Grahm Tuohy-Gaydos is set for a big cross country season this fall.
Minus Cruz Culpepper and Dylan Schubert, the top of the 4A field last year was insanely senior-heavy, which means we'll see a new slate of competitors within the top 10 this fall.
This also means the boy's 4A landscape has some serious Dark Horses in the shadows.
The following is a subjective look at a few individuals and teams that I'll currently dub Dark Horses, at least in terms of pre-season.
Editor's Note: The following outlook is based entirely on stats from the 2018 cross country season, and the 2019 outdoor track season. It's likely there are other Dark Horses out there that will rise this fall. Unfortunately my powers do not include the ability to foresee what happens on that quiet trails over the summer.
Grahm Tuoy-Gaydos raced 12 times last fall, and of the 12 times, he cracked 17 minutes six times, and 16 once - a 15:43 personal best at the Northfield Nighthawk Invitational.
Of those 12 races, he finished within the top 10 10 times. That's quite an impressive feat.
And it's that sort of consistency that makes his rare off-day at State reasonable to overlook. And, his track season really solidified that fact.
Last spring he ran PRs of 4:29 in the 1,600 and 9:39 in the 3,200. Additionally, he finished 11th in the 3,200 at State.
Air Academy's Matthew Mettler's track season revealed that he's got the wheels to kick, and his 2018 cross country season hinted that blending that sort of speed with his strength could mean that he's got a big senior year on tap.
Last year he ran a PR of 15:59 at Desert Twilight, and he finished 20th at the State meet, making his the No. 5 returner this fall.
On the track he made huge gains, particularly in the 1,600 where he ran 4:22, and he finished ninth at the state meet in event. He cracked 4:30 all nine times he competed in the event - that sort of consistency means there's a breakthrough just around the corner. Additionally, he's got a 1:58 800 to his name.