all-regional)
Top newcomers: Travis Shinsky, Andrius Kriauciunas
Outlook: The Red Devils are ranked third by indianarunner.com and fourth by hoosierxc.com, but Lewark and his team aspire for more. It’s the 50th anniversary of West Lafayette’s state championship and the individual title by Mark Gibbens. “If everything goes perfectly it is not outside the realm of possibility for us to win the state championship,” Lewark said. He also believes Cooper Williams, indianarunner.com’s third-ranked runner, is among three or four favorites for the individual title.
Around the area
With the return of All-Wabash River Conference runners Kenny Little (also a semistate qualifier) and C.J. Day, plus regional qualifier Andrew Mason, Attica believes it can be a conference and regional contender. Senior Collin Hutchison and junior Andrew Mason also return and will be joined by promising newcomers Andrew Caron, Eli Merriman, Austin Durham and Lukas Gayler
Benton Central brings back every member from last season’s team, including sectional runner-up Akis Medrano. Also back are Aaron Mak Hoffman, Parker Tompkins, Andy Fry, Phillip Voglewede, Tyler Stout, Daniel Keiser and Josiah Johnson.
A core group of returning lettermen — Devin George, Key Taulbee, and Chandler Watson — are joined by newcomers Taylor Turner and Cameron Kimmell in Clinton Central‘s bid to improve on last season’s third place finish in the Hoosier Heartland Conference.
Senior Thomas Hill and junior Austin Biery earned regional berths a year ago for Clinton Prairie. They’ll be pushed this year by sophomores Ian Newhart and Owen Lloyd, and freshman Sam Ecenbarger.
Crawfordsville will go as Manuel Arroyo and Nathan Pryor go this season. Returning letterwinners Davis Thompson, Tanner Hutson and Jacob Ramer will be joined by freshman Maddie Hurt, a middle school standout.
Three of the top five runners in the Sagamore Conference return for defending league champion Frankfort. State qualifier Cody Bray, Logan Crum and Angel Conde lead a pack that hopes to again reach the New Prairie Semistate.
A young North Montgomery squad has two returning regional qualifiers in juniors Michael Munro and Brandon Alenduff, who now set their sights on semistate berths. Sophomores Derek Maze, Trevor Budd and Julius Dees, plus newcomer Andrew Brown, hope to push the Chargers to their first county championship.
Seniors Trisden Gross, Trent Holeman and Jordan Newbold lead an otherwise young North White squad. Sophomore Brian Garcia also returns from a Vikings team that finished fourth in the Midwest Conference. Freshmen Bryce Johns and Leevin Ball will push the top four.
Rensselaer‘s chances of returning to the New Prairie Regional look good with returning letterwinners Anthony Alsman, Beau Balch, Jacob Hall and Nathan Dunlap. John Clay Anderson and Preston Tanner join that foursome who are eying a top three sectional finish.
An experienced Tri-County lineup will seek to improve on last season’s Benton Central Sectional runner-up finish. Junior Austin Schneider and senior Elijah Legler were Top 10 sectional finishers and senior Tristan Bowley just missed a Top 10 finish. Sophomore Kizer Sheldon also was in the Cavaliers’ top five last season. Senior Sean Harrington and freshman Matthew Harrington give the Cavaliers depth.
Max Wuethrich earned honorable mention All-Midwest Conference honors last season as the top runner for West Central. Returning letterman Ian Cameron and Wuethrich will be joined by freshmen Ryan Smith, Jerod Glasford and Andrew Endris.