|2002 OGXC Season Preview
August 25th, 2002
| I'm going to start out the preview with a little bit of an explanation or a little context clause I suppose.
When I started this site, I did so because it was so difficult to find any information on Female distance runners in Ohio. These girls are some of the hardest working athletes around and get little or no press and recognition for their efforts. I was and still am hoping to change that. Since the site first went up it has gone from a small following in NE Ohio attracting about 50 people a day to a Statewide resource getting over 300 unique hits a day during last track season. Because of this, the amount of time and effort has increased exponentially. There is quite a difference in compiling info and stats on about 50 or so teams in NEO to over 300 teams in three different divisions all over Ohio. In order to make the site as accurate as possible, I am asking for everybody's help. I can't do this alone, and never claimed I could. With that in mind, there are errors and there undoubtedly will be times when I will overlook a team or a runner and if I do, it is not intentionally. More than likely it is due to a lack of information. If you see any error or oversight, don't attack me, just please send me an e-mail and I will do my best. Keep in mind that this is a site run by ONE person with a full-time job and graduate work in school, I do the best I can. With that said, on to the previews....
Welcome to the Michelle Sikes show. At least that's how it could be. To copy a sportscaster on ESPN, Michelle has tremendous upside. She has the speed, the endurance and that little extra. If she puts it all together she should be untouchable. With that in mind we turn to the struggle of Emily King. She has tried every way imaginable to beat Sikes and hasn't pulled it off. She's got one more try and I bet she goes for it.
The only others that I see hanging in the elite front group are Alli McMaster and Carolyn Rauen. McMaster is young and still figuring it all out and Rauen has experience but is just realizing her potential.
In the team race I see it as Turpin's race to lose. With Corey Randall and Melanie Price joining Rauen, they are deep and extremely talented. Coffman with King and Kendra Churchill come close to these three, but Coffman doesn't have the depth. Medina is intriguing, but after Kim Jendre, who should have a breakthrough year, they are young and inexperienced at this level.
Maggie Infeld has extablished herself as the best runner in the State in my opinion and one of the truly elite runners in the nation. Her speed however, doesn't really transfer all that great to XC, making her vulnerable. Sara Wiseman is one of a couple that could possibly run away from Infeld which is what it would take to beat her. If the leader is within 50 meters entering the stadium, Infeld will catch her.
Teamwise, it is still all Beaumont. Well, more aptly, it is still Beaumont's race to lose. The rest of the team race is all Cincy. Indian Hill, Indian Lake, Taylor, Wyoming, McNicholas. Beaumont is deep, has experience out the wazoo, and the potential state champion. That's basically the formula for a state title.
I said that Fort Loramie would be closer to Minster than most expected last year, well, that gap got a bit bigger with the emergence of Joanna Gruber during last track season. I still like Minster one and Loramie two. Everyone else is fighting for third.
In the individual race, I see Carime Reinhart going wire to wire. Olding has the talent to run with her and even win, but she hasn't shown the fire that she has during track while in a XC race. I like Jess Ordway to bounce back and return to the elite and I like Gruber to stay there after track season.
Two d3 frosh to watch...Mallory Albers (Fort Laramie) and Jenny Morgan (Barnesville)
As with any preseason preview a lot of this is just an educated prediction. There are so many variables I can't even get info on yet.......Injuries and freshman are two of the biggest things that can affect a XC season. Most will come to light soon.......I heard Kent has a stellar incoming frosh, unfortunately her name escapes me now and since I forgot to write it down, it will escape this preview too.........The truly great bumber crop of frosh are a year or two away. Runners like Nicole Morris, Emily Infeld, Brittany Busse and Chambers.......Info on these runners fall campaigns would be excellent.......with that I'm off. It's late and I still have to run!!! Oh, one more thing: GOOD LUCK TO ALL!!