For the 2018 boys team Championship, we are predicting Gilbert to be the victors! They were the 2017 3A Champions with a team score of 72. Three seniors will graduate from the team but they will have their young star Rees Tyler leading the way. Rees finished in 6th place as a sophomore. Their other stud sophomore, Nathan Patel finished in 9th place. With this dynamic duo that could finish 1-2, it will be hard for another team to dethrone them. One team that will try to stop Gilbert is Carlisle. Carlisle will have their top 6 runners returning from a team that finished in 6th place. Other teams that will be competing for the team title next fall will be Grinnell High School, Decorah High School and Clear Creek-Amana High School.
For the individual title there will be a fresh set of faces in the top 5, as in 2017 they were all seniors. We predict that Rees Tyler will be the individual champion as a junior. He ran 16:15 at the state meet this year. Other runners who will be competing for the individual title are Gus Hayes of Decorah High School, Cody Mertens of Mount Pleasant High School, and will-be sophomore Nate Mueller of ADM High School.
The Pella girls team is finally going to end up on top! They have been the runner up over the last few years, but we believe they will break the barrier in 2018. From the last year runner-up finish, they will have 5 returners. Charles City High School will be another team that has a shot to end up on the top of the podium. Their top 5 runners will all be returning after a 5th place finish. Other teams that will be on the hunt will be Glenwood High School, Bishop Heelan Catholic High School and Dubuque Wahlert High School.
We predict that Ainsley Ersen will be the individual champion. If you are not familiar with this name, it is because she was running for Carlisle Middle School and will be a new face next year. At the middle school level, she dominated the Washburn Classic middle school state meet with a time of 11:54 over the 2-mile course, over a minute faster than second place. At Nike Regionals she was able to run 18:32 over 5K and finish in 58th place. Other runners who will compete for the individual title will be Adrianna Katcher, Mary Blanchard and Bryce Gidel.