McDonald's boys cross country team has been atop the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches state Division III rankings for a better part of this season.
The Blue Devils are poised over this next three weeks to claim their first state championship since 2004 and the first one for Trumbull County since 2005 when Maplewood captured the Division III title.
It all begins Saturday at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds in Bazetta, where the Division II and III districts will be contested.
Even though there are only two teams and the top eight runners that qualify, it shouldn't be a problem for McDonald.
McDonald and Maplewood, who is ranked third in the latest Division III poll, should qualify for the regionals at Boardman High School.
As for South Range, Ryan Roush and Tim Nicholas - arguably the best 1-2 Division III combination in the state - should advance in the top eight. That grouping should be peppered with McDonald and Maplewood runners.
McDonald's top three - Patrick Kunkel, Kyle Joynes and Bobby Johnson - have proven to be one of the best trios in Division III and should power up the Blue Devils to a state title run.
As for the girls, Maplewood has looked pretty solid this year - led by Alanna Shamrock. McDonald hasn't been too bad as well, led by Sarah Jones. These two teams should finish 1-2 at districts Saturday.
The top five teams and top 20 advance out of the D-III girls race, which begin the festivities at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, to the regional in Boardman.
The Division II boys and girls each move on the top four teams and top 16 to Boardman.
Lakeview boys and Struthers girls should win district titles, however the runner to watch out for is Liberty's Jonathan Richmond.
As for Division I, which will be held at Malone College in Canton, the Howland and Warren G. Harding teams will race there.
The top five teams and top 20 advance to the regional in Boardman.
Both Howland boys and girls teams have shots to sneak into the top five, but the better odds are on Howland's Nathan Sutton and Morgan Buckley moving on in their respective boys and girls races.
Boardman's Mark Hadley, who is the best Division I runner in the area, should lead the Spartans back home for the regionals.