Coach Hill's 2012 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 how well I did last year with my picks, I picked 6 of the 8 team champs, and 5 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 Springs won their 6th straight State Title last year in Boise tying them with (Twin Falls 1974-1979) & (Bear
Lake 2003-2008) for the most consecutive State Titles in Idaho Girls XC History. I will predict on Saturday in Lewiston
they will be standing alone in the history books with 7 straight titles. They just look and have proven unbeatable again this
year. They are led by Senior and co-favorite Cierra Simmons, followed closely by Kelsey Yamauchi and a very large pack
of strong runners close behid. Teams that will challenge Soda are Firth led by K. Gardner, CDA Charter led by M.
Daniels, and New Plymouth led by H. Alexander.  But realistically they are running for second as Soda is just to deep.
We will see Saturday!!  
My Trophy Picks: 1st Soda, 2nd Firth, 3rd CDA Charter, 4th New Plymouth
Individuals: Defending State Champion Rachel Youren from Gooding has moved to 3A. However, 4A State Runner-up
Sierra Manzer from Kuna moved down divisions running for Melba. Manzer is probably considered the favorite. The other
favorite as I stated earlier is  Soda's fastest Cierra Simmons. She has been on a tear as of late and has proven she can go
out fast and hang-on. Last year Simmons and WJ's T. Newman (who is doing awesome at Utah State)  got caught up
racing the 1st mile crazy fast and both crashed in the heat. I don't expect anything like that this year. I could see Simmons
and Manzer going out fast again and separating themselves from the field but I think neither will falter and we will witness a
great battle. There are a few others that on the right day might run to the win; C. Hansen (Butte) a former State XC Champ
and veteran racer will surely be around if either falter.  She might start a little slower, but look for her and her teammate
Korbin Traughber to be close. I believe this is the short list of possible winners.  I'm sure one of these above will win, but
there are alway some surprises, and I have been wrong before.
My Picks: 1. Cierra Simmons (Soda)  2. Sierra Manzer (Melba) 3. Carly Hansen (Butte) 4. Kelsey Yamauchi (Soda)
2A Boys
Teams: Last year I picked Soda and they didn't disappoint. Most of this year I have had Soda ranked #1, but a couple
weeks ago Logos High (New Idhsaa Member) had an incredible race and appeared to be the best small school team in the
state by their average.  However Logos at District had over a 2 minute gap 1-5 and Soda at District had a 23 second
spread from 1-5.  Logos does have race favorite Paul Ryan who is maybe  30 seconds to a minute better than anyone.  
Soda's pack, although close together were not very fast at District. I do think if Logos are going to have a chance of
knocking off Soda their pack will have run faster than at Districts. These two seem to be the best, there are a couple other
teams that could really have a large impact on the team race.  Salmon, Firth and CdA Charter are strong and will factor into
the trophies.  This is a tough pick and could go a number of ways.
My Trophy Picks: 1. Soda, 2. Logos, 3. CDA Charter, 4. Salmon.
Individuals: There is a very clear favorite here, and that is Sophomore Paul Ryan for Logos.  He has won or been close to
winning every race entered this year.  This is not just against small schools runners, but against any runner.  He won the
State Preview race over top 5A runners and has been almost a minute better than any 2A/1A runner this year.  I think he
will dominate so here is a list of those running for second: District 3 champ Conrad Larson (VC), District 6 champ Billy
Godfrey, District 4 champ Josh Dalton (Dietrich), & Leif Fredericks (CDA).  These runners look closest on paper, and
one might step-up and really prove me wrong.  That is why we run the race.
My Picks: 1. Paul Ryan (Logos), 2. Conrad Larson (VC), 3. Josh Dalton (Dietrich), 4. Billy Godfrey (Salmon).
3A Predictions
3A Girls
Teams: It was an incredible battle last year between Timberlake and Sugar-Salem with Timberlake winning their 3rd
straight State Title by a few points. Things have changed a bit this year with Timberlake losing a few to graduation and
soccer, and Sugar losing nothing and gaining a trio of tough freshman (I. Price, W. Taylor, H. Larson). This makes
Sugar-Salem the clear favorite in 3A this year. They dominated Bob Firman small school race and looked poised to win
their first state title since 1992.  The teams that will be chasing Sugar and could pull off the upset if they falter are Snake
River, Kimberly or Timberlake.  They are all solid but would really have to step-up big to challenge for the Blue trophy.
My Trophy Picks: 1. Sugar-Salem,  2. Snake River,  3. Timberlake, 4. Kimberly.
Individuals: The Big Two are now running in college, Alice Keller (Salmon) & Marquita Palmer (Weiser). With their
departure to graduation and last years 3rd place finisher A. George (Timb) not running, the race is wide open.  Last years
4th place finisher O. Redd (Sugar) has had a break out season and is now the clear favorite. She dominated Bob Firman,
winning by almost a minute over defending 2A State Champ and co-favorite Rachel Youren (Good) after her move up.
