2023 IHSA State XC Championships Preview - 3A Boys


By Michael Newman


Class 3A Individual Runners to Watch


Dylan Maloney, Plainfield South; Camyn Viger, Plainfield South, Ben Crane, New Trier; Aden Bandukwala, Hinsdale Central; Dylan Ybarra, O’Fallon; Zach Thoman, O’Fallon; Thomas Czerwinski, Plainfield North; Cillian Henning, Lyons Township; Ryan Eddington, Downers Grove North, Nicholas Strayer, Lyons Township; Owen Stahl, Plainfield North; Caden Weber, Downers Grove North; Grant Giblin, Sandburg; Josiah Narayanan, Wheaton-Warrenville South


Class 3A Individuals Preview


There are no real clear favorites in this race .Dylan Maloney and Camyn Viger put down some fast times last week and should be considered. Ben Crane is the runner that I would keep an eye on. Same with the defending state champion Aden Bandukwala who is ready to race. Do not forget Dylan Ybarra who could also win. Like I said, this race should be wide open. It should be fun to watch.


IL XC Speed Ratings State Meet Projections

Teams Previews


Downers Grove (North)

Sectional Runners – Ryan Eddington SR, Grant Schroder JR, Philip Cupial SO, Caden Weber SR, Will Surratt SO, Zach Bender SR, Isaac Moss SR.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (3rd)

Overview – The Trojans have been the top ranked team in the state since the season began in early August . NO team has really come close to them this season. Their race last week at the Hinsdale Central was an example of that as they placed 5 runners in the top 16 to win by 71 points ahead of Lyons Township. Ryan Eddington has been one of the top runners for the trojans along with Phillip Cupial. Grant Schroder and Will Surratt give the team strength in the top five. Caden Weber missed a month of the season due to an injury. He raced for the first time last week and was North’s fourth runner increasing their strength up front. Eddington could be among the top five in Saturday’s race. It would not be a surprise if four runners place in the top 20. They finished third last year in a close race. This year it could be the year that North has waited for.


Plainfield (North)

Sectional Runners – Thomas Czerwinski SO, Owen Stahl SR, Quinn Davis JR, Aidan Connors SO, Gavin Hall SO, Easton Miller SR, James Maso SO.

Last State Meet Appearance -2022 (4th)

Overview – The top sectional last week in Class 3A where Plainfield North deserves to be in the conversation for the state championship with three of the top four boys teams in attendance. Plainfield North came away with a nine point win ahead of Plainfield South and O’Fallon. If this was a tune-up for this weekend, it was a good one for the Tigers. The team had 5 runners in the top 21 with a 39 second split. Thomas Czerwinski has been the team’s top runner most of the season. He should be one of the top runners on Saturday. Owen Stahl was just two seconds behind him and will need a similar race on Saturday to help his team. Watch to watch for in this race is Quinn Davis closing the 25 second gap that he had last Saturday. Aidan Connors and Gavin Hall were 12 seconds back running the same time. North’s split of 39 seconds is good in most other meets but will need to come down to leave Peoria with a state championship trophy.


Plainfield (South)

Sectional Runners – Camyn Viger SR, Dylan Maloney JR, Riley Fink JR, Joaquin DeAlba SR, Alex Batsala FR, Gavin Borger SR, Dylan Buturusis FR.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (1st)

Overview – The Cougars enter this meet as the defending Class 3A champion. This state race could be tougher for them especially with so many quality teams that will be on the course with them. It will help that Plainfield South will have two of the top runners in the race. Camyn Viger bounced back to win last week’s sectional by four seconds ahead of teammate Dylan Maloney. Two weeks before at the SPC Meet, Maloney won by 11 seconds. More importantly, have two runners having low single digit numbers will benefit this team. There has been a gap throughout the season between Maloney and whoever was the third runner. Last sectional, the third runner was Riley Fink along with Joaquin DeAlba side by side. The big thing to watch for from Plainfield South is the gap from the first four runners to the fifth runner. The split to Alex Batsala last week was 16 seconds. Gavin Borger in his first race of the season was another six seconds behind. For Plainfield South to repeat as state champion, that fifth runner split need to be under eight seconds.



