Class A Preview
|2018 Season Overview for Class A|
The action last year in Class A revolved heavily around two teams, Fayetteville-Manlius and Corning, who captured the top two spots at both States and NXN-NY. The Hornets placed 2nd at NXN for the third time in 13 years while the Hawks were 12th, but Corning got the better of FM by 2 points in the States mud bowl to win its second straight title.
Class B's Burnt Hills beating all of its Class A competition in the
McQuaid AAA and Federation races, the A teams had a few less plaudits
than usual in 2017. But there was still some milestone events as the
teams battled through to Sectionals and beyond. Niskayuna finished as
the 3rd rated team in A after ending its 36-year States drought with a
win in Section 2. Monroe-Woodbury took a trip to States for the first
time in 23 years after ending Warwick Valley's run of 19 consecutive
titles in Section 9. Smithtown won a brutal S11-A battle with Northport
in a broiler at Sunken Meadows and went on to finish 4th at States and also in
the Class A rankings.
Ithaca's Silas Derfel had a monumental
senior season while winning the McQuaid AAA and States A races and then
going on to place tops among NY runners at NXN with a 19th place finish.
FM's Garrett Brennan won the NXN-NY and was the top guy for the 2nd
place Hornets at NXN. Corning's Quinn Nicholson led his Hawk contingent
with a 41st at NXN. Saratoga's Shea Weilbaker joined Derfel as part of the Class A duo who earned at-large tickets to NXN, where he finished 69th.
are some familiar names at the top of the Class A team leaderboard for
2018. Rated 4th in the nation in preseason rankings, Fayetteville-Manlius
is seeking its 11th straight trip to NXN along with its first States
championship in four years behind a quintet of runners returning from
States and Nationals that include Garrett Brennan, Geoff Howles, Peyton
Geehrer, Matthew Tripp, and Sam Otis. Corning enters the season 2nd
rated and also has five veterans from last year's States and Nationals
action that includes Torrey Jacobson-Evans, Nathan Lawson, Bryce Derick,
Camden Zaidel, and John Cleary.
Two other teams that will be
closely watched at the beginning of the season are Saratoga and
Smithtown. The Blue Streaks are led by Class A's top rated runner Shea
Weilbaker, and they have a solid top 5 for the always nasty fight in
S2-A. Smithtown always seems to have lots of depth, and the Bulls could
actually be a little underrated as the projected 4th team if they get
back a key runner from two years ago at full strength.
14 of the top 20 finishers from last year's States A race have moved on
to the happy hunting grounds of college athletics, there should be
plenty of exciting action in Class A. The western sections should both have
great competition, as both the S5-A and S6-A races look like toss-ups
in preseason. Section 9 could go many different ways after being a
center of stability for almost twenty years. And as always, Section 2 will be hellish.
Weilbaker begins his senior season with the highest rating in Class A,
but right on his heels is the guy who finished 2nd at States behind
Silas Derfel, that being Warwick Valley's Behailu Bekele-Arcuri. Other
runners that are expected to have big years are 2017 NXN-NY winner
Garrett Brennan and his teammate Geoff Howles, Guilderland's Noah
Tindale, and Niskayuna's Marty Dolan.
|2017 Class A champ Silas Derfel of Ithaca led the field around a muddy romp at the state championship.|
|Top 5 Teams at 2017 States|
|Projected Top 5 Teams for 2018 from Returners' 2017 TR Ratings|
|Projected Next 20 Teams for 2018 from Returners' 2017 TR Ratings|
Corning's Quinn Nicholson led the Hawks to a state championship and then a 12th place finish at NXN Nationals.