Division I State Meet Preview:

The D1 state meet should be one where the team race is featured the most.  I see Hilliard Davidson and Cincinnati Turpin battling it out, but I wouldn't limit the race to just them.  I think that St. Joseph Academy, Medina, Jackson, Centerville, and Cincinnati Colerain will all fight to be in the Top 5.  On paper Jackson has had a good enough season to be considered with Davidson and Turpin, but without a true front runner this year they will have to rely on a tight pack and if that pack isn't near the front, it's over for them unless someone like Ashley Hmiel or Brittanie Hall runs well over their head and can place top 15, Hall doesn't really have the experience and Hmiel hasn't done anything this year that would indicate she could even match her 12th place finish of a year ago.  SJA will need a good race out of Rachel Mistur to contend and she will have to get some support by a 2-5 running close and all under 20.  Medina will need a fifth runner to really step up and support their top 4 or Kim Jendre, Lauren Snell, Beth Ward, and Kim Gorsek.  Colerain can never really be ruled out as long as they are Colerain.  They are the Beaumont of D1 or vice versa, Beaumont is the Colerain of D2.  They are lead by Andrea Maas, 13th last year and showed some decent depth at Regionals, but need a stronger #5.  Centerville is starting to show some ability to compete with the big guns now that Laura Neufarth has stepped up to run with the lead pack of girls.  They will have to rely on their depth and a tight pack to contend. 

   Davidson and Turpin should battle it out at the front.  Turpin, lead by Carolyn Rauen, 17th last year, have been turning is some outstanding performances all year.  They have much more depth than Davidson and can therefore absorb more bad races.  Davidson on the other hand, is lead by Jessica Schmidt, 61st last year,  and Mia Fiegelist, 22nd last year, a bad race by anyone in their top 5 and they are in trouble.

   In the individual race, I see it coming down to two, maybe four girls.  Emily King of Dublin Coffman, 11th last year, and Michelle Sikes of Lakewood, 2nd last year, should lead the pack.  Kris Roth, 7th last year and the 3200m State Champion, and then take your pick between Rauen, Mass, and Katie Flaute of Dayton Carroll, 10th last year.  My preseason pick was King.  She is having an oustanding season and really seems primed to run well.  Up until about two weeks ago I would have gone with King, no problem, since then, the Michelle Sikes of last season has returned.  A relaxed gait while running with the pack, superior form, and a dominating kick over the last 400.  Her 18:14 at Tiffin was an impressive race, and her 18:28 at Districts on a windy rough course was impressive as well.  King essentially cruised to a 18:44 to win the Lancaster Region and ran a 17:51 on a questionable District course .  Roth couldn't stay with Sikes at Tiffin and I don't believe that Rauen, Flaute, and Maas have the ability to take it to that next level.  While they place high at state last season, remeber, they were essentially 40-50 seconds
behind Sikes.  So there you have it.

My Picks:
1.  Turpin
2.  Davidson
3.  ?  Colerain/Centerville/SJA/Jackson/Medina

1.  Emily King, Dublin Coffman
2.  Michelle Sikes, Lakewood
3.  Carolyn Rauen, Turpin

Division I Top 7's from Regionals heading to State:

    Medina    Jackson    Kent    Centerville    Turpin    Colerain    Carroll
          B               B             B             Tr                 Tr            Tr               Tr

1.    20:02        20:30       20:22      19:17            18:46       18:47         18:50
2.    20:22        20:41       20:45      19:45            19:10       19:36         20:10
3.    20:32        21:00       21:03      19:56            19:14       19:41         20:31
4.    20:33        21:08       21:13      20:25            19:58       20:17         20:34
5.    21:28        21:10       21:25      20:41            20:12       20:42         20:38
6.    22:14        21:21       22:33      20:43            20:12       20:58         21:20
7.    22:36        21:32       22:35      21:37            20:24       21:13         22:43

SJA    Strongsville    Ashland    Lakewood    Davidson    Coffman   
      T                T                   T                   T                    L                  L

1.  19:23        19:03            19:04          18:14             19:18           18:44
2.  19:39        19:33            19:08          20:20             19:30           19:13
3.  19:58        19:35            20:16          20:34             19:39           20:14       
4.  20:21        20:28            20:30          20:38             19:54           20:45
5.  20:24        20:47            20:55          20:39             20:24           20:54
6.  20:40        20:50            21:58          20:57             20:55           21:06
7.  21:09        20:59            22:16          21:51             21:34           22:13

    Alliance    Lancaster    Scioto
          B                 L                L

1.    20:32           19:35        19:25
2.    21:23           19:55        19:38
3.    21:30           20:16        19:38
4.    21:33           20:32        20:26
5.    21:34           20:33        20:28
6.    22:02           21:05        20:51
7.    22:15           22:28        21:02

B= Boardman
T= Tiffin
L= Lancaster
Tr= Troy

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