The junior mens race will be loaded with talent. Numerous Foot Locker and NXN Qualifiers and many sub-9 3200m runners will be racing each other this Saturday for a spot to run at the IAAF World Cross Country Championship in Bydgoszcz Poland.
Craig Nowak: Nowak, an Oklahoma State Cowboy, helped his team make it to NCAA Nationals, but did not run at the national meet. The Cypress Woods (Texas) grad, ran a blazing 10K at the Arkansas Chili Pepper Festival, clocking in at 30:28. He just missed out on All-Region, placing 28th at the Midwest Regional. It hasn't even been a month since he ran a cross country race as he was 3rd at the Great Edinburgh XC Classic.
Matt McClintock - The Big Ten Freshman XC Runner of the year, McClintock placed 103rd at NCAA's as a true freshman. He recorded personal bests of 24:03 for 8K and 30:45 for 10K in his first season at Purdue. He recently ran a 5K indoors, clocking in at 14:29 in the 5K at the Indiana Relays last week. The many time Maine State champ was 15th in his senior season at Foot Locker Nationals, two spots ahead of another USA XC Championships competitor, Darren Fahy.
Tony Smoragiewicz: The University of Michigan runner had an illustrious career at Rapid City Central. Smoragiewicz was third as a junior at Foot Locker and followed that up with a seventh place finish his senior year. A sub nine 3200m runner, Smoragiewicz is an incredibly strong cross country runner. This season he ran a PR of 24:13 for 8K at Big Ten's to finish 16th and was 132nd at Nationals with a time of 31:00 for 10K. Tony also ran at the Great Edinburgh XC Classic where he was 11th.
Jacob Thomson: The Louisville area star has become one of the top distance runners in the country. This past fall he was second at Great American (where he ran 14:43!), won the Kentucky State Meet, and was fifth at Foot Locker. He also ran at Edinburgh where he was 12th. A day later he committed to run for NC State next year.
Estevan De La Rosa: De La Rosa is coming off of great couple of races. He was second at the mud-covered Nike Cross Nationals where he played an integral part in his team's victory. He then went to the Great Edinburgh Meet earlier this month where he was sixth. De La Rosa kept rolling on the XC train, finishing second at the NACAC XC Championships and the top American. Needless to say, the California State runner up has been on a roll in his recent races.
Andrew Gardner: Gardner, 11th at Foot Locker Nationals, just had a cross country race this past weekend. He finished 9th at the NACAC XC Championships, running 19:26 for 6K. He was the second American behind De La Rosa. Gardner made it to Foot Locker three times in high school.
Thomas Graham: A Stanford Cardinal, Graham has the fastest 8K time among the bunch. He ran 24:11 at the Doc Adams Invitational to place fifth back in November. In his high school days, Graham was 9th at Foot Locker and ran 8:56.21 for 3200m.
Darren Fahy: A big name last spring, Fahy is a two-time Foot Locker qualifier. He finished his senior year in style where he ran 8:54 at Arcadia and won both the 1600m and 3200m at the California State meet. Now a Georgeotwn Hoya, Fahy gained some experience at the 8K distance, as he ran a PR of 24:14 at NCAA Pre-Nationals. He went on to finished 173rd at Nationals with a time of 31:21.
Malachy Schrobilgen: Oak Park-River Forest grad and Wisconsin Badger, Schrobilgen was a Foot Locker Finalist in 2011. He ran 4:12 and 9:03 on the track last spring. He opened his career as a Badger January 19th, running an 8:19.70 to win the 3K at the Wisconsin Elite Invitational (this equates to 8:56.43 for 3200m).
Dustin Wilson: Wilson's career as a Columbia Lion was an incredible one. He opened the season with a 24:54 for his first ever 8K followed by a 24:46 to place 56th at the Greater Louisville Classic. After that, he began to struggle with sickness and fell off towards the end of the season. However, the 2011 13th finisher at Foot Locker, has gotten back on his feet and has run 8:35 in his first 3K for the indoor season. For all those 3200m convertors out there this equates to a little over 9:10 for 3200m.
Ben Golestan: When Wilson got sick, Golestan was one of the Lions that stepped up to fill his spot. The Southlake Carroll grad finished 25th at Ivy's where he ran 24:27 for 8K.
Craig Engels: Engels was one of the top milers last spring, as he finished 6th in the Adidas Dream Mile with a time of 4:03.96. Now at NC State, Engels redshirted the past fall. With an 800m PR of 1:49.89, if he is around at the finish we could see quite the kick. He also has run 8:55 for 3200m.
Daniel Lennon: Lennon is one of many Foot Locker qualifiers in this race. As a senior, he was 21st at Foot Locker and ran 9:00 for 3200m. Lennon has expanded his range while at Syracuse to fit the 8K distance. He ran 24:43 at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational. Lennon ran 14:36 for 5K on the track this past weekend.
Evan Chiplock: Chiplock is another college freshman who stepped up for their team. As a Missouri Tiger, Chiplock was consistently a scorer in his first year. He ran his personal best time of 24:44 at the Greater Louisville Classic where he was 52nd.
Tyler Schneider: You could say Tyler Schneider had a breakout fall. The Conant Grad and Missouri Tiger, Schneider was second last fall at NXN Midwest…in the open race. He went on to run 24:24 at the Greater Louisville Classic where he crossed the line 27th and the second Tiger.
Drew White: The Festus/Missouri Tiger is no stranger to Forest Park. He had his breakout race at the Forest Park Invite as a junior and ran 15:19 as a senior at the same meet. The three-time Missouri State Champ redshirted in the fall running a handful of races including a 25:17 at the Rim Rock Classic. He laid down a 8:39 on the track earlier this season and should be ready for his return to Forest Park.
Noah Kauppila: Noah has one thing going for him - home field advantage. The Marquette junior finished first at the Forest park XC Festival this fall. While his cross country season had a tough ending with a 20th place at the State Meet, Kauppila already has a title to his name, with a 3200m victory last spring as only a sophomore. Noah ran a local road race this past weekend and averaged 5:18 for four miles.
The List Goes On….
Erik Peterson: 24:29 as a Butler Bulldog, 9:11 3200m runner in HS
Thomas Madden: 23rd at Foot Locker as a junior, 8:56 3200m runner, committed to the University of Virginia.
Sam Parsons: 9:00.61 3200m runner, 14:53 for 5K, member of NC State Wolf Pack
Connor Sorrells: Indiana XC Champ, 9:01 3200m runner, Furman University commit.
Korey Krotzer: 9:01 3200m runner, 4:09 1600, OSU Cowboy.
Kevyn Hoyos: 9:01 2 Miler, runs for Syracuse, 11th last year at USA XC's
Daniel Martinez: 8:57 3200m, runs for Portland
Joel Hubbard: Foot Locker qualifier as a senior, runs for Syracuse
William Brewster: 9:04 2 mile/ 4:13 mile - STL Community will remember him from his second place finish at Festival of Miles
Alex Moran: 25:14 for 8K, Michigan Wolverine
Adam Roderique: 6th at Forest Park XC Festival, 6th at MO State Meet, 21st at Foot Locker Midwest, Tulsa Commit
Sumner Goodwin: 7th at NXN