Sectional Runners – Dylan Ybarra SR, Zach Thoman JR, Eli Greenstreet SR, Brayden Kloeppel SO, Jackson Gherardini SO, Harrison Schroeder SO, Robert Wocking JR.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (14th)

Overview – O’Fallon showed their strength on the Wilson Park course but ended up finishing third behind the two Plainfield schools. O’Fallon had the advantage with 1200-meters left in the race when the two Plainfield schools started to throw in surges. The Panthers looked strong through their top three runners with Dylan Ybarra and Zach Thoman within two seconds and in the top five. Eli Greenstreet is a strong third runner and was 22 seconds back. The team’s top five split in the sectional race was 59 seconds with Brayen Kloeppel 18 seconds behind Greenstreet and Jackson Gherardini 17 seconds behind Kloeppel. The fourth and fifth runners for O’Fallon need to be within 10 seconds of Greenstreet for this team to challenge for a trophy.


LaGrange (Lyons Township)

Sectional Runners – Cillian Henning SR, Nicholas Strayer SR, Benjamin Wuggazer JR, Tate Pavelka JR, Charles Ciela JR, John O’Halloran JR, Maksym Washchuk SR

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (7th)

Overview – The Lions have a chance to get close to a top three finish if one of the four above teams have an off day. Lyons Township has improved through the second half of the season. It has helped that one of their top runners Cillian Henning is back running after an injury sidelined him for a month. He is up front along with teammate Nick Strayer. Both runners could finish in the top 10 in this race. There was only a 22 second gap behind Ben Wuggazer that can get this team in reach of the top four teams. Their overall split on the Hinsdale Central Sectional race was 67 seconds with Tate Pavelka and Charles Ciesla 30 seconds behind Wuggazer. The Lions finished seventh last year. A top five finish would be their best since 2017.


Winnetka (New Trier)

Sectional Runners – Ben Crane JR, Felix Hekster SR, Atticus Miller SR, Walter Garrett JR, Michael Moran SR, Jordan Kreiner SR, Joey Papanicholas JR.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (10th)

Overview – The Trevians tuned up for this weekend’s state meet winning by 33 points and having Ben Crane winning the individual race. The junior will be one of the runners to watch in the front of this race. The team’s top five split was 54 seconds off Crane. Felix Hekster has been the team’s second or third runner this season. He was 27 seconds behind Crane last week. Atticus Miller was close just six seconds back. Walter Garrett closed the gap as the team’s fourth runner just 8 seconds behind Miller giving the team a 41 second split on their top four runners. Michael Moran has been the team’s fifth runner but was 14 seconds behind Garrett last week. Closing the split with two all-state runners get this team among the first five.


Wheaton-Warrenville South

Sectional Runners – Josiah Narayanan JR, Aiden Noel JR, Angelo Ruggio SR, Jayden Bauer SR. Samuel Purdue JR, Ethan Farrell SO, Jack Ruswick JR.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (13th)

Overview – The switch flipped for Wheaton-Warrenville South after the DuKane Conference Meet where they finished second behind St. Charles East. It is unsure if that race woke them up, but they are running as a different team in the last two weeks. The Tigers are high on confidence after winning last week’s sectional by 40 points ahead of conference rival St. Charles East. Josiah Narayanan has been the team leader all season. He won the sectional race last week at Lake Park and will look for a top 10 finish in Peoria. Aiden Noel has been a strong second runner behind Narayanan last week 15 seconds behind him. Angelo Ruggio was 20 seconds back as the team’s third runner. South has a 73 second split off the lead of Narayanan. The split from Noel to fifth runner Samuel Purdue last week was 58 seconds. The Tigers will need to shave 20 seconds off last week’s top 5 time which is possible. The Tigers are still within reach of a top five finish.



