It's almost time to hit the trails!
The 2020 Cross Country season will be here before we know it as August is quickly approaching. VYPE whipped together this preview to get cross country fans ready for the 2020 season. Who are the top runners? Which are the top teams returning?
Find out below! These are the top runners and teams for Public School Boys Cross Country.
VYPE Preseason Boys XC Runner Top 30
(**These rankings were based on times from the 2019 UIL State Cross Country Meet**)
1) Gavin Saacke, Katy Tompkins (VYPE Preseason Runner of the Year)
2) Nicklaus Brawner, College Park
3) Christopher Daniels, Klein
4) Noah Haileab, Pearland Dawson
5) Gustavo Posada, Klein
6) Randy Smith, Bridgeland
7) Nahim Abdallah, Atascocita
8) Hayden Eubank, Grand Oaks
9) Chase Nutt, College Park
10) Samuel Navarro III, Klein
11) Matias Mononen, The Woodlands
12) Dylan Sequeira, Magnolia
13) Chance Gibson, The Woodlands
14) Zane Gillan, Strake Jesuit
15) Tyler Braden, Atascocita
16) Brian Sewall, The Woodlands
17) Ryan Gubbles, Strake Jesuit
18) Michael Archie, Atascocita
19) Alberto Campa, Dobie
20) Ruben Rojas, Seven Lakes
21) Sam Whitmarsh, Brazoswood
22) Fernando Hernandez, Seven Lakes
23) Ferdinand Hoven, Tompkins
24) Miles Gillan, Strake Jesuit
25) Ronan O'Donnell, Friendswood
26) Ethan Boyd, Cinco Ranch
27) Myles Jackson, Atascocita
28) Noah Howard, Tompkins
29) Bryan Mileski, Tomball
30) Keaton Strait, Magnolia
Usually this spot is reserved for The Woodlands. They have earned that respect but Klein is loaded going into 2020. The Bearkats finished fourth overall last year but return their top three runners. Christopher Daniels leads the group. Daniels finished 12th overall last year with a time of 15:19.85. Behind him was Gustavo Posada (15:27.66) in 19th place and Samuel Navarro III (15:41.99), who finished 32nd. Another name to remember is Alfred Rios. This team could surprise some people and be a contender for a Top 3 finish at state come December.
Tomball is going to be a dangerous team in 2020. When you look at a team that finished 16th overall at state last year but brings back everyone, that excites you. The group is led by junior Bryan Mileski, who finished 52nd overall last year with a time of 16:23.35. He was followed by seniors Kevin White (16:36.52) and Muneer Suied (16:38.15). Other runners to watch include Riley Trent, Sam Carney, Wyatt Lehmann and Basheer Suied. This group will need some of the individuals to push up into at least the Top 25 to give this team a chance to finish in the Top 10. They have the runners back, now can the Cougars take 5A Cross Country by storm in 2020?
3) Katy Tompkins
Katy Tompkins has a chance in 2020. Last year, the Falcons finished 11th overall at state. Led by senior Gavin Saacke, who finished fourth overall last year and is the VYPE Preseason Runner of the Year, this team has a lot of returners. Behind Saacke watch out for Ferdinand Hoven, who finished 71st overall last year. Then there are four juniors who got valuable experience at state a year ago. Noah Howard, Omar El Miloudi, Connor Augustine and Jackson Torti are a definite group to watch. Tompkins is really set up for success for the next two years and beyond.
The Eagles are an interesting team. A 13th place finish last year at state as a team but they return everyone off that team besides one senior. Nahim Abdallah led the group with a 27th place finish (15:37.75) followed by Tyler Braden, who finished 50th. Then there is sophomore Michael Archie, junior Aidan Killian and seniors Myles Jackson and Blake Brock to worry about. This team has the pieces to be a Top 10 team. Now, can they collectively improve their times to make it a Top 5 finish or higher?
5) The Woodlands
The Highlanders have some big names to replace. Spencer Cardinal and Ethan Hammer are gone to graduation. When you lose runners who finished first and third overall, respectively, last year, that's big shoes to fill. So, who steps up? When looking at who is returning, Matias Mononen could be the leader of the pack. He finished 35th last year with a time of 15:43.47. Joining him in the senior class will be Chance Gibson and Brian Sewall. The Woodlands always has some incoming freshman who is the next star, so don't be surprised if they make a run for the state crown again.
Other To Watch: Huffman
The Huffman boys finished 15th overall at the UIL State Cross Country meet last year. The Falcons return four players off that team that qualified for state. The group of now-juniors is led by Zachary Kuta, who finished 70th overall last year with a time of 17:21.24. Just behind him was Logan Tinsley. Other runners to remember including Mason Purswell and Austin Tinsley. Having four runners back gives this squad some veteran savviness.
Other to Watch: Strake Jesuit
Strake Jesuit is another interesting prospect. The Spartans finished 12th overall at state last year but do lose top runner Erick Lara, who took 41st overall. Zane Gillan is back after a 45th-place finish a year ago. Ryan Gubbles is another returner to watch along with Miles Gillan and Max Melton. Can they turn the Top 60 finishes into Top 25?
Other to Watch: Seven Lakes
Seven Lakes finished in the Top 10 last year as a team, but that group was led by a trio of seniors Spencer Seale, Corbin Brescher, Carson Slater). So, who steps up in their spots? Ruben Rojas will be called upon. As a sophomore, Rojas finished 61st overall, while incoming seniors Fernando Hernandez and Javier Pineros will be leaned on as well.