|Coach Hill's 2014 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 a little obsessive compulsive
about the sport of Cross-Country and can tell you the name and faces of most 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 7 of the 8 individual champs. Well, have fun with it, use it to motivate yourself or your athletes or throw it in
|Teams: Soda Springs won their 8th straight State Title last year in IF in the most memorable of ways scoring a perfect 15.
That had only happened once before by Jerome in the 70's. They continue to make Idaho History and could match the
continuous streak set by Jerome and Firth of 9 consecutive titles this year with a win. Even after losing a great senior class
Coach Horsley has reloaded again with underclassmen. Led by freshman K. McCoullough, Soda appears to still be the
team to beat. There are a few others that this year pose a serious threat to the streak. Salmon has the girls and the talent,
they are scary good if all their girls put it together on the same day. At their District meet they put 4 in before anyone else
and there were some quality girls in the field. Another possible threat is Melba. They are led by #1 ranked S. Manzer and
have improved all year. Look for one of these three to host the Blue Trophy on Saturday.
My Trophy Picks: 1st Soda, 2nd Salmon, 3rd Melba, 4th West Jefferson.
|Individuals: After having an off race in 2013, 2012 Champ Sierra Manzer (Melba) is the favorite again this year. She had
the fastest time at Firman this year and hasn't been challenged by a 2A/1A girls this year. The one weakness is she hasn't
raced the Soda Springs duo of K. McCullough and A. White (2013 Top Returnee) as Manzer ran in the elite field at
Firman. The two Soda girls have the strength of the pack as they can help push/sustain each other in their pursuit of
Manzer. There are a couple other contenders that could really play a role in the title hunt. A. Critchfield (Oakley) had a
great track season and has come on throughout the season, and freshman M. Dye (Logos) has blossomed as the year has
gone. You know how freshman can run dumb and surprise at State. I think M. Dye is the girl to watch out for as she will
run with the least pressure.
My Picks: 1. Sierra Manzer (Melba) 2. K. McCullough (Soda), 3. A. Critchfield
4. M. Dye (Logos), 5. A. White (Soda).
|Teams: I picked Soda two years ago and Logos surprised us all and pulled off the upset. Last year I went with Soda
again and they didn't disappoint, destroying the field. This year I will have to go with Logos over Soda. Soda won at Bob
Firman with Logos in the race, however they were missing their Ace (Paul Ryan) who ran in the elite race. With Ryan in
the line-up Logos looks unbeatable. But if anyone can beat them it could be Soda and their tough pack. They just believe
and know how to race at State. Beyond these two teams there may be a couple other contenders, West Side and CDA
Charter look to be the best. West Side & CDA returned the most from 2013, but they just haven't stepped up and raced
well this year, but State could be different. I really think this is going to be a battle between Logos and Soda.
My Trophy Picks: 1. Logos, 2. Soda, 3. CDA Charter, 4. West Side.
|Individuals: Paul Ryan (Logos) and Carlton Baird (West Side) are the clear favorites here. Both looked unbeatable at
State Track last year with both range and speed. They likewise have been stellar most of this year with Baird starting a
little slow but racing great now, and Ryan flying all year. Ryan has also raced the best in the west almost every weekend
and done amazing. Both are battle tested and should run away from the field, but anything can happen. A few that might
spoil their celebration are: Joshua Ball (Soda) he's had a great year, Billy Godfrey (Salmon) I've seen him pull off huge
upsets and could do it here, M. Wheeler (Victory Charter) the best of the Treasure Valley. These runners look closest on
paper, and one might step-up and really prove me wrong, but the race will be up front with Paul Ryan running away from
My Picks: 1. Paul Ryan (Logos), 2. Carlton Baird (West Side), 3. Billy Godfrey (Salmon),
4. Joshua Balls (Soda), 5. M. Wheeler (VC).
|Teams: Last year Sugar-Salem repeated their State Title from 2012, led by a big group of Seniors. Shelley ran a close
second with the emergence of a number of underclassmen. This year those underclassmen have dominated and are the
strong favorites to win their 1st ever Girls State XC Title. They do have a small weakness as their 6th runner is a little
back, so if one of their top 5 has an off day they could be vulnerable. Who looks poised to knock them off if they falter?
The two schools who have won the last 5 titles look the best to do it, Timberlake and Sugar-Salem. Both have been hit
with injuries this year, but N. Herring (TL) is back and coming on, and Sugar is still strong despite having two top 5 girls
injured. All three teams have a strong group with top runners leading the way. Right now it looks like Shelley's too lose, as
they are clear favorites with Sugar and Timberlake battling for second.
