Team: Well, on paper the boys from DeQueen have a 12 point advantage over Pea Ridge. When you take a closer look into the PR's for each of the top 5 runners from both teams, you will see that this 12 point advantage by DeQueen may not be correct. Yesterday we told you that everyone runs a PR on the Quitman course. Three of DeQueen's top 5 have season bests on the Quitman course by an average of around 13 seconds. This could make the race a lot closer than it appears.
Individual: Matthew Dunsworth of Clarksville HS looks for the 3-Peat when he runs on Friday. Matthew has the fastest time in the 4A this season and should pull away at the 2 mile mark for an easy win.
ArMileSplit's Team Pick: DeQueen
ArMileSplit's Individual Pick: Matthew Dunsworth
Team: The Lady Lions from Gravette are the class of the girls 4A. With their top 5 all in the top 20 times from the season, look for them to bring home their first ever State XC championship!
Individual: Maddie Cabana from Clinton High School has a season best well over a minute faster than the next best girl in the field. She finished third last year at the state meet as a sophomore. Look for Maddie to cruise to her first state title in XC
ArMileSplit's Team Pick: Gravette
ArMileSplit's Individual Pick: Maddie Cabana
Team: In the boys 5A division it looks to be a 3-horse race. Mountain Home, Vilonia, and Russellville are the top teams going into the state meet. When you look at the rankings Russellville should be the team that comes out with the win on Thursday. But, in my 27 years of watching teams at the state XC meet, I have learned that teams with a low 1-5 split can be very dangerous. The top 5 boys from Vilonia have a 1-5 split of just 38 seconds. This will make the team race very interesting.
Individual: Noah Embrey of Greenwood has the fastest time in the 5A this season running 15:12 at the Chile Pepper Festival. Joseph Bariola of Lakeside isn't far behind running 15:26 also at Chile Pepper. This matchup may just come down to who wants it more in the last mile. Dont count out Ky Bickford from Mountain Home who should also be in that pack at the 2-mile mark.
ArMileSplit's Team Pick: Russellville
ArMileSplit's Individual Pick: Noah Embry
Team: The ladies from Lake Hamilton should have an easy time cruising to the state title. The race to watch will be for the runner up trophy. Greenwood and Vilonia are just a few points apart and it will take a team effort to finish second. Greenwood has a front runner in Carole Werner but a 2:02 split 1-5. Vilonia on the other hand doesn't have a front runner but has a 1-5 split of only 1:13. This will be a very interesting race!
Individual: Olivia Pielemeier is the top of the class in the 5A girls' race. She is a future Razorback and has a time over 1 minute faster than the next runner. Watch for Olivia to cruise to another state individual championship and then turn around and root for her team to finish strong!
ArMileSplit's Team Pick: Lake Hamilton
ArMileSplit's Individual Pick: Olivia Pielemeier
Team: The 6A boys race over the last handful of years has been between just two teams. Bentonville and Fayetteville seem to battle it out every year. This year is no different. Bentonville this year may have their best overall team that they have ever had. They are ranked in the top 25 in the country and all five of their top runners are under 16 minutes in the 5k. The thing about running in Arkansas is that there won't be many runners separating the top 5 from each team which will make this race even closer.
Individual: RACE OF THE DAY! Hudson Betts from Fayetteville, James American Horse from Bentonville, and Sam Boyer from Rogers Heritage have the top 3 times going into state. Each one of them has beaten the other two at least once this year with Sam Boyer winning just a few weeks ago on the state meet course. This race starts at the two mile!
ArMileSplit's Team Pick: Bentonville
ArMileSplit's Individual Pick: Hudson Betts
Team: No different from the boy's race, the top two teams in the 6A girls' race are Bentonville and Fayetteville. In this race though, Bentonville's top 6 runners are all in the top 10. Look for Bentonville girls to have the lowest team score of the meet.
Individual: There has only been 3 ladies in the history of Arkansas HS cross country in the 6A that have run under 18 minutes. Valerie Reina from HarBer in 2012, Maggie Montoya from Rogers in 2013, and Haley Loewe from Bentonville this season. Haley ran a blazing 17:20 at the Chile Pepper this year for the win and the top time ever by an Arkansan, and she is only a junior! Haley has already beaten the course record on the Oaklawn infield this season running 18:07 at the Lake Hamilton Invitational. Im predicting a sub 18 at the state meet!
ArMileSplit's Team Pick: Bentonville
ArMileSplit's Individual Pick: Haley Loewe