Boys: Division II Class A
Barring something catastrophic, Connor Henson should go back to back in this division but it should be pointed out his ascension to the top wasn't immediate. As a freshman Henson finished 10th with a time of 17:51 and as a Sophomore he finished 6th with a time of 17:00. In 2020, Henson gapped the field by almost 40 seconds on his way to his first state title. I haven't talked to the Columbia Academy senior about what attributed to his rise but I imagine during "Lock down" there wasn't anything to do but run and while some let off the gas, others took the opportunity to build a massive base that carried them into last season. In the process, Henson elevated himself into the Top 10 overall of all male returners as we head into this 2021.
While the open race may be decided early, the team race is hard to predict. Defending champions Webb School of Knoxville has moved up (as well as CPA) to DII AA but usual suspects Harding Academy and University School of Nashville who finished 2nd and 3rd, bring back 4 and 5 runners respectively in the Top 50. While they can be categorized as the likely contenders, the question becomes can Columbia Academy as a team also make a run at the podium? The Bulldogs put 6 runners in the Top 50 here but their spread is pretty far and unfortunately securing that number one spot in a division that so spread out doesn't mean as much as it would in say Division I - Class AAA.
READ MORE: https://tn.milesplit.com/articles/300846/top-50-returning-boys-division-ii-class-a