Getting Down & Dirty Early - Three Meets With State Matchups

PREVIEW

Saint Paul Central Open (Cancelled)

Location: St. Catherine University, St. Paul

Weather: 67 with a 50% chance of thunderstorms and 90% humidity

BOYS

Virtual Meet Projection: Buffalo (42 points), Saint Paul Central (53 points), Chanhassen (82 points)

Top Individuals: Nick Scheller (Chanhassen, 15:20) Isaac Basten (Buffalo, 15:35), Torin Christianson (Chanhassen, 15:49), Mickies Kiros (St. Paul Central, 16:13), Kalid Ali (St. Paul Central, 16:21), Zach Long (16:39)

The Skinny: Once a relatively quiet meet, the boys race at the Central Open will feature some of the top athletes in the state. Nick Scheller and Torin Christianson of Chanhassen are currently ranked 4th and 10th in Class AA, while Isaac Basten of Buffalo is ranked 5th. These three should contend for the win, but don't sleep on Central's young duo of Mickies Kiros and Kalid Ali. Zach Long, who usually is attached to Scheller at the hip in races, missed most of last cross country season (plus most of the following track season). This makes his debut especially of interest. And unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts with a camp, #2 ranked Acer Iverson and the Roseville boys will not be attending as they have in the past. On the team side, Buffalo and St. Paul Central are currently ranked 6th and 9th, creating an exciting battle. Both return most of their varsity and have very strong squads on paper. The unranked Chanhassen Storm could also be a factor, especially if their big three perform to expectations.

GIRLS

Virtual Meet Projection: Roseville (66 points), Lakeville South (67 points), Centennial (101 points)

Top Individuals: Brianne Brewster (Lakeville South, 17:39), Meghan Pierson (Chanhassen, 18:21), Bergen Haag (Roseville, 18:38), Miranda Gilbertson (Chanhassen, 18:46), Sophia Rabins (St. Paul Central, 18:53), Amanda Kelly (South St. Paul, 18:57)

The Skinny: Individually, 7th ranked Brianne  Brewster of Lakeville South appears to be on another level in this field, and should cruise to the win by a large margin. Chanhassen's duo of Miranda Gilbertson and Meghan Pierson should be leading the chase pack, as should Bergen Haag of Roseville. Before an ankle injury derailed Haag's 2017 campaign, she had worked her way onto the Class AA rankings, so keep an eye out for her to do the same in 2018. On the team side, the Lakeville South girls are currently ranked 11th in the state, but lose to the unranked Raiders in the virtual meet by just a point. This shows potential for an extremely close matchup, especially with the 3rd-6th team (Centennial, St. Paul Central, South St. Paul, and Chanhassen) within 33 points of one another.

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