Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cross Country Preview - Angelo State

Cross Country season is underway, and we will start previewing the LSC teams.  When I say we, I really mean Don Garrett.  He is our cross country/track and field expert and knows the teams probably better than any one person.  We will start the previews with Angelo State.



Cross Country Preview 2012: Angelo State
WOMEN – 2011 finish: 3rd with 103 points, 16 points behind West Texas A&M and 3 points ahead of 4th place ACU; LSC Preseason poll – 3rd

Veteran bunch led by one of the top distance runners in the LSC, Emeline Crutcher. Angelo is one of only 2 teams that have a realistic chance of challenging Midwestern for the conference crown. They return a strong nucleus of runners, but did not get a difference-maker in a thin recruiting class. Angelo also has an excellent halfmiler, Jaylen Rodgers, who won the conference 800 meter crown. I thought she might run XC this year, but she is more of a 400/800 runner and is not listed on the XC roster.

LOST FROM LAST SEASON

  • ·         Alyssa Priest – 21st in the XC meet, then finished 6th in the 1600 and 8th in the 800 last spring
  • ·         Kelsey Merritt – 66th in the XC meet last fall, she apparently left ASU last year at midterm, as she did not run in the LSC track meet in 2012, after placing in the steeplechase during the 2011 track season

RETURNERS (with their 2011 place included) -

  • ·         Emeline Crutcher  (4th) – senior – last spring she won the LSC 10K on the track and finished 3rd in the 1500 – has been the bulwark of this program for the past 3 years
  • ·         Annifer Flores (25th) – soph – she followed up a solid XC season with an outstanding season on the track, finishing 4th in the 10K and 4th in the 5K for 9 huge points at the LSC track meet
  • ·         Jessica Boudreau (26th) – senior – also placed 8th in the 10K on the track
  • ·         Sofia Ramos (27th) – junior – saw a bit of a dropoff in 2011 after a solid freshman campaign in 2010 – she did not compete on the track last spring
  • ·         Katy Williams (28th) – junior  – 12th in the steeple at the conference track meet
  • ·         Kami Orsak (35th) – senior – did not run at the LSC track meet  last spring

NEWCOMERS:

  • ·         Chastity King – freshman from Zephyr – 5th 1A 1600-2012 – she got into the state meet as the 9th qualifier (the Texas state meet now takes the best 3rd place time from the 4 regions to the state meet in each event), and made the most of it by placing a very competitive 5th place


MEN – ASU got a huge boost in 2011-12 from Bryan Barker, a grad student from the University of Wisconsin, in both XC and on the track. Aided by a top-10 finish from Barker, the Rams finished 4th overall with 143 points, 44 points behind ACU and 6 points ahead of West Texas. ASU lost their top 2 finishers from 2011 and added some interesting young prospects, but no one who should immediately jump to the lead for them. 

LOST FROM LAST SEASON

  • ·         Bryan Barker (9th) – Barker came back in the spring to finish 3rd in both the steeplechase and the 1500, plus a 6th place finish in the 5K – 15 points for the Rams as they battled in the team standings. I imagine every LSC school would love to find a grad assistant who could provide that kind of impact!
  • ·         Robert Hummingbird (28th) – Hummingbird ran the race of his life last spring as he finished 4th in the conference 10K in the race that started at 1 a.m. after a long lightning delay in Commerce. Angelo only scored 1 point in the distances on the track in 2011, but between Barker and Hummingbird, they scored 20 points in 2012

RETURNERS (with their 2011 place included):

  • ·         Dylan Littlejohn (32nd) – soph – also 10th in the 1500 on the track
  • ·         Tomas Callejas (39th) – soph – 13th in the 1500 last spring
  • ·         Isac Valdez (41st) – senior – 17th in the 10K in Commerce – I expected far more from Valdez when he came out of Forney HS
  • ·         Jamin Goecker (43rd) – soph - 12th in the steeplechase in the spring of 2012

NEWCOMERS – some good young kids, but can they provide the kind of impact needed to replace Barker and Hummingbird?

  • ·         Josh Day – freshman from Harper – at the 2A state meet, be finished 6th in the 3200 and 7th in the 1600, plus finishing a strong 3rd in the 2A XC meet in the fall of 2011
  • ·         Graham Hazlewood – freshman from Round Rock , who was the runner-up in the District 16-5A 1600
  • ·         Earlier in the year, I saw that Jarett Lujan, from Marfa, had also signed with ASU. Lujan was 3rd in the 1A 800 at the state meet, plus 12th in the 1A XC in 2011. He is not listed on the current ASU roster, but he might be only running the half-mile this first year and not training for the longer XC distance

Speaking of the half-mile, ASU also had a freshman who ran very well in that distance last spring, Chris Sottak, who finished 4th at the LSC meet. I thought he might also be running XC this fall, but he is not listed on the roster. He also may be more of a 400/800 runner, like Jaylen Rogers on the women’s side.

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