Khalid Hussein cover photo is Derick Peters.
Although the NXN Heartland Region lost a lot of firepower last year with the graduation of guys such as Finn Gessner (WI) and Seth Hirsch (NE), it's looking to reload nicely in 2017.
One athlete who's at the top of the rankings is Derick Peters (SD). He's the top returner based on time, and he's the only athlete who's run sub-15 minutes, which he did at the Lennox Invitational last fall. In total, six guys have run 15:30 or faster in XC.
We also can't forget to take into account the top returners from the regional last year. This is where the second- and third-ranked athletes by time, Drew Bosley (WI) and Khalid Hussein (MN), will come into play. They will be big factors, as they are the top returners after finishing sixth and ninth in the region, respectively. Calvin Shannon (KS), who's ranked fourth on the list, will also look to have a strong season after finishing third at last year's Kansas Championship.
Check out the full top 5,000 rankings from the NXN Heartland Region below.