It is only fitting that the year Blacksburg leaves another powerhouse rolls in. That is the case this year with Western Albemarle who is solidly the favorite on paper heading into the state meet. We know the scores are relatively tight and in most cases wouldn't call a team like this a powerhouse but when you realize that five guys in their top six return and that they haven't run their best runner yet this season you would then agree.
Christiansburg, Hidden Valley, and Abingdon though are all seeking to upend Western's state title hopes and realistically all have a shot.
Christiansburg has the best shot out of all these teams with a very solid group of guys competing. They have also taken down Western head to head this season which bodes well for them. The issue for them though is that Western puts two in front of their one and that is a difference maker that causes ripples down the line.
After those top two runners though the Christiansburg lineup lines right up against Western and can exchange punches. Those punches will be useless though if they cannot break thru that 1-2 punch of Western. Mathematically you can't expect to win when you're working with a 20 point deficit from the time your first runner crosses the line.
Abingdon, who is ranked fourth, may have the next best shot thanks to their 1-2 punch. They will score low upfront but not having a proven 5th runner could be costly. If their 5th runner has a huge day then they will as well.
Finally you also have Hidden Valley who just like Abingdon has a great 1-2 upfront.
Individually the race is Karl Thiessen's to defend. He is not only looking to defend his title but to also join Griff Graves as a double champion for Abingdon. His chances are good if he is healthy since he enters the meet with a solid 40 second lead over Cave Spring's Peter Smith and Western's Joe Hawkes.
Boys' Top 12 Teams: