Midwest Region Top Guys To Watch
Daniel Kilrea, Sr. (IL)
Danny Kilrea ran from the front just last weekend at Nike Cross Nationals. He got out hard in the first mile which ultimately led to him finishing fifth overall. That race was the University of Notre Dame signee's worst finish all year, since he'd finished first or second in every other race. He had some huge wins this season including the First to the Finish Invitational, IHSA cross country state championship, and the Foot Locker Midwest Regional. If he isn't gassed from so many back-to-back high-caliber races, then watch for him to definitely be in contention for the title this weekend; we should see how he's feeling within the first mile as he generally likes to go out hard.
Zach Kreft, Sr. (OH)
Zach Kreft just missed qualifying for Nike Cross Nationals last weekend, which might end up being a good thing for the Buckeye Valley senior. He, unlike some of his fellow Foot Locker Midwest qualifiers, should be well-rested and ready to run fast this weekend. He had a huge race to finish second at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional. He holds the fastest time in the nation for the 5K this year having run 14:29.95 at the 2017 Midwest Meet of Champions.
Clayton Mendez, Sr. (IL)
Clayton Mendez, like Daniel Kilrea, has been tearing up the postseason. He was fifth at NXN Midwest, third at Foot Locker Midwest, and most recently 18th at Nike Cross Nationals. Before all of that, he was the runner-up at the Illinois state meet behind Kilrea. He said in his post-Foot Locker Midwest interview that a lot of his postseason racing has been to follow his fellow Illinois athletes who have more experience on the national and qualifying courses. That strategy has seemed to bode well for Mendez so far; if he can continue the path he's been on, watch for him to be a top-10 finisher.
Dylan Jacobs, Sr. (IL)
Dylan Jacobs is this year's top returner after Flower Mound's Alex Maier didn't race his region meet. He, like many of the other top Midwest qualifiers, has been racing a lot this postseason including fourth at
Nike Cross Nationals Midwest Regional, fifth at Foot Locker Midwest Regional, and 13th at Nike Cross Nationals. If he can pull through another solid race, he is another guy to definitely look for in the top five. Last year he took the race out hard following Seth Hirsch of Wisconsin. With a year of experience under his belt at the national level, Jacobs will most likely have a different game plan to put him in contention for the win.
Full List Of Qualifiers
LA GRANGE PARK IL
ORLAND PARK IL