5A Boys
Team--Last year I picked as preseason favorite Rocky Mountain, and they backed me up.  This year as
I look at returning runners I am going to have to pick Rocky Mountain to repeat.  Rocky Mountain still
looks respectable with Jordon Wallin leading the group and their JV did sweep the JV District race last
year. The Capital boys were second last year and probably return the most on the preseason State
rankings and have a very solid shot. Lake City didn't lose one from their top 7 and return the dynamic
duo of Jake Finney & Kyler Little who finished 5th & 6th respectfully last year. I feel these three teams
are the early favorites to garner the coveted Blue Trophy in November, but the 5A ranks are so
competitive and there is always a surprise team that steps up during the season.  Looking at returners, a
few teams that may step-up are Boise (had a young crew last year), Meridian (lead by defending champ
Dwain Stucker), and Mountain View (young last year but usually in the hunt). Based on the last years
info. I'm picking them this way. 1. Rocky Mountain, 2. Capital, 3. Lake City, 4. Boise, 5. Mountain
View, 6. Idaho Falls,

Individually-- Defending Champ and Junior Dwain Stucker should be the favorite and definitely has
the bulls-eye on his back.  But based on the 2013 Track season the favorite might be a Senior from
Timberline Andrew Rafla. Then there are the two Lake City boys Kyler Little & Jake Finney. They had
a great 2012 season and with the two training together to push one another each day at practice, one
might pull the upset. There are a few other names to throw into the mix for the State Title. Watch for
Scott Sullivan of Centennial, Jared Capell of Rocky Mountain, and Jordon Wallin of Rocky Mountain.
My picks: 1. Andrew Rafla (Timberline) best track season, 2. Dwain Stucker (Meridian) Defending
Champ watch out, 3. Kyler Little (Lake City) tough and strong over 5 K, 4. Jordon Wallin (RM) watch
out for his kick.

5A Girls
Team--I picked them to win it last year in August and boy did they win it.  No team has been so
dominate in the 5A ranks ever. "5 in the top 10 wow!!!" Then they dominated the NXN Regionals and
preformed well at Nationals. "What a Year!" Well, Cd'A returns all but one of their top 5 and are the
favorites to repeat as State Champs and one of the Regional favorites. On paper there is not another
team with even a shot, but that is paper. Vallivue and Boise were both young and talented and have the
best shot of taking down Cd'A. Cd'A will need to find a #5 runner, or one of these teams might just do
it. So my picks: 1. Cd'A, 2. Boise, 3. Vallivue, 4. Rocky Mountain, 5. Mountain View, 6. Timberline.

Individually--It is hard to believe they are Juniors already. I am speaking of Emily Hamlin (Boise),
Josie Brown (Cd'A), and Mikayla Malaspina (Vall).  They went 1-2-3 in 2012, and 1-3-2 respectfully in
2011, and it is hard to imagine these three runner won't do it again in 2013, but the order is anybodies
guess. E. Hamlin is the two time champion and has incredible closing speed, so in my mind she is the
favorite. Many may disagree, and with good reason. It is very hard to win every year. No one in Idaho
history has won 4 titles, and with this group it will even be more of a challenge. I guess I should include
a few others that could split up the Magnificent 3, and probably will be in the mix. A few in the hunt
are: Sam McKinnon (MV) the mile State Champ, Sara Christensen (Borah) top freshman last year and
improving, and Presli Hutchinson (Highland) she keeps improving every year. My Preseason picks: 1.
E. Hamlin (Boise), 2. Josie Brown (Cd'A), 3. M. Malaspina (Vall), 4. S. Christensen (Borah) 5. P.
Hutchinson (Highland) 6. S. McKinnon (MV).

4A Boys
Team--Pocatello has won 2 in a row now, and with the addition of the younger Armstrong (Malachi)
they may be the best team in the entire State at any level. They are for sure the big favorite to win 4A
this year. The team that looks the best to knock Pocatello off if they falter is Bishop Kelly. BK was
young last year and should be good this year. Columbia probably is the next best team on paper, and
could do some damage. After that this Division is really up in the air. My Preseason picks:  1. Pocatello,
 2. Bishop Kelly, 3. Columbia, 4. Rigby.

