Tennessee boys cross country is wide open in 2019.
For the past two years, Brentwood Academy has held the top spot in our combined rankings. But after graduating each of the top three finishers in the DII-AA state meet, they'll be led by a brand new cast of characters this fall.
Cayden Durrough, who had a season best of 16:20 a year ago, takes the mantle as the leader of BA's program. Joshua Allen is an experienced runner as well. Outside of those two, the Eagles' core is going to be new.
They'll be gunning for a fifth-straight DII-AA state championship this fall.
McCallie is a major player to watch. They're ready for a big jump.
The Blue Tornado were young last year and still managed to perform well at the state meet. This year, they're looking to stand atop the podium.
Ligon won a state title for 1600 meters last May as well.
He and Durrough will be neck-and-neck for the top spot in November at Steeplechase.
McCallie's top five consists of four seniors and one junior. What used to be a young group isn't so young anymore.
Speaking of youth, Daniel Boone is going to be good too.
The Trailblazers have a very young, but very talented squad. Connor Wingfield is the frontrunner at the moment to be their No. 1 runner. He posted a 16:47 season best last year.
Boone is deep. They boast six runners in our top 200 returners list from last season. Max Austin and Mason Lewis will be looking to break 17 minutes for the first time this season. That team may end up having a solid pack that can run together in that mid-16 minute range.
If that trio continues their upward trajectory, we may be talking about Bartlett as the best team in the state when it's all said and done.
Anytime you can have three guys who can run together at the front of a talented pack...it's a major asset.
Especially when you're at a state championship.
Bartlett has five guys who have broken 17 minutes already. If they can get five guys under 16:30, they'll be the favorite to win a loaded Div. 1 Large Schools division.
But don't forget about Siegel.
The Stars have built a powerhouse program, winning the last two state championships.
And after a big track season, Canaan Anderson is a breakout star candidate this fall. He clocked in at 4:17 for a full mile at Great 8.
Behind him, you've got Tucker Moss and Seth Robinson. Both of those guys broke 16:30 in 2018. The 16-minute barrier will be the next step.
There's five teams for you. But we're just getting started.
Tennessee is going to be talented on the guys side in 2019.
And we can't wait to be there to follow every minute of it.
There are lots of good teams we didn't mention here. But don't worry. More preseason coverage is coming soon!