“The best thing for us is we have Matt Grider running again. That’s uplifting to the entire team,” Jewell said.
Kokomo coach Ricke Stucker sees Western as a clear favorite.
“I don’t think anyone is going to beat Western,” he said. “Grider may not be 100 percent, but he is in good enough shape to lead his team so I don’t think Western will have much of a problem. The fight probably will be for second place between us and Logansport and maybe Winamac.”
Kokomo is led by Jeremy Breedlove, who won the NCC meet last week. Teammates Jordan Fivecoate and Ethan Sharp were third and fourth.
“We’ve improved an awful lot,” Stucker said. “Jeremy Breedlove is running really well right now. Jordan Fivecoate is passing all of our expectations and sophomore Ethan Sharp is running really well, too.”
Eastern’s boys were third in the MIC meet last week. The Comets are led by Lewis Duke, who repeated as the MIC individual champion. He is the defending sectional champion.
Eastern coach Brandon Mink hopes his squad can challenge for fifth place, which is the final regional ticket.
“We’d have to be running up to our potential. We have no room for error. But it’s definitely possible,” Mink said. “It’s nice to be in the mix — in the beginning of the year, we weren’t even complete [with the necessary five runners].”
Individually, the boys race is loaded with Duke, Breedlove and Grider. All three are seniors.
“Any of those three guys are capable of winning it. They’ve all run good times and good races throughout the season,” Mink said. “It’s going to be interesting to see what happens. Their styles of running are kind of different, how they race in general is a little different, too. It will be interesting to watch.”