Getting Down & Dirty Early - Three Meets With State Matchups

PREVIEW

Rebels Northwoods Invitational (Cancelled)

(All Races Two Miles)

Location: Northwoods Park, Brooklyn Park

Weather: Upper 60s, likely wet, with a 70% chance of thunderstorms

BOYS

Virtual Meet Projection: Hopkins (19.5), Champlin Park (81), Rogers (84.5), Edina (84.5)

Top Individuals: Eli Hoeft (Hopkins, 15:52), Nikolai Schmanski (Hopkins, 16:45), Alek Wormuth (Hopkins, 16:51), Alexander Heidorn (Rogers, 17:01), Danny Kloeppner (Champlin Park, 17:11)

The Skinny: With Edina sitting out their top seven, both the team and individual titles for this two mile race seem likely to be swept by Hopkins. Eli Hoeft comes in with a 5K mark almost a minute ahead of the rest of the field and should grab the dub in this shorter race without much trouble. The real battles will be for second place: individually between Hoeft's teammates Nikolai Schmanski and Alek Wormouth, and in the team competition between Champlin Park, Rogers, and Edina, who fall within a lean 3.5 point spread. With eleven guys who've run under 17:30 for the 5K, the fight to round out the top ten individuals will be fierce as well. Count on the first race of the season to bring some new faces to the top...if the storms holds off.

GIRLS

Virtual Meet Projection: Edina (57), Hopkins (64), Shakopee (86), Monticello (86)

Top Individuals: Riviera Wock (Orono, 19:03), Jayda Becker (Shakopee, 19:06), Elise Yeager (Monticello, 19:15), Berit Schuveiller (Edina, 19:15), Gabrielle Witschen (Monticello, 19:40), Madeline Kelly (Providence Academy, 19:14 [2016])

The Skinny: Though the Edina girls are also holding off their top seven runners, by 5K projection their second team still holds a narrow lead over Hopkins. Shakopee and Monticello, led by Jayda Becker and Elise Yeager, respectively, fall to a dead heat not far behind. While it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Edina girls come up with the win, trust in the shorter race distance to shake things up. By 2-mile time, Witschen of Monticello holds the edge individually with an 11:22 on the track, followed by her teammate Yeager (11:27), though seven runners come in with faster 5K PRs. Additionally, Jayda Becker of Shakopee proved that she can perform at the beginning of the season by placing fourth at this same race last year against a full-strength Edina squad. Hopkins and Edina will aim to fill the rest of the spots in the top ten to secure their team finishes. And finally, keep an eye out for Madeline Kelly in her first XC race in almost two years.

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