Sectional Runners – Joe Bregenzer JR, Ethan Scott JR, Justin Hurtado JR, Mark McGinn JR, Manasyu Chaudhari SR, Max Lewis SR, Max Lewis SR, Haru Nagaoka JR.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (11th)

Overview – Barrington did what was needed to advance to Saturday’s state meet finishing third at the Hoffman Estates Sectional. It was not the race like the MSL Champions were where they dominated that race. Last week got them ready for Saturday. Joe Bregenzer finished fourth at Bussie Woods. He will be in the mix for a top 10 finish. Ethan Scott ran great last week finishing just seven seconds behind Bregenzer. The junior could be near a top 25 finish. Justin Hurtado has been in the top five most of the season. He was 19 seconds behind Scott but will need to be closer at state. The team had a 49 second split in their top five runners. That could be good enough to challenge for a spot at or near the top five.


Arlington Heights (Hersey)

Sectional Runners – Zach Frayder SR, Liam Naughton SR, Rob Geissenberger SR, Cameron Donner SR, Mateus Salomao SO, AJ Svienty SR, Aidan Korb SO.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022  (17th)

Overview – The Huskies geared up for state finishing second at the Hoffman Estates Sectional. Hersey has been one of the top teams in the state being in the top 10 all season and at points of the season ranked as high as #2. This team could be a surprise team to watch on Saturday. Zach Frayder and Liam Naughton were within 10 seconds of each other last week. They have finished closer in meets during the season. Rob Geissenberger and Cameron Donner were the third and fourth runners last week.  Mateus Salomao was on the Frosh/Soph level earlier in the season. Now he is just three seconds behind Donner. Their top five split last week was 27 seconds, which is a good thing for this team. Hersey needs the pack five seconds ahead on their top 5 runners with that split to challenge teams for a top 5 finish.


Naperville (Neuqua Valley)

Sectional Runners – Zac Close SR, Robert Glenn SR, Anthony Pastore SR, Tony Hinderliter SR, Aaron Hamilton JR, Joshua Nauman SR, Jacob Lane SR.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (12th)

Overview – This is a veteran team with six of their top seven runners seniors. Neuqua Valley finished fourth just three points behind Naperville Central. Zac Close missed the sectional title by just one second. He will be a runner to watch in the front of this race. Robert Glenn finished fourth just behind Close a month ago at the Naperville Twilight Invitational. His sectional finish had him placing 19 43 seconds behind Close. A good race getting him closer to his teammate could be something to watch for. The Wildcats had a 39 second split off Glenn last week.


Orland Park (Sandburg)

Sectional Runners – Grant Giblin SR, Luke Atzman JR, Mateo Ramirez-Garcia SO, Brayden Gaffud FR, Jack Easterhouse JR, Jackson Canellis SO, Myles Jacquez SO.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2021 (1st)

Overview – There were some doubts this fall if this young team would make it to the state after missing a year ago. This squad grew up during the season making it to state finishing fifth at the Hinsdale Central Sectional. Grant Giblin is the veteran leadership this team need this season. Giblin finished sixth in last year’s state meet and will look for finish in the top 25 on Saturday. He finished seventh last Saturday. Luke Atzman is the second runner on the team that has all underclassmen besides Giblin. The second through fifth runners in the sectional was 42 seconds. This race on Saturday will benefit this squad that will be challenging for a state championship in 2024.


Naperville (Central)

Sectional Runners – Tyler Browning SR, Patrick Clune JR, Manuel Najera FR, Max Henige SR, Nick Kamp SR, Jack Graham SR, Vaughn Scherer SO.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (20th)

Overview – The Redhawks used a nice pack through their second through fifth runners to help them get to state finishing third at the Hinsdale Central Sectional. Tyler Browning has been the top runner for Central almost all season. He got ready for state by finishing 13th overall. Their pack was dynamite at Katherine Legge Memorial. Their split off second runner Patrick Clune to fifth runner Nick Kamp was only 12 seconds. That will work good for this team on Saturday if they can move the pack and Browning up 10 seconds per runner.


