With the 2012 Rhode Island high school cross country season already upon us and the injury fund meet less than a week away, we now turn attention to the team championships. Today we will be previewing the boys team competition. Last year Bishop Hendricken high school was able to win with their depth over a very strong Chariho team. Bishop Hendricken was able to prove the value of a strong 5th man with Colin Manning securing the title running 16:45. Bishop Hendricken then went on to win the New England Championship. This year's early season polls show that Bishop Hendricken has a strong chance to repeat. However, the competition to finish in the top six and earn a bid to the New England Championship should be exciting. Several teams return some great athletes already mentioned in our individual preview (https://ri.milesplit.com/articles/90991-cross-country-preview-boys-individual-preview) Now let’s take a look at some of the teams that should be in the hunt at the state meet and some of their athlete’s times from the Ponagansett course
1: Bishop Hendricken
Returning athletes: SO Michael Potter - 16:14 JR Colin Tierney - 16:20 SR Tyler Henseler - 16:27 SR Connor Doyle - 16:41 JR Colin Manning - 16:45 JR Greg Beaudette - 17:06 SR Alex Doherty - 17:28
Bishop Hendricken returns 6 of their top 7 and are the early favorites to win this year's state championship due to their strength up front and their depth. National polls have them ranked as high as 7th in some cases. The MilesplitUS poll has the hawks ranked 21st in the nation (https://usa.milesplit.com/articles/91086-preseason-boys-teams). However, the Hawks cannot afford to take anything for granted. Both Tyler Henseler and Colin Manning are coming off of injuries from the previous track seasons which could affect how they open the season. If they have their full complement of athletes, Bishop Hendricken has the ability to qualify out of the northeast region for Nike team nationals, an accomplishment not seen out of a Rhode Island boys team since the 2009 edition of the Hawks.
2. La Salle Academy
Returning Athletes: SR Michael Stephens - 16:41 SR Adam Rego - 16:53 SO Jake Grundy - 17:09 SO Ryan Tracy - 17:38 SO Dan Paiva - 17:42 SR Zach Chapasko - 17:56 SO Chris Notarianni - 18:01
La Salle is a strong contender which will be looking for contributions from its emerging sophomore class. Last year the La Salle Rams dominated the freshmen state meet with one of the more impressive performances in recent memory. Their success extended into a successful track season where some of those athletes were even able to qualify for the varsity state meet. Look for seniors Michael Stephens and Adam Rego to lead a very talented group of athletes. Sophomore Jake Grundy should also be on schedule for a big jump after a great outdoor season.
3. East Greenwich
Returning Athletes: SR Ben Fazio - 16:47 JR Garrett Scanlon - 16:54 SR Jon Contreras - 17:09 SR Scott Kulm - 17:18 SR Scott Marcus - 18:00 SR Ben Contreras - 18:21 JR Tyler Ferra - 18:29
One team that could take all pre-season predictions and blow them out of the water is the East Greenwich squad. Coach Dion returns 6 of last year's top 7 with a senior heavy squad. Their experience could be the deciding factor in this team upsetting some of the teams ahead of them. Look for them to be competitive at both the state and New England level. If there was ever a year for Coach Dion's team to make some noise, this would be the year. They are somewhat underrated based solely on cross country times. Senior Scott Kulm ran 8:51 in the 3000 at the Rhode Island state meet and is probably a lot better than last year's XC times suggest. EG is a dangerous squad that will push any team they race.
4. North Kingstown
Returning Athletes: SR Austin Gaudreau-16:45 (Out For Season) JR Dallin Smith-17:03 SO Joseph Craven-17:12 SO Michael Toolin-17:40 JR Chris Lenox-18:17 JR Ben Stewart-18:28 JR Zach Emrich-18:48
A motivated team with something to run for is a very dangerous team. North Kingstown will not have the services of their top runner this year due to an unfortunate car accident. However, there are loads of talent on this team that was able to win the outdoor state championship. With the help of some intermediate hurdlers, this group might be able to still fight their way to the top of the state rankings. Added to that is the challenge of graduating several of last year's seniors. The North Kingstown team is hungry for leaders this year, and they might get it from unlikely places. Coach tetreault will have his work cut out for him this year if NK wants to stay in the top 6 teams. However, their strong performances at the 2012 outdoor state meet suggests that this team will find a way to be competitive despite the adversity. This is still a very young, talented team that should be taken seriously.
Returning Athletes: SR Trevor Crawley - 16:13 JR Kevin Seaver - 18:04 JR Alex Southiere - 18:06 JR Matt Smith - 18:01 SR Richard Church-18:23 SO David Agudelo - 18:33 SO Abdullah Kaba - 18:40
Cumberland is known for being a program that consistently finds itself towards the top of the rankings. There is always a sense that coach Kenwood will develop a team that can be competitive at the state level. This will be helped by All-State returner Trevor Crawley who is coming off of a successfull track season. Trevor was listed as a contender in our individual state champion preview (https://ri.milesplit.com/articles/90991-cross-country-preview-boys-individual-preview).Cumberland should do well in most of their dual meets this year aided by the top finishes of Crawley.
Returning Athletes: SR Jake Kilcoyne-15:58 SR Bryce Kelley-16:25 JR Stephen Gencarelli-17:55 SR Chris Clarkin-18:24 SO Matt Tierney-18:56 JR Jade Gervasini-19:17 SOTom Turner-19:38
Chariho may be the hardest team to predict for the preseason rankings. Chariho will be looking to re-build after a very successful year where they finished with 4 of the top 7 spots at the state meet who later went on to break the 4x1mile national indoor record. With the departure of state champion Mike Marsella and fourth place finisher Dan Kilcoyne, the Chargers will have to find a way to gain support for Seniors Jake Kilcoyne and Bryce Kelley. It will be tough to match their second place finish in the team competition from last year. While they have the advantage of two "aces" at the top of their line-up, it is unclear what the rest of the team will contribute by the end of the season. Coach Haberek will have to get his top guys some help if they have any ambition of moving on from the state meet to the New England championship.
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