My Trophy Picks: 1. Shelley, 2. Sugar-Salem, 3. Timberlake, 4. Snake River.
|Individuals: Gone is O. Redd (Sugar), R. Youren (Gooding), two of the best ever in 3A. So it is wide open for a new
face to step forward. Parma's Harlie Sorrell was the 3200 m State Champ, Shelley's Payton Drollinger was the 1600 m
State Champ, and they are the slight co-favorites for the State title. I said slight because there is a number of other girls
very close. Like 3 Shelley girls, every week it seemed like a different girl was their best runner with K. Anderson, C.
Hassell and B. Crandall each out running the other throughout the season. Another is Shaylee Hill (Sugar) who likewise has
outrun the Shelley crew half the time, and then Kassidy Hammond (TL) is close and running great. Your champ will come
from this list of girls. Watch this race as it is going to be a great one, but tough to predict. I'll go with my heart!!
My Picks: 1. Shaylee Hill (Sugar), 2. Harlie Sorrell (Parma) 3. Payton Drolliger (Shelley),
4. Klarissa Anderson (Shelley), 5. Kassidy Hammond (TL).
|Teams: Shelley with a bunch of sophomores won their 1st ever State Title last year. The crew is back just missing one of
their top 5 from last year. So once again they are the favorites and have been ranked that way most of the year, except for
the final weeks of the season. That is only because of a little illness to one of their top 5. He is working his way back and if
healthy the rest of the State will be chasing them again. They are led by Defending champ Austin Stewart and have 4 top 20
guys, their one weakness is #5 is back a little and they only have 5. Sugar-Salem has taken advantage of Shelley being off
a little the past weeks and moved to #1, beating them the past 3 weeks & knocking them off at Districts. But it is going to
be a tough battle at State. I also better not leave out Kimberly as they continue to get better and better, and have top
runners Lund & Thompson. Likewise, Timberlake looked impressive at Districts and should contend for a trophy. I think
these are trophy teams, and for the 4th consecutive year it looks like District 6 will be fighting for coveted Blue Trophy. It's
a hard one to chose, but again I'm biased and my Senior are hungry.
My Trophy Picks: 1. Sugar-Salem, 2. Shelley, 3. Kimberly, 4. Timberlake.
|Individuals: This is an easy pick as defending champ and junior Austin Stewart (Shelley) is back and dominating as few
ever have in 3A. So the talk is about who will be running for 2nd. There are a few that should compete for this spot, M.
Crandall (Shelley), J. Van Orden (SR), J. Hymas (Sugar), A. Young (Filer), J. Perkins (BF), K. Hamblin (Sugar) and D.
Thompson (Kimberly). If I had to chose, Van Orden looks the best right now and A. Young maybe the next best.
However with this group just put the names in a hat and draw them out, and you will do as well as I can here.
It is that close with the second group and could be the runner who runs relaxed and confident.
My Picks: 1. Austin Stewart (Shelley), 2. Joseph Van Orden (SR), 3. A. Young (Filer)
4. J. Hymas (Sugar) 5. M. Crandall (Shelley).
|Teams: This is the division I have failed to accurately predict the past years. In 2012 I pick Sandpoint and Middleton
surprised, then in 2013 I picked Pocatello and Sandpoint surprised. Once again Sandpoint is the favorite, but they have not
raced enough of the division teams to accurately predict what will happen in this race. I do feel they are the best 1-5, but
Twin Falls has improved greatly the past 2 weeks behind 4 freshman just figuring it out, and are real scary right now.
Jerome, Century and Pocatello are also very good and will threaten for the title. I'm sure I'll pick this one wrong again, but
here goes nothing.
My Trophy Picks: 1. Sandpoint, 2. Twin Falls, 3. Century, 4. Pocatello.
|Individuals: I did get lucky and picked Caitlyn Elgan (Preston) last year to win and she came through big time. R.
McGovern is back and had a good track season. R. Cannon (Blackfoot) was leading last year but faltered late. She is again
one of the favorites having beat R. McGovern (Poc) at District. The fastest of the year however looks to be Katherine Ruck
(Moscow). She is crushing the competition and I think she will run away with this title. These are the big three and the
champ should come from one of these three. Others not mentioned that might steal the show; M. Woodward & R.
Woodward (Sandpoint) and M. Vitale-Sullivan (Poc). I'll put my money on Ruck, Cannon or McGovern.
So here is how I think it will go!!
My Pick: 1. K. Ruck (Moscow) 2. R. Cannon(Blackfoot), 3. R. McGovern (Poc), 4. M. Woodward (Sandpoint).
|Teams: I said last year "I can go to the bank on this pick". I was correct and once again Pocatello reloaded with two
more Armstrong's moving in from Utah. With 4 Armstrong's on the team and Elijah leading the way I can say the same as
last year. Pocatello will win it, making it 4 straight!! They should put 4 in the top 20 and maybe 4 in the top 10. I can't
even think of a team that will be close. Bishop Kelly, Kuna and Sandpoint are the next best but will be racing for 2nd. I
hope I am wrong and it is a close battle, that's when it is fun. Best of luck to all and chase the Indians.
