What To Look Forward To At The State Championships


BOYS CLASS AA

Seaon Best Projection: Wayzata (31 Points), White Bear Lake (90), Stillwater (119), Edina (122)

Season Average Projection: Wayzata (36 points), Stillwater (78), Edina (107), White Bear Lake (115)

Top Individuals: Acer Iverson (Roseville, 15:31), Khalid Hussein (Wayzata, 15:37), Luke Labatte (Rosemount, 15:38), Grant Price (Wayzata, 15:45), Addison Stansbury (Stillwater, 15:50), Adam Wilkinson (Minnetonka, 15:50), Max Manley (Edina, 15:51), Tom Breuckman (Andover, 15:52), Joseph Minor (Minneapolis Washburn, 15:54), Mac Karrick (Minnetonka, 15:55), Myles Fleming (Henry Sibley, 15:57), Ben Olson (Blaine, 15:58), Isaac Basten (Buffalo, 16:02)

The Skinny: One of the most exciting stories of this year's AA Boys' State Meet is the White Bear Lake team. Seeming to improve at will as the season went on, they exploded at the Section 4AA Championships to handily defeat powerhouse Stillwater with a score of 28 points. Led by Mike Rohlinger and Ben Vanderbosch, their 1-5 split is only 13.5 seconds, and they come in with an average team 5k time of 16:06. When your first two runners are right at 16:00, and your average is 16:06, you know the team's 3-5 boys will be close behind. However, without question, Wayzata is well-prepped to dominate. Ranked fourth as a team in the Flo50, Wayzata looks to score in the low 30-point range, and take the State title going away. Their 5k average coming into this meet is 15:52, and they seem to be one of the most consistent teams at this meet. Even with the question marks around Grant Price running (while the individual battles may look different), Wayzata has more than enough depth to still be the champions even without him. If he races, expect him to be in the top 10 or at least with the rest of the Wayzata pack (including Blake Buysse, Grant Matthews, Mitchell Tolander, Andrew Brandt, and Anders Sonnesyn - all within 11 seconds of each other). Stillwater Area High School and Edina High School look to be in a tight battle for the third place spot. With their 5k averages being .10 seconds apart, look for an epic dogfight for the last podium spot. Rosemount and Mounds View will both be in contention for that 5th and 6th spot at the coveted state meet.

Looking into the individual side, the top 3 look to be in a league of their own. Although Acer Iverson of Roseville has a faster season best that Khalid Hussein, on paper Hussein seems to have the experience and the PR's more so than anyone else, so the senior appears to be the overall favorite. Look for a tight battle between Iverson and Luke Labatte of Rosemount, much like the ultra-close finish at the Irish Initational early in the season. Addison Stansbury also seems to be having the season of his life. Look for him to possibly upset a few of the names above him. In addition, Max Manley of Edina beat Adam Wilkinson of Minnetonka at their section meet by a big 10 second margin and 5 individual places. It seems crazy to imagine that Wilkinson can finish 7th in his section meet and proceed to finish 7th at the State meet, but crazier things have happened. With the correct determination and motivation, anyone could have an "on" day and have the race of their lives. Lastly, look for a couple of the Wayzata pack to be poking their noses in the top 10, as they will be nipping at the heels of that 15:50 group of runners.

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