2A Boys State Meet Preview

A host of boys led by David Yarborough and Jonathan Klumpp vie for the individual win; Yarborough's Bishop Kenny heavily favored for team victory.

In the Title Hunt...

  • David Yarborough (Bishop Kenny)
  • Jonathan Klumpp (North Broward)
  • Alex Pedraza (Golden Gate)
  • George Velez (Lake Nona)
  • About ten others!!!

Fighting for the Podium...

  • Bishop Kenny
  • Cocoa Beach
  • Lake Nona
  • Immokalee
  • Ransom Everglades

Individual Analysis

There are two sides to this race. On one hand, this is going to be the weakest race of the day being that there are no true top ten in the state type standouts or favorites. The only person in the race to break 16 minutes this year was Michael Barr of Bishop Kenny, who ran a 15:58 at Great American back in September. But on the other side of the coin, this race is going to be absolutely insane! From a racing and strategy and lead changing perspective, it could easily be the most exciting race of the day. No less than fifteen people could potentially be competing for the state championship and you better believe all of them are going to go for it!

Bishop Kenny has two guys in contention: Barr was the leader on the team early in the year, but since October it has been all David Yarborough. Yarborough's best on the year was a 16:01 for fifteenth at Pre-State and he has not lost to his teammate or anyone else in his classification since.  So if anyone runs away with the race, it will likely be him and there is a good chance that he'll make his first sub-16 break through. Surely Barr won't let him go easily. Could we see a BK 1-2 finish reminscent of Trinity Prep in the 1A last year?

Not if the others have anything to say about it! Region 3 champ Alex Pedraza (Golden Gate), Region 4 champ Jonathan Klumpp (North Broward), and Region 2 champ George Velez (Lake Nona) will all be looking to repeat their regional success and interupt the BK party. Unfortunately, Dalton Shelton of Lake Placid had a disasterous outing at region and did not advance or else I think he could have mixed it up with the top five after a really good junior season.

A few others that I think could surprise and challenge for the lead... Xavier Walton of Titusville, Nic Jacobsen of St. Andrews, and Costa Slathis of Cocoa Beach.

Team Analysis

Bishop Kenny is the strong favorite for the team title. In fact, it is a little far-fetched to foresee anyone else challenging them for the win mathematically. They start out with a killer 1-2 punch of Yarborough-Barr, which could potentially yield them only three points (as mentioned in the individual analysis). Their #3, Zachary Perry, should be somewhere around 15th-20th, and their 4-6 runners are strong and have been within 20 seconds of Perry at district and regional in the low 17s. This should really put anyone else away by getting six (or even seven) before anyone else crosses their fifth.

Lake Nona is shaping up to be the favorite for the runner-up position. They hold on to this spot no matter if you crunch the rankings by season best times or average since mid-October; that tells me they are running strong in the post-season when it matters, rather than peaking too early like some other teams. But they will face a strong challenge from Cocoa Beach. The boys from Beach started the season looking really really good and then kind of faltered and started to look flukey around midseason. However, luckily for them the tide has turned once again! They have really started to click again at district and region with their top two of Costa Slathis and Dylan Taylor potentially top fifteen (Costa could potentially be much higher). Beach will be looking to Cory Sayyeau for help; he was their #1 last year when he finished tenth in the state and has a best of 16:13 from last season. If he can dip down into at least the mid 16s again then that gives them a big advantage over Nona. Four and five will be the big question mark though that is going to decide who gets the last podium spot more than anything the top three might do for both Nona and Beach. Who will step up and who will lie down?

Immokalee may have an outside shot to break in. They have a solid 1-4 pack and if Leonell Delacruz can run the way he did at FLR 13 where ran a 16:08 (and he did finish second in the region) then look out, but he hasn't touched that time since and has only been under 17 once since then (16:34 at Prestate). But if they can get Delacruz up there, their mid 17s pack to move into a low 17s pack, and get a solid performance out of their #5 then they have an outside chance. Otherwise, expect them to be fourth or fifth.

The final team that I've learned never to rule out is the defending 2A champs from Ransom Everglades. Despite not having a lot of firepower up front, they looked good in their Region 4 victory and are another depth play. And as we all know, depth can pay off when others fail to close the deal on four and five runners. And since four and five runners are looking to be a liability for a number of these teams, a surprise podium spot from Ransom is not out of the question. Third or fourth is a more likely outcome, however. It's really incredible they've come this far given that four out of seven graduated from last year's team, including their top three!

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