Oh My! Hornets And Tigers And White Bears At The Applejack


Wrapping up an exciting week in Minnesota cross country, the Lakeville North Panthers will be hosting their Applejack Invitational this morning. The race is set to take place at Aronson Park in Lakeville, with the course beginning with two small loops around baseball diamonds, before winding around the rest of the park all the way to the finish. It is a fairly flat course, and strong times in previous editions of this meet seem to back that up. The girls race will be particularly exciting, multiple talented individuals have a good chance to break the meet record. The boys race is wide open for the taking, as Matt Wilkinson, who led his Minnetonka squad to the win here in 2016 and is now running very well for Carleton College, graduated in the spring. After a brutal week of high temperatures and humidity, things look slightly better for Saturday. It's projected to be in the low 70s and cloudy, though with humidity set to be in the mid 80s, the conditions look to be far from pleasant. Regardless, with 18 total teams and several ranked squads and individuals, it should be one of the top races to watch this season.

Start Time

Event

Distance

limits runners/ team

  9:30 AM

Coaches Meeting -near finish line /timing area

10:00 AM

Girls C  Race

3200 meters

No limit

10:30 AM

Boys C Race

3200 meters

No limit

11:00 AM

Middle School Girls Race

  1600 meters

gr. 3-8th

11:10 AM

Middle School Boys Race

1600 meters

gr. 3-8th

11:20 AM

Girls Junior Varsity Race

5,000 meters

No limit

12:00 PM

Boys Varsity Race

5,000 meters

Up to 10 

12:30 PM

Girls Varsity Race

5,000 meters

Up to 10

1:00 PM

Boys Junior Varsity Race

5,000 meters

No limit

1:40 PM

Kids' Fun Run   

approx 600 m

No Limit

2:00 PM

Awards

 South side of  Main Pavilion


The boys individual battle appears to open for the taking. However, two athletes stand out from the field: Trenton Allen of Eagan and Tom Breuckman of Andover. Allen took 13th at State last season, and has looked solid so far, including a win at last week's Dewey Minnaert Invitational and taking 4th in the stacked Irish Invitational. Breuckman has made huge strides from last year, including a PR in his first meet and an upset of Ben Olson at the Blaine Invitational. Behind them, Woodbury's duo of Grant Wittman and Peter Mischalowicz have impressed in 2017. Not to be outdone, St. Paul Central's 1-2 punch of Mickies Kiros and Michael Smith have also been extremely consistent, each with multiple sub 17:00 efforts this year. White Bear Lake's Ben Vanderbosch looked strong in his 4th place performance at the St. Olaf High School Showcase, as did Noah Revels of Farmington when he took 4th at the Faribault Invitational. However, the runner who beat Revels en route to a victory in that race is Bloomington Kennedy's Lloyd Young, who could very well win this race. There should be plenty of company up front, but the team competition might be even more tantalizing. 8th-ranked White Bear Lake is projected to win the virtual meet with 77 points, over St. Paul Central's 97 and Woodbury's 123. That being said, at the Minnaert Invitational last week, Central and Woodbury actually tied with 87 points. There's barely anything separating the two, creating an intriguing battle for second, or maybe even the win. Both of these squads have the tools to upset White Bear Lake, and doing so could propel them onto the rankings.

Last year, Farmington's Anna Fenske was just 3 seconds away from breaking Tess Misgen's meet record. With such a talented field this year, it's actually probably likely that the record gets taken down. 2016 Class AA State champion Fenske headlines the competition, but she's been defeated in back to back races, so we could see an upset. Of course, it's still hard to bet against Fenske and her 17:00.40 PR. Her teammate and 2017 State runner-up Lauren Peterson had an amazing 2016-2017, but hasn't appeared to be in the same shape this fall. She'll look to regain her form at Applejack. Emily Kompelien and Maria Rickman, both of Edina, are ranked 4th and 8th in the state, respectively. They've both impressed so far, with sub-19 efforts at the Spartan Invitational, their first 5k of the season. Lakeville South's Brianne Brewster has also brought plenty of attention to herself after stellar performances at St. Olaf and the Bauman/Rovn Invitational, shooting onto the radar. Brewster is currently ranked 10th in the state. Don't forget to keep an eye on for Elena Hayday, who won the Luther All-American Invitational in a new PR of 18:46. That race was shockingly the first time that she's broken 20 minutes in a 5k, so who knows where Hayday will be at come championship season. Lastly, Visitation's Margaret Dalseth is fresh off a win at the Private School Championships, but it'll be interesting to see how she does on such short turnaround. On the team side, the top-ranked Edina girls squad is projected to take the win with 56 points. With Morgan Richter still out, their predicted cushion between them and 2nd place Lakeville South is only 15 points. That could be potentially be a very close matchup, though Visitation, Shakopee, and Farmington could also be in the mix.



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