Palatine (Fremd)

Sectional Runners – Rory Gaan JR, Jack Jennings FR, Adarsh Prathap SR, Trent Odachowski SO, Cooper Hewson JR, Thomas Border SR, Arjun Shah JR.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2009 (22nd)

Overview – Fremd has come on towards the end of the season and it showed as they finished fifth at the Hoffman Estates Sectional. This is the first time that the Vikings have run as a team at state since 2009. Rory Gaan has been the top runner for this team throughout the season. He finished second last week in the sectional only six seconds behind state favorite Ben Crane. IT also means you should see Gaan close to the front as well. What gave this team the boost was moving freshman Jack Jennings up to varsity at the end of September. Jennings stepped in as the team’s second runner including last week where he finished 14th. The overall split for Fremd off Gaan was 67 seconds last week. The split of Jennings (2-5) was 44 seconds.



Sectional Runners – Cooper Marrs SR, Brady Norman JR, Jack O’Brien SR, William Kallas SR, Asa Kahle JR, Diego Lopez-Molina JR, Brennan Lester SR.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (1st -2A)

Overview – Riverside Brookfield won the Class 2A title last fall. The Bulldogs could not defend it as they were moved for the next two years to Class 3A. Nevertheless, this team will be able to run in the state meet finishing sixth last week at Hinsdale Central. Cooper Marrs has been the frontman for this team. He finished fourth in the high pack sectional and could find himself finishing in the top 15. Brady Norman and Jack O’Brien ran the same time (16:12) and were 48 seconds behind Marrs. The split off Norman (2-5) was great at 21 seconds. Getting one of these runners in this pack in the first 40 could drive the Bulldogs into the top 10.


Oak Park-River Forest

Sectional Runners – Liam O’Connor JR, Lewis O’Connor SR, Daniel Johnson SR, Andrew Harmon JR, Mariano Escobedo SR, Michael Michelotti SR, Finn Kelly JR.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (5th)

Overview – Oak Park-River Forest started the season with some good racing which included a 26 second split at the Richard Spring Invitational. Finn Kelly, who ran 14:47 in that race, was injured and did not race again until last week. Their split on the top 5 has gone up after that race. Oak Park made it to state finishing third at the Lake Park Sectional. Their split was 62 seconds on their top five runners. Liam and Lewis O’Connor were the team’s top runners separated by 11 seconds of each other. Kelly was the team’s seventh runner using it as a rustbuster readying himself for the state race. It is hard to project what kind of race they will run at Detweiller Park. If everyone is healthy, this squad could run anywhere from a 35 to 45 second split. It could put them back in the top 10 maybe top 5.


Highland Park

Sectional Runners – Brian Hatoum JR, Nate Wehner SR, Barak Goldstein SR, Dylan Dominguez JR, Robert Oboza SR, Eli Neiman SR, Zach Coren.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2016 (23rd)

Overview – The Giants have been strong throughout this season which resulted in their first trip to Detweiller Park since 2016. Highland Park finished fifth at the Hoffman Estates Sectional. The team was impressive especially up front, Brian Hatoum finished third with teammate Nate Wehner finishing 11 seconds behind in fifth. The top five split in that race was 57 seconds. Their split from third runner Barak Goldstein to fifth runner Robert Oboza was 18 seconds. Highland Park has been sneaky good all season. A good race gets this team within the top 10 teams.


St. Charles (East)

Sectional Runners – Jedidiah Wilson SR, Greyson Ellensohn JR, Oscar Frontjes SR, Michael Wilson SO, Adrian Ahuatl SR, Connor Reed SR, Ryan Tobin JR.

