Coach Hill's 2009 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.  I am obsessive compulsive about the
sport of Cross-Country and can tell you the name and faces of the top 30 kids in each division so I think it is a pretty
accurate evaluation of  State XC. Here is last year results of my picks, I picked 7 of the 8 team champs, but only 3 of the 8
individual champs.  Well, have fun with it, use it to motivate yourself or your athletes or throw it in the trash.
2A Predictions
2A Girls
Teams: Soda comes in again as the heavy favorites to win their 4th straight State Title, being led by outstanding senior B.
Siepert or should I say seniors, because they have a bunch of good seniors.  If they have a good to average day they
should 4-peat.  If they have an off day or falter there are probably two teams that could pull off the upset.  Firth which
scared the Cardinals last year, has the up front runner, and if runners 4 and 5 have great days, they could contend.  CDA
Charter as of late seems to be emerging as a power.  They too, have the up front runners, but just need #4 and #5 to step
up.  One thing for sure, is it will be a great race between the three with I'm sure some wild surprises.  
My Picks for
trophies: 1st Soda, 2nd Firth, 3rd Cd'A Charter, 4th New Plymouth.
Individuals: Taylor Hewett(Culdesac) is the defending champion, but hasn't really shown much up to this point, except she
did win District last week on the State Course.  I didn't have her on my radar last year when she pulled off the upset, so I'm
not going to overlook this young lady this year.  She very well could win it again, but to do so she will have to contend with
some really tough girls.  Like District 3 Champ running for New Plymouth and last years runner-up Natalie Evans, Butte's
freshman stars Carly Hansen and Korbin Traughber, 2A track sensation Tylee Newman (WJ), 2007 Champion Soda's
Bailee Siepert, and probably the best of the bunch North Fremont's lone runner Jocelyn Allen.  This girls when she is
healthy has dominated races. She won Bob Firman, along with a number of other races, and really only had one hiccup this
year, and that was after a long trip back from Washington DC.  It will surely be a great race   
My Picks: Jocelyn Allen
(NF), Natalie Evans (NP) and Bailee Seipert (Soda). 1-2-3
2A Boys
Teams: 1 point is what separated Firth from West Side last year, with Firth coming out on top.  It might be even closer this
year with about 5 teams in the mix.  Challis beat Firth by 2 points at Districts and they are very evenly matched, good
upfront runners and then their #2, #3, #4, and #5 runners are separted by only 7 total seconds.  They are two identical
teams.  Soda on the other hand seems to have the best pack of runners, with their 2-6 runners all within a minute of each
other.  Westside has the best top 3, and #4 and #5 and moving up, making them a real threat.  CDA Charter if healthy and
complete could also stir things up.  But looking the year over I think it going to come down to a very close battle between
Challis, Firth and Soda and it could be a 1 point margin again that separates these three.  I would not be surprised by a tie.  
Well, who will win, the team that handles the pressure the best.  Firth has the defending champ Portela back and the  most
state experience with all their team back from last year championship team.  They went through this same thing last year.   
Challis has 3 strong runner back from last year with a freshman among their top 3 and only five deep, this could hurt them if
it is a tie.  Soda has a great senior leader in Kasey Myers, and the best pack and packs wins championships.  So as you
can read I'm showing my bias and pick Firth.  After all they have won 11 of the last 12, that should mean something.   
My Picks: 1st Firth, 2nd Challis, 3rd Soda, 4th West Side, 5th CDA Charter.
Individuals: Junior Caden Portela (Firth) is the defending champ and has not been beat this year by any 2A or 3A runner.  
Senior Kasey Myers (Soda) has been 3rd three years in a row and always seems to race best when it counts, he will
undoubtedly want it the most. Junior Ty Tritthart (Challis) has been racing very well. Junior Davis Jones (Delco) best in the
3rd District and really improving.  Then there are a couple West Side boys in Josh Hatch and Jordan Butler, these two
have the ability to pull of the upset. Portela has been dominate all year and I think he will continue that dominance Saturday.
   
My Picks: Caden Portela to repeat, Kasey Myers 2nd, West Side runner 3rd.
3A Predictions
3A Girls
Teams: Bear Lake has won 6 straight state titles, but it looks like the streak will stop there.  The team ranked #1 most of
the year also ending in Lake. Timberlake looks to be the best in 3A.  They dominated the Bob Firman small school race,
and have been running over everyone else in 3A around the State.  There is a darkhorse team that with the addition of three
new girls at Districts could pull off the upset.  These three new girls put them on close to equal grounds with Timberlake,
with good upfront runners and a solid 7.  Although I just stated the streak will probably end, Bear Lake does pose an
outside threat to spoil Timberlake's party, and they too have a great deal of State experience.   
