Air Academy Boys XC, 2017

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Luke Thurman just might be the Kadet we're fixing to learn the most about this fall.

This article marks a threshold in the Teams of Interest series. To this point, I've not doubled up and done previews for both boys and girls teams from the same school. Moving forward, all that changes. Expect more of this. But, we're also pretty close to the end of the Teams of Interest series. Pretty soon, it will no longer be about speculation, but about what they're doing on the course. 

And, I think we're all just about ready for that.

As a first thought about Air Academy, you've probably processed the idea that Ethan Powell--2017's big gun for the Kadets--has graduated. And, you've tried to calculate how much damage that does to the Kadet prospects.

As it turns out, probably not much. Not that Powell wasn't an excellent front runner and competitor, but that Air Academy actually has plenty coming back. And all those guys coming back are a year older, wiser, and stronger than they were last fall.

At least by last year's times, Cal Banta and Dillon Powell figure as the top two guys on this year's team. Banta backed that up this spring with a 4:21 1600. Powell backed it up with a 10:07 3200. These guys will be good this fall.

But, let's not forget about the rest of the returning roster--characters like Luke Thurman, Kieron Brunner, Matthew Mettler, and Ethan Abbs.

Thurman ran 9:53 for 3200 meters. Brunner ran 2:02 and 4:49. Mettler ran 4:46. Abbs ran 10:58. All this spring.

In total, that's not the kind of team you want to meet in a dark alley with a stopwatch.

Don't waste any effort feeling badly for the Kadets. They're out to make the rest of 4A feel badly about what might have been. Even if you're Palmer Ridge or Silver Creek, you don't want to get caught underestimating this team.