High hopes for boys' cross country

By Devin Prasad
Executive Sports Editor
The boys’ cross country runners are coming into this season as a “sleeper team,” according to senior and top runner Mike Anderson.
Many running websites such as dyestat.com predict that the team will not have a very good season. Anderson thinks that since the team only has two seniors, the websites do not know what the younger kids are capable of. Although the team is not ranked very high, Anderson believes they have what it takes to finish top ten in state.
Head coach Mike Stokes believes the best thing that the team can do to succeed in the season is just work hard.
“I only expect the team to work hard in school and after, [and] also to conduct themselves with class,” Stokes said via email. “I aspire for them to run fast and battle Hersey and [Buffalo Grove] for the East this year. [And to get] top 3 in the MSL Meet and top 8 in state as a team.”
The team worked hard all summer, even though the season had not technically started. The Knights combined the workouts from the 2009 season and the 2011 season into this year’s off-season training. The team chose these years because in 2009 the Knights finished fourth in state and in 2011 the team finished sixth in state. The workouts include shorter rest intervals and longer intervals of running.
“It’s different,” Anderson said. “As a team, we overall had to adjust to a different kind of atmosphere from previous years.”
This season the team is coming off the loss of Blake Hallman, who according to Stokes brought a lot of intensity to the team. They are also trying to recover from the loss of Will Lussenhop. Lussenhop was a great leader according to Anderson and he was a big part of getting the team down to state last year.
Overall Stokes is happy with the position the team is in right now. The top six runners coming in are Anderson, junior Alec Heyde, junior Max Crowninshield, junior Matt Cozine, junior Karson LeComte, and sophomore James Riordan.
“We are returning a lot of good guys and a lot of young guys,” Anderson said. “I want to be at least top 10 if not a trophy competing team.”