There was no touching Lowell last year which captured its fifth straight title by a 53-point margin over runner-up Peabody. Can the Red Raiders win their sixth consecutive crown this fall? They certainly have potential. Lowell lost its top two runners from their 2016-17 squad that placed second to Wellesley at the All State Finals a week later. But the Red Raiders will have their next five returning varsity member back on the trails. And with a squad that always seems to get some promising new freshmen it could be their year again. By the looks of it, it won't be an easy task for Lowell to fulfill with teams like Brookline and Peabody losing few from last season. Lowell will be fueled by a senior contingent that includes Colin Fitzpatrick, Nasir Gibson and Chris Galarza. All three were among the top 20 at last year's divisional state meet with Fitzpatrick leading the trio by taking ninth overall. Peabody is a team that appears to have some strength. The Tanners lose two-time champion Marcelo Rocha to graduation, but have some solid returnees that could make things interesting in November. Rocha's cousin, senior Shane Braz, was Peabody's No. 2 runner at the Eastern States, finishing 18th overall in 16:45.28. He'll be joined by two other sub 17-minute guys from that meet, senior William Aylward and junior Claudio Rocha. Brookline is another team that should figure in the mix with junior Lucas Aramburu, one of the contenders for individual honors, leading the way. Brookline also has the trio of senior Quinn Gangadharan, junior William McCormick and junior Sergei Lefaivre, who were separated by just three seconds at the divisionals by taking the 42nd to 44th spots. With nearly half of the finishers ahead of them gone to graduation, they certainly have potential to move up in their placements this time around.
Individually there is potential for a dogfight with St. John's Prep's Tristan Shelgren, Newton North's Andrew Mah, Lexington's Thomas Lingard and Aramburu capable of breaking the tape at the end. Mah, who was third at the division meet last year, may be the favorite. He's coming off a great season on the track where he was one of the state's top two-milers, clocking a best of 9:13.61 and winning a New England outdoor 3,200-meter crown.