Individually--Like I said last year, I will be of course picking Elijah Armstrong (Pocatello) to win this
year. However there is another stellar runner out of Sandpoint in Sam Levora. Sam has improved each
season and could really challenge Armstrong for the title and He is a senior. Three other Seniors might
push Elijah's and two are teammates. They are Hayden & Driztin Herndon (Poc) and then A. De Los
Reyes (Caldwell) these three are great runners and should also challenge for the top spot. The surprise
runner that may challenge if he follows in his brothers footsteps is Malachi Armstrong. If you remember
Elijah did upset Eric Harris when he was a mere Freshman. My Picks: 1. E. Armstrong (Poc), 2. S.
Levora (Sandpoint), 3. H. Herndon (Poc), 4. A. De Los Reyes (Cald), 5. D. Herndon (Poc), 6. M.
Armstrong (Poc)

4A Girls
Team--. Middleton surprised the State last year as they were not even on the preseason rankings, and
were not even in the Top 6 rankings until after Bob Firman. Then they never were ranked above 4th
during the season. However, during the post season they went on a run of winning Districts and then
State, surprising most. This year they won't surprise as they return all of their top 5. So they are easily
the favorite to repeat. I am really having a hard time finding another team with a strong returning
nucleus. Skyview, Preston, Bishop Kelly, Century and Columbia each have a few good returners, but
none seem to have a strong returning base. I'm sure that a team will emerge as the season goes, in fact
maybe we will have another Middleton that will surprise the State. So with what we have now here are
my picks:  1. Middleton 2. Bishop Kelly, 3. Preston, 4. Skyview, 5. Columbia, 6. Century.  

Individually--With the departure of Emily Nist last year, a new Freshman emerged as the State's best.  
Rachel McGovern of Pocatello really put the hammer down and ran away from the State last year, and
I think she will do it again this year.  There are two returning underclassmen that had great track
seasons.  Mikhaela Woodward of Sandpoint had a great 1600/3200 double last spring (runner-up in
both 5:13/11:35). She could be the girl to knock off McGovern this fall. I'm not sure where McGovern
was during Spring track? The other runner that continues to impress is Rigby's Tori Pinnock, she ran    
5:19 for 1600 last spring and could contend this fall. The other top returners from last fall like; L. Schell
(Middleton), C. Elgan (Preston) and J. Barber (Skyview) likewise will play into the mix for the State
Title. So My Picks: 1. R. McGovern (Poc), 2. M. Woodward (Sand), 3. L. Schell (Midd), 4. T.
Pincock (Rigby), 5. J. Barber (Skyview), 6. C. Elgan (Preston).

3A Boys-  
Team--Last year I picked Snake River over Teton. They returned James Withers, 2 others in the top
20 and a great freshman in Joseph Van Orden along with move-ins T. Thomas and T. Peace from
American Falls. However they only managed third despite a 2-3 finish from Van Orden and Withers
respectfully.  This proves it takes a team of 5 to win it all. Teton is the epitome of team and ran that
way winning their third State Title by 2 points over surprise Sugar-Salem. Teton lost a number of
Seniors again, but are still one of the favorites for 2013. Sugar-Salem also return a few solid runners
lead by Connor Stoddard and should be strong. Snake River again returns the most and adds another
tough Freshman Cole Thomas. Timberlake also returns a good squad from last year. On paper these
two (SR, Timb) return the most and are the preseason favorites. So who do I pick? This one is tough
and I am bias. So My picks: 1. Snake River 2. Sugar-Salem, 3. Timberlake, 4. Teton, 5. Bonners
Ferry, 6. Kimberly.

Individually--The top returner is Sophomore Joseph Van Orden, and He has to be one of the
preseason favorites. However, Gabe Moore (Filer) had a stellar Track season last spring and I believe
he is now the preseason favorite. There are a few others that should contend for the title. Connor
Stoddard (Sugar) a top returner also had a great track season finishing behind Moore in the 1600/3200.
Austin Stewart (Shelley) is the other young gun that had a strong track season and will push the pace
and should contend. E. Garcia (Gooding) is also a top returner and could factor into the title race. This
is the short list of possible State Champs, but there could be a surprise. Here are my Picks: 1. G. Moore
(Filer), 2. C. Stoddard (Sugar) 3. J. Van Orden (SR) 4. A. Stewart (Shelley), 5. E. Garcia (Gooding).

