Olathe North (KS)
A quick look at the raw numbers (a 16:17 average season-best) doesn't seem to scream for Olathe North to be a national contender. But a quick look at their head-to-head matchups certainly boost their stock. The Eagles pocketed an extremely valuable runner-up finish at the Roy Griak Invitational back in September that will look really good in a wild card debate if they don't get an automatic bid, but the way they have dominated in-state competition certainly seems to indicate they could be good enough to gain an automatic bid too. They came within two seconds of perfect-scoring their Regional Meet, and they nearly halved the score of the runners-up at State with 51 points. Unfortunately, their top runner Brian Beach is the only one who has dipped under 16 minutes this year (and only just at 15:59), which at last year's meet would have placed him 55th in the team scoring, far below acceptable in order to gain a qualifying bid. Granted, given the nature of the Heartland course, Beach will almost certainly run well under 16 minutes (last year he ran 15:35), but there will be a lot riding on Beach (and all of Olathe North's other runners) to drop some very significant time in order to seriously compete.
|Average Time: 16:17.07 Total Time: 1:21:25.33 1-5 Split: 38.25|