PREVIEW: Fairmont Early Bird

Today, Fairmont High School will host their Early Bird Invitational, which will be the first race of the season for them, and the 12 other schools that will be participating in this race. Beginning at 9:30 AM, this meet is unique in the fact that all the JV and Varsity races are 4k instead of 5k. But with heavy winds, and rain in the forecast throughout the day, these teams may have a challenge to deal with.

The boys' frontrunner in this race is Waterville's Kaden Cameron, who holds a strong 16:41 5k PR. Saint James' Lucas Pierson isn't too far behind with a sub-17 PR of 16:59, while Grant Strukel of Blue Earth, just a sophomore, carries a 17:01 PR. The individual competition should be tightly contested, where in the team race, it shouldn't be quite as close. Saint James is the clear favorite in a virtual meet using 5k PR's, as they win with just 57 points, 22 more than the next team, Fairmont. But of course, there are no  guarantees, as you never know the training that these runners did in the summer, or any newcomers that they are bringing onto their team.

In the girls race, spectators will have the pleasure of seeing two of the best teams in Class A, with Fairmont and Stewartville being  ranked 3rd and 4th, respectively. These teams are clearly the two frontrunners in the competition, and it'll be a very tight race between the two. In the virtual meet, Fairmont has the edge by a slight margin of 4 points, so it could really go either way on Friday. As for the individual competition, Kailee Malone was an All-State runner last season, and she is currently ranked 11th in Class A. However, her teammate, Abby Orvis, actually has a faster PR by 3 seconds, (19:12) so it will be interesting to see which one of them will pull through on top.