Coach Hill's 2007 State Predictions

I like to do this just for fun. Coaches, athletes, parents, & fans, take it for what you will. It is one persons thoughts and comments on the State XC outcomes and maybe you'll view them somewhat biased. Have fun with it, use it to motivate yourself or your athletes or throw it in the trash.

2A Predictions

2A Girls

Teams: There is no doubt about the favorite for the 1A/2A girls title. Soda Springs has run incredible all year and dominated every team in their division. Upstart West Jefferson may have the best shot of knocking them off, that is if top ranked runner Laken Skidmore and Andra Holdaway make it back from State Volleyball which is in Lewiston (Not Likely). If Soda does have an off day, a few other teams have a chance of bringing home the blue hardware. Firth, and Nampa Christian are State veterans, having brought home a ton of hardware the past 10 years. Picks for trophies: 1st Soda, 2nd Firth, 3rd West Jefferson, 4th Nampa Christian.

Individuals: L. Skidmore (WJ) is head and shoulders above the rest, but may not even run, as she is also the star of her Lewiston State bound volleyball team. If she doesn't make it back then Bailee Siepert (Soda) is next favorite, but there are a few others that could run away with the title. Keeley McKinnon (Firth) or Megan Oberst (NC) have the ability to pull off the win. My pick: Laken Skidmore (WJ) or Bailee Seipert (Soda) if Laken is a no show. 

2A Boys

Teams: Ironically last year I mentioned David and Goliath, and Soda slayed Goliath. Firth is ranked first again this year, but are going to have to prove it Saturday. The State has much more parity this year than in the past, with Soda, Deary, Cd'A Charter, Kootenai, Malad all appearing to be able to bring home a trophy. Each of these teams have some great frontrunners, but the teams that can get their 5th runner in first will probably bring home the trophies. My Picks: 1st Firth, 2nd Cd'A Charter, 3rd Soda, 4th Malad.

Individuals: Zeke Wilson (Challis) has had a great year, only having lost to 1A/2A runners during the Mud Run, otherwise dominating the 1A/2A competion. Zeke, I would say is a big favorite to win the State title. The best chance of a spoiler I think is Jonathan Dalton (Deary), Ryan Kingsland (Oakley) or Bracken Williams (Firth) the last 2A runner to beat Zeke albeit, this was at the state track meet. Don't count out top returner Casey Myers (Soda) despite a very serious leg break during the summer He is coming on strong and a possible surprise. My pick: 1st Zeke Wilson (Challis) tough senior with experience.

3A Predictions

3A Girls

Teams: 5 Titles in a row. No girls team has won 5 in a row, but Bear Lake will most surely do it this year. They are ranked #1 in Idaho, but also ranked in the top 10 in the NTN Northwest region. They could possibly put their top 5 to 7 in the top 10, something they have done a great deal this year. The teams that will battle for the second trophy are a little more difficult to separate. Bonners Ferry, Teton, Weiser, Shelley, and Buhl all seem to be pretty even. Teton has the smallest gap 1-5, which should carry them to the runner-up trophy. My picks: 1st Bear Lake, 2nd Teton, 3rd Bonners Ferry, 4th Shelley

Individuals: How many State titles has Cydney Jacobsen (BL) won, I think 2 XC, and a bunch of Track titles. If I'm not mistaken, Cydney will be running for her third straight title. This is a rare feat that few have done in the history of Cross in Idaho. Erika James(BL) or Amanda Palmer (Weiser) could pull off the upset if Cydney has an off day which doesn't seem to happen in the big races. My Pick: Cydney Jacobsen of course!

3A Boys

Teams: This year Bear Lake has an outstanding team and have been ranked 1st all year. They have beat every 3A team this year winning Tiger-Grizz, and Bob Firman cementing them as the favorite to repeat as State champs. If they have a weakness it is their depth, Their 5th runner is a bit back, but I dont think it will come into play Saturday. Bear Lake just has too much up front. Battling for the second trophy will be South Fremont, Declo, Weiser, Timberlake, and Teton. Picks: 1. Bear Lake 2. South Fremont 3. Timberlake 4. Declo.

Individuals: Frank Lagrimanta is gone, so who is going to assume the the mantel of State Champion. Four weeks ago I would have said senior Ryan Golding (BL) would assume the title, but now junior Dory Alleman (BL) has outrun him the past 4 weeks. So what do I do? Two other may play a role in this mess, Tanner Saxon (BL) and John Ashcraft (SF) and I might have thought Steven Thurston (Sugar) had he not played soccer last week and failed to qualify for State. Anyone of these young men could win. My pick: Ryan Golding (BL) once again I beleive in Seniors and they seem to back me up, and I believe Ryan is the best senior.

4A Predictions

4A Girls

Teams: Preston has not won a State CC Title since moving up to the 4A ranks, but look poised to do it this year. Standing or should I say running in their way will be 4 time defending champs Bishop Kelly. The two teams only raced once this year, and it was on the State course and BK was missing their #1 runner J.Engelhardt which is very significant. Preston with the win moved to #1 in the 4A ranking which many questioned. However as the season progressed Preston gained a soccer player and improved immensely looking more like a legitimate #1 each week, even taking down 3A #1 and NTN ranked Bear Lake. But with the outstanding performance of BK last week at Districts I now don't know who will bring home the State Title. It will be one of these two teams. But I must pick, so My Pick: 1. Preston maybe a little more hungary for hardware. 2. Bishop Kelley, 3.Hillcrest, 4. Moscow,

Individuals: Two years ago I overlooked her and last year I picked swimmer/runner Bethany McInturff (Century) to win which she did strongly. But this year despite the fact that she is a senior and better prepared (raced more), I have reservations about picking her to win a third title. This year Sandpoint's Megan Bartlett is running absolutely incredible. She has improved her times on courses from the year before by minutes, and beat most opponents by the same margin. She I believe is ready to give Bethany a race. One other young runner could fit into the mix Jordan Engelhardt (BK), she is probably the most battle tested in big races. My Pick: Megan Bartlett unless it comes down to the final 100 m between the two, then I'm going with Bethany McInturff.

4A Boys

Teams: Hillcrest stayed under everyone radar last year, until the last couple of weeks and then exploded onto the scene. Most thought BK would sweep the title from the unbeaten Burley boys, but Hillcrest pulled out a very tight race between the three, winning off their 6th man. Once again Hillcrest has improved mightly the last 4 weeks and looked poised to win another title. A few teams that might spoil those dreams are Preston, Burley, and Skyview. Each of these teams seem to have the potential to win it all, but must put their packs closer together to even have have a chance against a very tough Hillcrest pack. My Pick: 1. Hillcrest, 2. Preston, 3. Skyview, 4. Burley.

Individuals: Chio Lopez (Century) is off runnig for my alma mater Utah State Aggies, but there are a great group of runners hungry to win the title, and one that has had a few good examples. Aaron Jenkins (Century) looks to be following in the footsteps of Chio, Jason McKee, Aaron Wolfe, and will maybe bring home the individual title to Century. Taylor Bean or David Fillmore of Burley, along with sophomore Sam Whitworth (Hillcrest), and Neil Easter (Columbia) will probably give Aaron all he wants and more. I believe the race will be the best or closest race of the day with the winner being Aaron Jenkins, 2nd Sam Whitworth, 3rd Taylor Bean, 4th Neil Easter.

5A Predictions

5A Girls

Teams: Like I stated last year, the 5A ranks in the State of Idaho is now very tough to dominate.  There are just to many good runners, teams, and coaches.  It is always a dog fight to win at State.  Boise which is Northwest NTN #4 is arguably the best team and will likely come out on top again Saturday for their 3rd straight State title.  However, there are a few very good teams that could end the Boise run. I think Highalnd has the best chance. They have a ton of talent, if they all can have a good race on the same day. Eagle, Twin Falls and Mt. View could also surprise the State with an upset, if Boise has an off day. My Picks: 1st Boise,  2nd Highland, 3rd Eagle, 4th Mt. View,

Individuals: Nicole Nielsen (Borah) is unbeaten this year, and has ran incredible times and beaten some great girls at Firman and Puma. So you might think she is hands down favorite, but you would be mistaken. There are two incredible freshman, one up north Kinsey Gomez (Cd'A) and one down south Amanda Ward (Twin). Both of these young ladies have only been beaten a few times themselves. They have been setting records and crushing their competion in every race, and freshman girls scare me, they run insanely well at State every year. We can't forget Sarah Olsen (Boise), or Bug Simmons (Mt View) they both can run with about anyone. But my pick is: Nicole Nielsen I believe she is the most battle tested and best runner in the State of Idaho comparitively at any level.

5A Boys

Teams: Last year I said this would be the best race of the day and it was without a doubt, as Mt. View edged Boise and prerace favorite Borah for the title. The Mt. View squad ran an incredible team race, using a great pack time to edge these two powerhouses. This year is going to be no different, just a few different names in the mix, and it will all come down to the team that can pack-up. The names of the teams with a legitimate shot are Mt. View ranked #1 almost all year, Boise who knocked Mt. View off last week at District, Twin Falls who has been silently creeping up on the big guns, and Lake City which has shown incredible bursts of talent throughout the year and at other times looked not so incredible. Which team will put it together Saturday? Your guess is as good as mine. But that is what I'm doing so My Pick: Mt. View I learned from my father the cream always rises to the top of the can, and I think they are the best team right now, but just had an off race in the mud. 2nd Boise, 3rd Twin Falls, 4th Lake City.

Individuals: Last year there was a clear favorite in Taylor Farnsworth, but a lot of great runners looking to knock him off if he faltered. This year I believe the favorite is a sophomore out of Boise, Eric Fitzpatrick. Being young He has had an off race now and again, but seems to race very well if healthy and when it counts. Cody Helbling (Lake City) could also be considered a favorite, as he has been running very well up north. If Jared Nielsen (Borah), and sister Nicole both have amazing days the might do something rare and bring home matching 5A individual titles. There are a few others that could surprise, T. Curtis (Caldwell), Tommy Bollinger (Highland), Alex Schenk (Twin), and Ryan Saunders (Capital) are just a few names. Remember anyone there can win. My Pick: Eric Fitzpatrick.

I hope you don't take any of this to seriously, since I've thrown out so much nonsense. Good Luck to all Teams!!!!