3A Girls
Team--Sugar-Salem stopped the Timberlake streak. With 6 back in the preseason top 20, and
defending champ Olivia Redd back Sugar looks like they are going to start a streak of their own.  The
other teams that will contend with Sugar for the title are Snake River, Teton and Timberlake. Snake
returns the Van Orden's Quincy & Cierra and a solid group. Teton was young and strong, look for them
to run well in 2013. Timberlake is another team to alway watch. They are getting a couple good
freshman and will likewise be in contention come November. My picks:  1. Sugar Salem, 2. Snake
River, 3. Teton, 4. Timberlake, 5. Gooding, 6. Parma.

Individually--Defending Champ Olivia Redd (Sugar) is back, and she had an incredible track season
breaking XC legend Ellen Lyon state mile record.  She is the big preseason favorite, and should win in
November. Back also are the 2-3-4 place finishers; Rachel Youren (Gooding), Harlie Sorrell (Parma)
and Indya Price (Sugar). These 3 are the next best and could contend for the title. A few others that
might surprise are Quincy Van Orden (SR) she had a great summer, and Chalyce Hirschi (SF). There
could also be a new freshman that emerges, but this is the short list of my favorites. My Picks: 1. Olivia
Redd (Sugar), 2. R. Youren (Gooding), 3. H. Sorrell (Parma), 4. I. Price (Sugar), 5. Q. Van Orden
(SR).

2A Boys
Team--Last year I overlooked one small thing. Logos became an IDHSAA member and that changed
things in the 2A/1A world. They came in and dominated as a 1st year team, and return almost their
entire team. So they look to be the preseason favorites. However there are a few teams that might have
something to say about that.  Soda Springs was also young and return their top 5. At Freeman Park I
really think they will be the team to beat.  The next best team I believe will be CDA Charter, they
return a young good squad.  So my Preseason picks: 1. Soda, 2. Logos, 3. CDA Charter, 4. Salmon, 5.
Victroy Charter, 6. Nampa Christian.  

Individually-- Paul Ryan (Logos) had an outstanding 2012 season, but got beat by a fast finisher in  
Conrad Larson (VC).  He returns as the big favorite as they were 30 seconds better that anyone else
last year. After Ryan the top contenders will probably be Leif Fredericks (Cd'A Charter), Billy Godfrey
(Salmon) or another Victory Charter runner Gabe Fisher. Jacob Dalton (Dietrich) is another runner that
could contend, I picked him last year and feel he will step up this year.  So my picks: 1. P. Ryan
(Logos), 2. Gabe Fisher (VC), 3. L. Fredericks (Cd'A), 4. J. Dalton (Dietrich), 5. B. Godfrey (Salmon).

2A Girls-  
Team--Soda Springs has now won seven Team Titles in a row, and look posed to win a another with a  
group of Seniors that have led the Cardinal last couple seasons. Honestly I don't think there is anyone
that can touch Soda, so I don't really need to say anything more.  However if someone can it will be
Melba as they were young and talented. Beyond these two I can't find a team to back as possible
winners.  Firth and New Plymouth may mix it up for the trophies, but I think everyone is running for
2-3-4. My picks: 1. Soda, 2. Melba, 3. Firth, 4. New Plymouth, 5. CDA Charter.

Individually-- My preseason favorite let me down here last year. I'm starting to wonder if being labeled
preseason favorite is a curse. Cierra Simmons (Soda) was I thought the best of last years field, but
struggled a little at state. Sierra Manzer (Melba) the other preseason favorite ran away from the field.  
She is definitely one of this year preseason favorite.  I hope that doesn't bring her a curse.  Based on
this springs State Track results Kelsey Yamauchi  is my preseason favorite.  She is very competitive
and with State at Freeman Park it will favor her.  My Picks:  1. K. Yamauchi (Soda) 2. S. Manzer
(Melba) 3. C. Hamblin (LC) 4. M. Gardner (Firth), 5. H. Call (Soda).

Best of Luck to All Runners and Teams this Year!!!!
2013 XC Pre Season Predictions
Based on known returning runners and new freshman.