These two are the favorites, but a couple other girls look to threaten the dominance.  Parma freshman Harlie Sorrell didn't
race in the D2 race at Firman but was just second behind Youren's time there.  Most know how I feel about freshman girls
at State(they alway surprise).  She could really surprise the state if overlooked. Rachel Ward of Timberline has had a solid
year and should contend. Quincy Van Orden is another runner that has experience and will be in the hunt. I will have to go
will my girl here as she crushed on a very tough District course, breaking Alice Keller's course record.
My Picks: 1. Olivia Redd (Sugar), 2. Rachel Youren (Gooding), 3. Harlie Sorrell (Parma) 4. Rachel Ward (Timberlake).
3A Boys
Teams: Teton won their 3rd straight State Title last year and are again going into State with the bulls-eye and #1 ranking
on their back.  They have once again not been beat by a 3A school this year, however they are definitely not as dominate
as they have been in the past.  Last year I said they were the easiest pick and possibly the surest bet.  This year I think they
are a little vulnerable. Snake River with race favorite James Wither, freshman Joseph Van Orden and move-ins from AF
Tragen Thomas and Tony Peace appears to have the firepower to knock them off.  Sugar-Salem has shown signs of
greatness with wins at Bob Firman and racing close to Teton at Districts, and should contend.  The one unknown team is
Bonners Ferry. They looked very strong against their District schools, but didn't come south and race. So all we have to go
on is the common opponent of Timberlake.  Using that common opponent Teton appears safe, but once again I love the
underdog and their hunger to win.  
My Trophy Picks: 1. Teton, 2. Sugar-Salem, 3. Snake River , 4. Bonners Ferry.
Individuals: Just opposite of  last year the team race was an easy pick and the individual race was wide open. This year
the individual race looks locked up by defending champ and track star James Withers (SR).  Behind him is top returner
Caleb Moosman (Teton) and sophomore E. Garcia (Good) who moved up from 2A.  Moosman is running great as of late,
and Garcia won Bob Firman easily. Watch for Moosman to start slow, but move up steadily. Garcia will race from the gun,
which might hurt him if he follows Withers out hard. Other contenders are Gabe Moore (Filer) who beat Garcia at Districts,
Nathan Crane (BL), Nathan Wiggins (Weis) and a couple good freshman A. Stewart (Shelley) and J. Van Orden (SR).
My Picks: 1. James Withers (Snake River), 2. E. Garcia (Good), 3. Caleb Moosman (Teton), 4. Gabe Moore (Filer).
4A Predictions
4A Girls
Teams: I have been doing predictions now for 10 years and when talking about the favorite in 4A girls Bishop Kelley has
always been in the conversation. This is weird not having BK in the favorite mix. With them down and Hillcrest moving up to
5A this division is wide open. Preston and Jerome are the two favorites this year. Preston is solid team that runs as a good
pack, and Jerome has a top runner in J. Nesbitt and a solid group behind her. Century is another threat with Hannah
McInturff back from injury. Middleton District III Champ is also a very improved squad and could pull an upset. I think of
all the race this is the most difficult to predict. This will truly come down to who has the best pack attack on Saturday.
My Trophy Picks: 1. Preston,  2. Jerome, 3. Middleton, 4. Century.
Individuals: Emily Nist is gone!! I have been predicting her to win for so long in 4A it is weird use her name as favorite in
4A girls. Likewise 4A runner-up Sierra Manzer moved to Melba which opens the division up for some new girls. The newest
and probably the best is a freshman from Pocatello Rachel McGovern. She is on a tear as of late winning everything and by
big margins. She is the favorite, but a few that will challenge for the State Title are Hannah McInturff (Cent) coming back
from a stress fracture, Jasmine Nesbitt (Jer) is a tested racer and probably the next best, and District 3 champ Lina Schell
(Midd) is tough having raced the best all year. This the short list, but my money is on McGovern.   
My Pick:  1. Rachel McGovern (Poc), 2.Jasmine Nesbitt (Jer) 3. Hannah McInturff (Cent), 4. Lina Schell (Midd).
4A Boys
Teams: Last year I had no idea who to pick for this one, and I picked wrong. Pocatello surprised the state and have been
on a tear ever since. Led by standout Elijah Armstrong and the Herndon twins they are huge favorites to win a second title.
A number of 4A boys teams have really come on in the past few weeks and now make me question if Pocky is the best.
Bishop Kelly and Kuna are really improved and could really push Pocky, likewise Moscow, Burley, and Bonneville look
very good and will also likely contend for a trophy. But bottom line Pocky could go 1-2-3 and that is tough to overcome.
