5A Boys- My preseason favorite is Highland High which returns the most and best young team, with a
solid core of sophomores leading the way. Eagle likewise returns a very good young team and are
rumored to be getting a couple new freshmen sensations. I think they appear to be preseason #2, and
Lake City with frontrunner Cody Helbling and a solid returning core that had a very tight gap time at
State last year is my preseason #3. #4 goes to Boise with defending champ Eric Fitzpatrick leading the
5A Girls- Preseason ranking have Mountain View and Eagle #1 and #2 as that is how they finished at
State last year. They both return very solid squads but I think Eagle returns the better squad so I'm
marking them as preseason #1 with MV #2. Centennial returns a very good young bunch, and Vallivue
also returns some young girls and are getting a few good freshman. So I think Centennial is #3 and
Vallivue #4. Boise and Coeur D'Alene also return a good group from State. We will see who gets the
best freshmen, as freshman girls as we know can have a big impact on the dynamics of the 2009 race.
4A Boys- With a ton of seniors in the top 20 last year, and Twin Falls moving down, this division looks
a great deal different. One piece of normalcy is Bishop Kelly, they return 4 in the preseason top 20 and
receive my #1 vote. Hillcrest return 4 good runners and Twin Falls returns 3 good runners, if they end
up at Twin Falls instead of the new high school Canyon Ridge. Hillcrest gets my #2 vote with Century
#3 and Twin Falls #4.
4A Girls- Kuna was returning a loaded young team and would have been my #1 vote, but for some
reason three of there top 5 have left. That leaves Bishop Kelly as the preseason favorites with 5 in the
top 21 preseason rankings. Hillcrest returns two and Mountain Home and Preston both return three top
20 runners, but Hillcrest has a number of other solid girls and are my preseason #2, with Preston #3
and Mountain Home as #4.
3A Boys- My preseason top 2 spots are two 6th District teams, but based on returning runners the two
top team will probably flipflop 2008 State results with Sugar #1, and Teton #2. Sugar returns 3 top 20
as does Teton, but Sugar returns more from 2008 plus outstanding freshman miler Brandon
Gardner(4:38) who didn't compete in XC last year. Bonners Ferry and Kimberly return a solid core
and get my #3 and #4 spot respectfully.
3A Girls- Bear Lake was loaded with seniors last year, but still return 3 in the top 20. Teton and
McCall Donnelly also return 3 in the top 20, but Timberlake return 5 in the top 25. They(Timberlake)
get my #1 preseason vote, with Bear Lake #2, I'm sure they have more young tanlent coming. Teton
gets #3 and McCall Donnelly #4.
2A Boys- Firth and West Side finished 1 point apart last year and both return 3 in the top 20, so what
will separate them this year. Taking an unbiased look at this, as much as I possibly can. I guess the
determining factor is Firth lost 1 senior from their 2008 team and West Side lost 2 seniors from their
2008 squad. Therefore Firth returns more and gets the #1 preseason vote, with West Side getting #2.
One big problem with this. The best team might be CDA Charter which had 4 juniors run in the low
4:40's for the mile last year on the track. That's going to be a great group if it transfers to the XC
course. So CDA Charter gets my #3 and Challis #4.
2A Girls- Soda Springs once again return a great group of runners with 4 back in the top 20. Firth and
West Jefferson both have 3 back in the top 20, so the my preseason #1 is Soda. West Jefferson brings
back the next most along with getting a great freshman, so they get my #2 vote. Firth gets #3 vote and
CDA Charter gets my vote for #4 with two returning top 20.
Based on returning runners and new freshman.