PREVIEW: Milaca Early Bird

Today at 10:00 AM, the Milaca Early Bird will take place at Stones Throw Golf Club. This is one of the two meets that Milaca hosts, as they host the huge Milaca Mega Meet later on this season. Twelve teams will be competing, so there will be plenty of competition for these runners as they kick off their season. The weather is looking like it'll be in the mid 60s, with a slight breeze and partial clouds, so the runners will have a great chance to run a solid time early in the season, especially on a course like Stones Throw, that is fairly flat, and capable of producing some fast times.

In the guys' team race, Little Falls will be a team to watch out for. In a virtual meet using 5k PR's, Little Falls wins with 39 points, in convincing fashion over Mora. Last season, Mora won easily with just 23 points, but losing such a good portion of their varsity from last season will hurt them significantly and make it difficult if they want to win this meet. However, they are three-time defending State Champions, so they deserve major respect and you can never count them out. Little Falls will be led by Hunter Zupko, who will be the favorite in the guys individual race with a 16:23 5k PR. As no other runner in the field has broken 17, it would be a surprise to see him go down. Other runners to watch in this race, who have came very close to breaking 17, and are going off of great Track seasons are Mora's Zach Garza and Cooper Lennox (who is just a sophomore), as well as Big Lake's Matthew Trutna and Pierz's Jake Andres.

For the ladies team race,  Mora enters as a solid favorite over their rivals and meet hosts from Milaca. Our virtual meet projections has Mora scoring 24 points by taking five of the top eight spots. Milaca comes out well too, taking four of the top ten and scoring 48 points. Mora's effort will be led in the front by sophomore Johanna Schwinghammer, the sister of Mora's terrific twins Michael and John who graduated last spring.  She is the individual favorite with a 20:20 PR, and is coming off an 800 performance of 2:18 last track season. But you also need to keep an eye out for the 9th grader from Milaca, Brittany Hansen, as she had a solid track season (5:41 1600, 12:15 3200) as an 8th grader. Other athletes who could makes waves are Milaca's Jerica Ploeger and Mora's freshman duo of Morgan Mann and Peyton Oslin.