Last State Meet Appearance -  2022 (24th)

Overview – The Saints prepared themselves for this week end by finishing second behind Wheaton-Warrenville South by 40 points. East ran a similar strategy in last year’s sectional getting them to state. It worked once again. Jedidiah Wilson, Greyson Ellensohn, and Oscar Frontjes finished in the top 20 with all three runners separated by 14 seconds. The split on their top five runners in the race was 46 seconds.


New Lenox (Lincoln-Way Central)

Sectional Runners – Evan Jensen SR, Jack Galminas JR, Braden Hoff JR, Bryce Counihan SO, Kyle Friedl JR, Leo Grzesiak SR, Cian Scanlon FR

Last State Meet Appearance -  2019 (23rd)

Overview – The Knights have been improving throughout this season resulting in a fifth place finish at the Granite City Sectional and a trip to the state meet. The last time Central ran at state meet was in 2019.  Evan Jensen has been his team’s  top runner this season and he showed that finishing 12th. Teammate Jack Galminas finished second six seconds behind. The team had a 3-5 split of 10 seconds. Their overall split was 51 seconds. The gap between Galminas and third runner Braden Hoff was 32 seconds.


Hinsdale (Central)

Sectional Runners – Aden Bandukwala SR, Maxwell Lowe SR, Evan Kurimay SR, Michael Gamboa SO, Henry Miller FR, Nikita Kamenev JR, Cooper Revord JR.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (2nd)

Overview – There was apprehension before the sectional that this would be the final race of the season for the Red Devils. That would be false as Hinsdale Central advanced out of the final qualifying comfortably. The team said after the race that they could run now free without any worries. Aden Bandukwala will defend his state individual title winning the sectional race by a second ahead of Zac Close. Maxwell Lowe was the team’s second runner finishing just 40 seconds behind Bandukwala. The team’s split off Lowe (2-5) was 51 seconds. A relaxed team after sectionals could get Hinsdale Central among the first 14 teams on Saturday.



Sectional Runners – Owen Horeni SO, Jake Younger SR, Brody Greyer JR, Ryan Rotramel JR, Ben Kieffer SR, Lukas Summers JR, Adam Klemm SR.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (22nd)

Overview – Yorkville makes a trip back to Peoria after finishing sixth in a tough Granite City Sectional. Owen Horeni is ending a successful sophomore season running on Saturday after he ran 14:43 to finish ninth on this fast course. Teammate Jake Younger was the team’s second runner finishing 18 seconds behind Horeni. Yorkville could be near the mid-teens in placing in this meet. The Foxes had a split (2-5) off Younger of 33 seconds.


Chicago (Lane Tech)

Sectional Runners – Will Kozlowski SR, Brendan Bradish SR, Paul Neely SR, Anan Bauman SR, Tristan Wong SO, Eli Berlin SR, Andy Lawrence SO.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (27th)

Overview – Lane Tech missed third by two points finishing fourth at the Lake Park Sectional. It gives the Champions back to back state meet appearances at Detweiller Park. This is a senior oriented team led by Will Kozlowski and Brendan Bradish. Kozlowski did not run their regional meet at Schiller Woods due to illness. He bounced back to finish 10 overall collapsing at the finish. A healthy Kozlowski could finish in the top 25. Bradish, the team’s second runner, is a strong leader of this pack behind Kozlowski. The split off Bradish (2-5) last week was 32 seconds.


Elmhurst (York)

Sectional Runners – Zach Saltiel JR, Max Zangan JR, Sam Kehoe JR, Emmett Bradford JR, Jack Sebastian JR, Evan Zapata JR, Josh Tobin JR.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2021 (8th)

Overview – It was strange at last year’s state meet not to have a sea of green and white on the starting line at Detweiller Park. They were not expected by some to make it to Saturday’s race. The Dukes have improved throughout the season which led them to the Lake Park Sectional sixth. They start a new streak at the state meet. York has run in the state meet in 59 out of the last 60 state meets. Zach Saltiel has been the top runner for the Dukes most of the season finishing ninth last week. Max Zangan and Sam Kehoe are solid second and third runners with the tree separated last week by 25 seconds. Their top five split last week was 51 seconds. They are ready for their best race of the season. This is more of a mid-term to see where they are entering the 2024 season.



