We are approaching the post-season and more importantly states at a very quick rate. That means it is time to start looking at who should be number one in the entire state. Who is our best runner?
Today we are making a case for Abingdon's Karl Thiessen. He is the defending 3A state champion, the Third Battle Champion and currently ranked 3rd in the entire state.
Simply put, Karl is the real deal. By the numbers he is one of the three fastest SW VA athletes ever and one of the few guys in the past decade that has a chance at defending a state XC title. In fact, only 27 guys have ever successfully defended an XC state title out of 148 tries. He is also looking to join Griff Graves (2005-06) as an Abingdon runner to achieve this feat.
All historical data aside though you can't disagree with Karl's speed. His season best is a quick 15:09 run back in early September and it is evident he is ready to break 15. This past weekend would have been the ideal time to run it had it not been for humid fog and overly soft grass all over the state. Moving forward though he should still have a few chances to break it.
Now he is the strong favorite for the 3A title again this year and the real battle will be the clock. If he wants to be the number one athlete in the state then he will have to put the jets on and win the state meet both 3A and all classifications. That means, to out shine the large school athletes, he will definitely have to break 15 on the state course and that is not easy.
If you take a deep dive into his stats you can see for yourself that there is no athlete in VA that has the talent and knowledge of what it takes to win. Karl should be and will be in consideration for the best runner in VA this XC season.