My Picks: 1st Timberlake, 2nd Gooding, 3rd Bear Lake, 4th Snake River.
Individuals: Here are the group that I think the champion will come from, Marquita Palmer (Weiser), Kara Soucek
(McCall), Alice Keller (Salmon), Amelia Crane (Bear Lake), Kallie Van Orden (Snake River) and Ashley Bullers
Gooding).  I really think it will come down to a 2 women race between Keller and Palmer.  I've seen both race, and they
like to get out and push the pace of the race, and I think the two of them will do this Saturday and run away from the pack.  
Then it will come down to the girl with the best kick.   
My Pick: Alice Keller to win in a great battle with Marquita Palmer.
3A Boys
Teams: Last year Teton dominated this division all year long, and they returned 4 of their top 7 from last years team, plus
added a great freshman.  So they should be the clear favorite, but this is 2009 and another team has emerged as an equal.  
In fact each time they have raced this year they beat each other. Teton won at Green Canyon, Sugar won at Tiger-Grizz the
next week by 1 point, Sugar won at Rigby, Teton won at Salmon, Sugar won at Pocatello, and Sugar squeaked by at
Districts with a 3 point margin.  So as you can see of these two, either can win on any given day.  There is one other team
that has an outside chance of breaking these two up, and that is Kimberly.  They have 4 really good runners, just lack a #5,
if they fix that they could surprise.  I have a hard time picking here, because I really like both these coaches and teams and
many came to my camp this summer, so I'm going with the team that has won the most times this year.
My Picks: 1. Sugar 2. Teton 3. Kimberly 4. Bonners Ferry
Individuals: Junior Mike McHan (Gooding) has taken the biggest step this year, and he was alreay 2nd last year, so I
think he is the man to beat.  He proved that at Bob Firman, cruising to an easy and fast victory.  However defending champ
Ryan Jaggi (Weiser) always rises to the occasion for State, and could do it again and pull off the win.  I think there are a
few others to look at, but probably only an outside chance, but I've been proven wrong many times before.  Here are the
others; Tavner Wilson (Teton), Alex Galbraith (Sugar), Brandon Garner (Sugar)and Brian Tucker (Timberlake). If one of
these has a great day and either of the others falter they could be State Champ.
My Pick: Mike McHan even though he is a junior, and Ryan Jaggi is a senior and I usually always pick seniors
4A Predictions
4A Girls
Teams: I wish this division would run a little more consistent, two years ago I picked Preston to upset Bishop Kelly.  They
didn't, but last year I picked Bishop Kelly and Preston did pull off a huge upset.  Well this year I think they may run to
form, with Bishop Kelly again back in the driver seat. There are a few teams that could rain on BK's  parade.  Twin Falls
has a good group and strong front runner, and Hillcrest has a phenomenal pack and I think has the best shot at the upset.  
Both would have to have a great day, and BK would have to have a bad day for this to happen.  Moscow is one team that
is a little unknown and does have a good group and could figure into the mix here, along with Mountain Home.
My Picks: 1st Bishop Kelly  2. Hillcrest, 3. Twin Falls, 4. Mountain Home
Individuals: Last year I picked Sandpoint's Megan Bartlett, but freshman Emily Nist (Bishop Kelly) destroyed her.  This
year Nist again is probably the favoriteand ranked #1, but there are a few others that could contend. Mikesell Clegg
(Jerome), Callie Evans (Hillcrest), Amanda Ward (Twin Falls), but the biggest threat is Hannah McInturff (Century).  
Before she got ill, she beat Nist at Soda, and it appears she is healthy again as she blazed a 18:26 at Districts. All these girls
have had flashes of brilliance this year. Emily Nist and Hannah McInturff have been most impresses, so I think these two
are the favorites.
My Pick: Hannah McInturff over Emily Nist in close race.
4A Boys
Teams: Bishop Kelly came through last year as predicted and ran a solid race winning the title over Preston and Hillcrest.  
This year 5A defending champs Twin Falls dropped down a division and in my opinion are still the best team in the State at
any level, so they are the new favorites in 4A.  Bishop Kelly and Hillcrest do have an outside shot at an upset.  After all
anything can happen at State, but I'd put my money on Twin Falls here, if I were a betting man.
