A look at some of the top contenders in the 5A Southern IdahoConference this season. Order based on last year’s state finish.
Noah Horsburgh, Mountain View
The senior is the top returner from last year’s state meet, finishing fifth in 15 minutes, 53.38 seconds as the Mavericks won the team title. Horsburgh also owns the top time in the state this season, winning the season-opening Jimmy Driscoll Classic in 15:51.0. His second win of 2015 came at the Timberlake Invitational (16:09.9) at Farragut State Park in Athol, the site of this year’s state meet.
Michael Slagowski, Rocky Mountain
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His 11th-place finish (16:17.51) at last year’s state meet was the beginning of a breakout junior year. Slagowski swept the 800 meters, 1,600 and 3,200 at the state track and field meet last spring. He took second to Horsburgh at Jimmy Driscoll in 16:01.3 and won the Caldwell Twilight (16:10.50) on Sept. 4.
Adrian Jones, Mtn. View
Jones finished right on the heels of Slagowski in 12th last year at state, but didn’t have the season-opening race he hoped for at Jimmy Driscoll (16:45.9). Jones, a senior, is bound to improve as the season continues. He recorded a career-best 15:45.93 at last year’s district meet and ran 16:34.6 at the Timberlake Invitational last weekend.
Jacob Davis, Capital
Davis, a senior, took 15th (16:21.51) at state last fall. He was among the top runners at Jimmy Driscoll, finishing in 16:12.10 for fourth place. He also has posted a sub-16 minute race, clocking a 15:59.87 at the 2014 district meet. Most recently, Davis was third at the Timberlake Invitational (16:22.2).
Jackson Brill, Boise
The senior started this season running nearly 30 seconds faster at Jimmy Driscoll than he did the previous year. Brill added a second-place finish at the Caldwell Twilight, but his season-best time is 16:18.40 from the opener at Bishop Kelly. He won the Roger Curran Meet (16:26.0) on Saturday at West Park in Nampa.
Porter Wilkes, Vallivue
The senior finished just inside the top 30 at the 2014 state meet, but he proved he could be a contender this year with his fifth-place time at Jimmy Driscoll (16:15.10), a third-place showing at the Caldwell Twilight (16:35.74) and a victory at the Weiser Invitational (17:16.56).
5A SIC TEAMS TO WATCH
Defending state champion Mountain View returns three of its five scoring runners from a year ago — Horsburgh, Jones and Brion Lowry.
And the Mavericks’ No. 7 runner from last year, Joe Petty, has the third best time in the state so far this season (16:10.0), and Conner Oswald (No. 6 in 2014) ranks 16th this season.
In a sneak peek of the state meet course, the Mavericks won the team title at the Timberlake Invitational at Farragut State Park in Athol over the weekend.
Watch for Rocky Mountain and Boise to challenge Mountain View for supremacy. The Grizzlies won Jimmy Driscoll, the Caldwell Twilight and Roger Curran.
4A SIC AT A GLANCE
Bishop Kelly freshman Nicholas Russell has the fastest time among 4A runners from the Treasure Valley. Russell clocked a 16:29.80 at Jimmy Driscoll to finish ninth.
Skyview senior Josh Frey then beat Russell at the Caldwell Twilight. Frey’s best time this season is 16:48.20, and he took 22nd at state last fall.
Bishop Kelly and Skyview are expected to be the top teams in the 4A SIC after taking second and fourth, respectively, at state last year.