Sectional Runners – Dylan Cohen SR, Jamie Chandler SO, Dane Brown SR, Eric Hogenkamp SR, Jon Wool SR, Ryan Jones SR, Ben Freedman JR,

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (2A-11th)

Overview -Deerfield is used to transitioning back and forth between 2A and 3A, Deerfield is back in Class 3A for the next two years. It didn’t bother the Warriors as they finished sixth at the Hoffman Estates Sectional. It is all about packing for this team when they do not have that “1” runner to work off. Deerfield had just a 23 second split on their top five at Busse Woods. Any of four runners can be the top runner on this team. Dylan Cohen was the top runner finishing 29th. Jamie Chandler, Dane Brown, or Eric Hogenkamp you could also see leading this team.



Sectional Runners – Ben Perulfi SR, Hugh Davis JR, Colin Thomas SO, Jackson Amick JR, Gavin Rodgers SO, Colin Luitjohan FR, Cooper Wittek SO

Last State Meet Appearance – 2021 (20th)

Overview -  Tight pack running got the Tigers back to the state meet after missing the meet in 2022. Edwardsville finished fourth last week to advance north to Peoria. The lone senior in the top seven Ben Perulfi led a three second split on their first three runners that included Hugh Davis and Colin Thomas. Their overall split in last week’s race was only 18 seconds. Their final race of the season could give us a preview what we will see from this group next fall.


Wheaton (North)

Sectional Runners – Aidan Murphy JR, Luke Haworth JR, Quinn Murphy JR, Jude Hubbard SR, Isaac Schuda SR, Daniel Xochitecatl SO, Jack Sanders SO.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (21st)

Overview -Wheaton North did not run their best race of the season at Lake Park. That did not hold them back from advancing to the state meet finishing seventh in that race. Aidan Murphy was moving during the final mile to the point where he finished second. He is in position to finish individually in the top 25. The Falcons had a three second split on their second through fourth runners led by Luke Haworth. Their overall split was 82 seconds. The gap between Murphy to Haworth was 47 seconds. Both splits should lower in Peoria getting this team in a top 20 finish.


Oswego (East)

Sectional Runners – Nicholas Goduto JR, Jack Schultz SR, Eddie Bozett JR, Dhairya Trivedi SR, Phoenix Scott SO, Jack Wolstenholm FR, Mason Van Denend FR.

Last State Meet Appearance – 2022 (15th)

Overview – The Wolves were the final team to advance out of this sectional 11 points ahead of non-qualifier Lockport. The team is solid through four runners with the top runner Nicholas Goduto leading 7 second four runner pack. There is a big gap after those four runners with the top 5 split at 64 seconds.


Mt. Prospect (Prospect)

Sectional Runners – Landon Samp FR, Owen Smith SR, Luke Robinson SO, John Peterson SR, Finley Moss JR, Quinn Davis SO, Aidan Letzel SR.

Last State Meet Appearance -  2022 (28th)

Overview – The Knights advance back to the state meet finishing seventh at Hoffman Estates. Freshman Landon Samp ran a great race as the team’s #1 runner. The key for Prospect in this meet is that they had a 24 second split in their top 5 runners.



Sectional Runners – Francisco Benelli JR, David Bednarek JR, Colin Knowles SR, Ethan Storie SR, Felipe Wickler SR, Edward Polaski FR, William Streepey SR

Last State Meet Appearance – 2017 (23rd)

Overview – Batavia finished fifth at the Lake Park Sectional advancing them to the state meet for the first time since 2017. The Bulldogs achieved getting the trip to Detweiller Park having a 23 second split on their top five runners. Juniors Francisco Benelli and David Bednarek led the team separating the top two runners by 7 seconds.