My Pick:  1. Twin Falls, 2. Bishop Kelly, 3. Hillcrest, 4. Rigby.
Individuals: Last year this was a loaded division with the top 5 runners all seniors, so the door is open for someone to
step-up.  Chase Caulkins (Wood River) was 6th last year and therefore the top returner.  He also was fastest at Bob
Firman finishing 5th in 16:00.  Other title contenders in the division are; Zach Burney (Columbia), Tyler Croft (Hillcrest),
Erik Harris and Alex Schenk of (Twin Falls), Daniel Williams and Travis Milburn of (Bishop Kelly), and Michael Gordon
(Kuna).  This is going to be a very good pack up front, but I think Caulkins breaks away and runs to the win.  
My Picks:
Caulkins, Williams, Croft, Harris, Schenk, and Burney in that order.
5A Predictions
5A Girls
Teams: 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 dogfight to win at State.  However, Mountain View seems to put a lock on 5A
this year beating everyone each week. They just have too much depth for the rest of the 5A teams. Now I'm not
saying they can't be beat, but someone will really have to step up and race incredible to knock them off.  
This is
what I said last year, and could just say ditto this year.  However, I think there is a couple very dangerous teams this year
that could surprise.  I don't think Boise has run the best they can yet this year, and if they do could win the title.  Meridian is
the most improved, and scary dangerous with some great runners up front, I think the best 3.  Lake City has come a long
way and could really surprise since we never see them, but really race some great competition making them tough.  So my
statement about 5A tough to dominate could not be more true than this year.   
My Picks: 1st Mt. View,  2nd Boise, 3rd Meridian, 4th Lake City,
Individuals: The best group of  runners in Idaho XC history might be the best way to explain this years 5A race.  There
are three girls that are not only the best in Idaho, but in the top 100 in the nation.  Kinsey Gomez (Cd'A) 2008 champ, Liz
Brandon (Eagle) 2009 champ, and Kate Jamboretz (Boise)most improved.  When the three raced head to head at the
prestigious Sunfair Inv. in Washington they finished in the top 6 with Gomez 2nd, Brandon 4th, and Jamboretz 6th and less
than 30 seconds separated the three.  It will be closer than this at the state meet with no one out front like Annamarie Maag
of Jesuit to push the pace.  Look for an incredible race, with a couple others that may challenge for awhile, but I think it will
ultimately come down to these 3.
My Pick: Kinsey Gomez, Liz Brandon and Kate Jamboretz in the same order as Sunfair.
5A Boys
Teams: I said last year you could draw a name out of a hat and it would probably be right, but I went with my rankings
and was almost right on.  I think this could be another year were it is a complete toss-up.  Highland had the early
advantage, and still hold the #1 ranking, but injury has hurt them.  I thought Mt. View looked like the team that would win it
a couple weeks ago, but Boise without Fitzpatrick whipped them last week at Districts.  Coeur d'Alene again being up
north is the unknown and look very good.  I think these are the 4 teams to put in your hat this year.  Sickness has really hurt
a lot of teams in every division this year.  I think this will be a big factor in every race, but from what I'm hearing hear this
division might be most effected.  I guess what I am trying to say is, which team will be healthy on Saturday?  This is who
will probably win this race, I hope all are healthy so it will be the best 5A team . I'm going out on a limb with the home team.
My Pick: 1. Coeur d'Alene, 2nd Mt. View, 3rd Boise, 4th Highland,
Individuals: The Big Three: Cody Helbling (Lake City) NXN qualifier, Footlocker finalist, #25 in the Nation, Erik
Fitzpatrick (Boise) 2 Time 5A XC State Champ, Dallin Farnsworth (Highland) 3200m State Champ, best at Bob Firman.  
These are the three everyone else will be gunning for on Saturday.  I hope all three are injury free and healthy on Saturday,
and if so it could be one of the best race in Idaho history.  Helbling and Fitzpatrick have probably had the best rivalrey over
the last 3 years of any two runners in Idaho, because both have been so good for so long.  I've been mentioning their names
in this predictions for the past 3 issues.  Now one of the toughest and guttest runner I've ever seen is throwing a wrench in
the machine, Farnsworth could really mix it up this year.  But I think if healthy the Seniors are going to go 1-2 and this
order.  
My Pick: Cody Helbling, Erik Fitzspatrick, Dallin Farnsworth in that order and maybe as close as they are on this page
I hope you don't take any of this to seriously, since I've thrown out so much
nonsense, and am bias. Good Luck to all Teams!!!!