Another Busy Tuesday - Staples, WCA, Loyola & Stewartville

PREVIEW


Weather: 65 and cloudy

BOYS

Virtual Meet Projection: Bemidji (40), Staples-Motley (63), East Grand Forks (84), International Falls (150)

Top Individuals: Emmet Anderson (Staples-Motley, 15:51), Cole Nowacki (East Grand Forks, 16:13), Tyson Mahar (East Grand Forks, 16:21), Christian Sterton (Ada-Borup, 16:31), Gage Mostad (Bemidji, 16:33)

The Skinny: The team from Bemidji is projected to win this huge meet, but the matchup between Staples-Motley and East Grand Forks is the storyline. Staples-Motley is ranked sixth in Class A and EGF comes in behind them at tenth. They will be up against the Class AA team from Bemidji whose top-five pack will be hard to beat, even among most Class AA competition - their top five runner's personal bests are only separated by 19 seconds. Staples-Motley does have the front-runner of Emmet Anderson who is coming into this meet with three wins this season and is fresh off of a personal best, running under 16 minutes for the first time. Anderson is currently ranked third in Class A and is ready to defend his title at this meet. Cole Nowacki will give him a strong challenge and hang with him as long as he can, as will his teammate Tyson Mahar. Both have seen vast improvements this season. And finally, keep an eye out for Ada-Borup/NWC's Christian Sterton, who is fresh off a stress fracture and just ran his first race of the season last week. It will be interesting to see how quickly he will knock off the rust and regain his All-State form.

GIRLS

Virtual Meet Projection: Bemidji (81), Staples-Motley (99), East Grand Forks (113), United North Central (Sebeka/Menahga) (134)

Top Individuals: Kira Sweeney (Staples-Motley, 19:23), Lily Peterson (Hawley, 19:28), Jerzie Finstad (Thief River Falls, 19:33), Annika Aho (Menahga, 19:51), Kayla Dewitt (Bemidji, 19:52), Megan Danielson (Frazee, 19:56)

The Skinny: A similar story will play out in the girls race with Bemidji being challenged by a Class A team of Staples-Motley. Staples-Motley has an excellent group of four runners, and their fifth runner has already steadily improved and cut their 1-5 gap, but she'll need a great race to catch Bemidji. East Grand Forks will also be in the mix, as (like their boys) each race seems to have gone better than their last. Staples-Motley will be led by the great runner of Kira Sweeney who was the seventh place finisher at the 2016 state meet for Class A, then took 18th last fall. She did not qualify for the State Meet in track this past season, but she is also off one of her strongest early-season races in years, taking the win at New London-Spicer in 19:32 last week. At this meet last year, she finished behind Jerzie Finstad and Lily Peterson (who, if she has recovered from a broken leg suffered over the summer, will be running for Hawley instead of Lake Park-Audubon), so a win here would be something of a revenge.

(written by Emma Benner)
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