My Pick: 1. Pocatello, 2. Bishop Kelly, 3. Kuna, 4. Moscow.
|Individuals: Pocatello might be a strong team favorite but 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. If he and the team can pull it off, Elijah will have also won 4 team titles during his incredible
career. Looking past Elijah and to other runners in this division, there are some other great runners. Austin Fred of
Middleton has been running incredible beating many of the top runners in 4A, but Idaho. Likewise Ammon Christensen
(Skyview), Daniel Elia (BK), and Malachi Armstrong (Poc) are going to be battling for the top 5. The runners up north are
a mystery but could also be a factor in the top 5, J Corgatelli (Moscow) won the District title and might surprise.
But here what I think will happen.
My Picks: 1. Elijah Armstrong (Pocatello) 2. Austin Fred (Middleton), 3. Ammon Christensen (Skyview),
4. Daniel Elia (BK), 5. Malachi Armstrong (Pocatello).
|Teams: Couer d' Alene is once again ranked #1 and had the best performance of any Idaho team at Bob Firman. They
look solid but their #4 & #5 are not what they have been which could really hurt them had Saturday. The team that could
slip their 1-5 ahead of CDA and pull the upset looks to be Timberline. Their 1-5 pack time is just a mere 14 seconds.
That's incredible for any team and they keep getting better. A couple other contenders are Eagle, Boise, Idaho Falls and
Mountain View. Eagle's top 4 girls are great but #5 is a little back. Boise will probably have the low stick but their gap is a
little big. Idaho Falls has 3 top girls but a 1:45 gap. Mt. View has a top girls but again a big 1-5 gap. I've listed the big
players, but I think it will really come down to a battle between CDA and Timberline. So here we go, I'm here to pick and
I'm going to go with the best team average.
My Trophy Picks: 1. Timberline, 2. Couer d'Alene, 3. Boise, 4. Idaho Falls.
|Individuals: Gone is defending champ Sam McKinnon (MV). The big 3 from 2011, 2012 and 2013 are finally seniors
(Hamlin-Boise, Malaspina-Vallivue, Brown-CdA) and those same three girls look great again this year and should be in the
top 5 in 2014. Emily Hamlin (Boise) has to be the favorite after her great track season and the year she has put together
thus far, but Footlocker Finalist M. Malaspina (Vallivue) always races incredible in the big races. These are the two I
predict will go 1-2. After them there is J. Brown (CDA) leading the top team and tons of experience. Then S.
Christianson (Borah) she continues to improve every season. Likewise A. Dyer (IF) the District V-VI champ continues to
improve and should challenge for a top spot. But I think Emily is back to capture her 3rd title.
My Pick: 1. Emily Hamlin (Boise), 2. Mikayla Malaspina (Vallivue), 3. Sara Christianson (Borah)
4. Josie Brown (CdA), 5. A. Dyer (IF).
|Teams: I always say this is the hardest one to pick, and this year is no different. Mountain View beat Vallivue last week
by 12 and Rocky Mountain by 20 which makes them the favorite. However if you remember last year they won Districts
but were upset by Capital at State, so this is just to tight to bet the farm on MV. Madison is another team that could
surprise, if healthy they are very solid 1-5. Lake City really ran well at District and now looks incredible, scary team. I
really think Mountain View and their pack is just too good with a small 28 second gap. If Vallivue can move #5 up a little
that could change my mind, but I think the Blue Trophy goes to Mt. View this year.
My Trophy Pick: 1. Mountain View, 2. Vallivue, 3. Rocky Mountain, 4. Boise, 5. Lake City.
|Individuals: Andrew Rafla is now a Boise State Bronco and running well. 2012 champ Dwain Stucker (Mer) is back but
a number of runners have beat him this year, but don't count him out. Zach Wilberg (Capital) won last weeks District meet
followed real close (.01 seconds) by Matt Sewall (Boise), so these are two of the favorites. The other is Jake Finney
(Lake City) who had the fastest time of 5A runners at Bob Firman a month ago. District V-VI 1-2 Jon Stutz (Madison)
and Will Eddy (Hillcrest) could also surprise. Also watch out for M. Slagowski (RM) tough runner with great finishing
speed. I think this year there is no clear favorite but I think I've listed the contenders. So I will try and put them in order of
how they might finish.
My Pick: 1. Matt Sewall (Boise), 2. Zach Wilberg (Capital), 3. Jake Finney (Lake City),
4. Dwain Stucker (Mer), 5. Michael Slagowski (RM),
|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!!!!