My Pick:  1. Pocatello, 2. Kuna, 3. Bishop Kelly, 4. Moscow.
Individuals: Just as big a favorite as Pocatello is to win the team title Pocatello's defending state champ Elijah Armstrong is
even a bigger favorite to win and will probably run the fastest time of the day. He is on track to do something that has never
been done in Idaho history, a four time champ. Probably the best chance of anyone to outrun Armstrong is his teammates
Haydin and Driztin Herndon, but they have been always been about 30 seconds behind Armstrong.  The unknown runner
in the mix is Sandpoint's Sam Levora. I think he has the ability to run with the top guys and could pull off the a top finish.
One other runner that might contend is Ryden Crowther (Pre) who was fourth at districts, so he would have to step-up.
My Picks: 1. Elijah Armstrong (Pocatello) 2. Haydin Herndon (Pocatello) 3. Sam Levora (Sandpoint), 4. Driztin Herndon
5A Predictions
5A Girls
Teams: Last year I predicted that it would be a point for point battle between Boise and Mountain View, and that Couer
d' Alene was the dark horse. Well it ended up a point for point battle, but all three ended up locked in a very tough battle.
This year Couer d' Alene appears to be a clear favorite with a pack of 4 that consistently are running in the low 19:00 and
their #5 not to far back. The best out of District 3 all year long had been Rocky Mountain, but Vallivue & Boise stepped
up at Districts and knocked them off. I don't believe any of these teams are near as good as CdA, but they all have the
runners to impact the trophy race. The dark horses this year are the southeast teams Highland and Idaho Falls. I really
believe one of these two teams will get a trophy. They continue to improve and should have a larger impact than many
might think. There are a handful of teams to chose from in the 2-3-4 spots and it could be any of them, so here we go.
My Trophy Picks: 1. Couer d'Alene, 2. Vallivue, 3. Boise, 4. Highland.
Individuals: Freshman went 1-2-3 last year (Hamlin-Boise, Malaspina-Vallivue, Brown-CdA) and those same three girls
look great again this year and should be in the top 5 in 2012. There are a couple others that should also be fighting to make
top 5. Senior Dana Snell (RM) has had a great year and could contend. Freshman Emily Callahan (CdA) won the District
I-II title over teammates Punky Durant & Josie Brown. Presli Hutchinson (Highland) after missing State last year has
something to prove and I predict is also going to be in the race until the end. Right now however, I feel Emily Hamlin
(Boise) and  Mikayla Malaspina (Vallivue) are the two favorites and will battle the entire race. This is definitely going to be
a great race again.  Can't wait to watch this one.
My Pick:  1. Emily Hamlin (Boise), 2. Mikayla Malaspina (Vallivue), 3. Presli Hutchinson, 4. Josie Brown (CdA).
5A Boys
Teams: I usually say this is the hardest one to pick, and that you could draw a name out of a hat and probably be as
accurate as I have been.  But then I said Eagle was the easy pick. Well guess what Couer d'Alene surprised as Eagle
faltered. I should of just put 5 names in the hat. This year until last week I would have easily picked a favorite, Rocky
Mountain. I don't know what happened at Districts, but they did not dominate as they had previously been doing. Capital
knocked them off and proved that anyone is beatable and it is important to peak at the right time. Now I am not sure who
to pick to win this one. Where is the HAT? I think I will put Capital, Rocky Mountain, Boise, Highland, Idaho Falls, and
Lake City in to the hat and draw a winner. Here is the results with my picks. Let's see which is more accurate.
Hat Picks: 1. Boise, 2. Highland, 3. Capital, 4. Lake City
My Trophy Pick: 1. Rocky Mountain, 2. Capital, 3. Highland, 4. Boise.
Individuals: No nationally ranked runner in this race this year, and no huge favorite to win. 2012 Runner-up, Thomas
Rigby (Boise) is back but hasn't shone the brilliance with which he raced last year. I still believe he is one of the favorites.
Sophomore Dwain Stucker (Mer) is one favorite after he won Districts in the tough Boise area. Justin Ross (RM) is also
right there just seconds back from Stucker at Districts. Capitals top guy makes this list too; David Steele. Idaho Falls top
runner Andrew Follet will also be a factor to make top 10. Up north Jake Finny (LC) has ran well and should be among
this group. I think again I will try drawing out of a hat. This is a tough one to pick. I will go with an underclassman, they
seem to run with less pressure and in 5A history a number of underclassman have proved me right.
Hat Picks: 1. David Steel, 2. Thomas Rugby, 3. Adrew Follett, 4. Justin Ross
My Pick: 1. Dwain Stucker (Mer), 2. Justin Ross (RM), 3. Thomas Rigby (Boise), 4. Andrew Follett (IF).
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!!!!