What we've all been waiting for is finally here: it's time for competition to kick off in cross country's opening weekend!
This Thursday (August 24), Duluth East will be hosting the Greyhound Invitational. The race takes place at Lester Park, a picturesque setting along Amity Creek and Lester River. Most of the competition comes from the Lake Superior area (Duluth Denfeld, Hibbing, Lakeview Christian Academy, South Ridge, and Northwestern from Maple, WI), all except visitors from Farmington. The south metro school will likely bring the strongest performances to the course come race day. It's set to be a gorgeous day for a race, with the temperature predicted to be right around 60ºF and Sunny at the first gun, though potentially with somewhat high humidity.
In the individual battle, both the boys and girls races appear to have exciting matchups. On the boys side, there are two athletes who broke 17 minutes over 5k last fall: Farmington sophomore Noah Revels, and Northwestern senior Donny Pooler. Their PRs are separated by less than a second, as Revels ran 16:34.80 a season ago, while Pooler clocked a 16:35.50. Expect to see these two athletes duking it out at the front, with the possibility of a very tight finish.
As for the girls, this could be the first opportunity to witness Farmington's Anna Fenske and Lauren Peterson race. Fenske and Peterson took the top two spots at State a year ago, and are again ranked 1-2 in the coach's poll. They should pull away from the gun, as no other runner in the field has broken 19 minutes, let alone 18. However, Molly Weberg of Duluth East has qualified for state each of the last three years, so she could also impress.
On the team side, Farmington seems to have the upper hand. In a virtual meet using last year's season bests, Farmington projects to emerge victorious in the girls race, scoring 23 points, ahead of Duluth East's 41. The Farmington boys squad appears to have a larger cushion, with a projection of 21 points, edging Northwestern's 62.