Boys’ XC Preview: Top Returnees, Nos. 6-10

We asked, and you responded.

Just who are the top returning runners that will hit the trails this season? After requesting your help on this site and through our Instagram account, with have compiled a top-10 list with your assistance of the runners we feel will be among our best this fall.

To start, we’re going to begin with our No. 6 through No. 10 picks and also the runners we believe are on the bubble. We’ll list them among our Honorable Mention at the bottom of this article. For boys, we lost some talented seniors to graduation this past June, runners like All Americans, Sam Burgess of Framingham, and Nathan Lopez of St. John’s Prep. But there’s certainly some gifted harriers coming back this fall, including a few that we expect will continue to prosper beyond their respective races at the Meet of Champions (MOC).

Here’s our picks for the final five of our list and those on the verge of breaking through.

No. 6 – Adam Balewicz, Nashoba Regional

Look for Balewicz to be one of our top runners in Division 2. He’s the defending 2A champion where he ran a PR of 15:26.50 on a tough 5K terrain at Stanley Park. He was third overall at the MOC with a time of 15:40.63. In that race, a little more than a second separated the top-3 at the finish. Graduating seniors Rithikh Prakash of Burlington and Falmouth Henry Gartner went 1-2 with times of 15:39.20 and 15:40.44, respectively. Balewicz ran an impressive 15:15.68 at the New Balance Nationals where he was the fifth MA runner to cross the line. He’s also a 9:22 two-miler.

No. 7 – Jack Courtney, Lowell

Against a loaded field in the Division 1A race last year, Courtney was sixth overall with a PR of 15:36.13 for the 5K distance at Wrentham. He didn’t have the race he anticipated the following weekend at the MOC where he was 33rd overall, but we’re expecting it will be a bit different this fall. On the track, Courtney ran bests of 9:25.61 for the 2M and 4:30 for the mile.

No. 8 – Devin Moreau, Greater Lowell Tech

The talented senior and early UMass-Lowell commit had a strong year on the dirt trails last fall. He captured the individual title at the MVADA State Vocational Championship where he ran a PR of 15:39.10 at Wrentham. He was also a runner-up in the Div. 2A race in 15:42.60 and fifth at the MOC where he was timed in 16:08.68. Moreau had a solid outdoor season where he finished off the spring with trio of sub 9:30s for the deuce, including a PR of 9:25.73 at D3s where he was fourth overall.

No. 9 – Chris Larnard, Boston College High

Larnard had his best race of the season last fall at the Division 1A Championship where he was seventh overall with a best of 15:42.27 for the 5K course at Wrentham. The BC High standout sparkled on the track oval, particularly the mile where he was second in D1 during indoor with an all-time best of 4:16.99. He was third in the spring, clocking a 4:17.18. With 1:27 speed for the 600m, Larnard has potential to do some damage in the closing stages of the race.

No. 10 – Timothy Rank, Littleton

Rank was a runner-up to Uxbridge’s Aidan Ross at last year’s Division 3B Championships and was third in the D3 race at the MOC where he was timed in 16:11.26. On a fast and generous five-kilometer course at the Barnstable Fairgrounds, Rank and teammate Bona Bradshaw took the top two spots in the Small Division race at the Twilight Invitational where both were timed in 15:25.4 and Bradshaw was awarded the victory. Ranks had a solid year on the track where he posted bests of 4:20.6 for the mile and 9:18.54 for the two mile.

Honorable Mention: Eli Merritt, Wellesley; Lysander Duffield, Brookline; Bona Bradshaw, Littleton; Kailas Ciatto, Brookline; Ryan Tadisco, Andover; Jacob Bronstein, Cambridge Rindge & Latin

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