1. Von Steuben- The Panthers had one of the better freshman classes in the CPS as they took a surprise 2nd place at the CPS freshman meet last year. Those freshman are now sophomores. They will likley run them down at the sophomore level for most of the regular season. But come post season they will probably move a few of them up.
2. Lindblom - Lindblom had only 4 runners run at the city cross country meet at all levels. However, after they busted out in track with a bevy of impressive distance performances including a modern era school record 4x800 with a time of 8:30 ran by 3 freshman and a sophomore - people are suddenly talking distance at Lindblom land. There's even talk they will be forming more of a serious cross country program. If they do- watch out.
3. Whitney Young -A combination of youth and injuries led to a 9th place finish at the CPS meet last year. With all of their young talent, there is no direction to go but way up.
4. Northside Prep -Northside quietly finished 4th at the CPS varsity meet last year - only 19 points away from Jones. The Mustangs return 5 of their varsity top 7 including their top 3 runners.
5. Kennedy - 4 of their top 7 return from a team that finished 11th last year at the varsity level. I could not help but notice that their freshman team finished 5th - 1 point ahead of Lane Tech.
6. Morgan Park- I may be speculating here to add Morgan Park to this list, but for the first time I saw them put a decent effort in trying to run some distance runners in track. If they keep the momentum in cross country, they will definitely improve on last year when they did not even run a varsity team- and isntead ran all their guys at the JV race.
Others: Taft, Bulls, Solorio, Payton