Getting Down & Dirty Early - Three Meets With State Matchups

PREVIEW

Weather: High 60's, Chance of Thunderstorms 60%

BOYS

Virtual Meet Projection: Saint James (37 points), LeSueur-Henderson (83 points), Fairmont (85 points)

Top Individuals: Lane Schwarz (LSH, 16:41), Grant Strukel (BEA, 16:49), Bailey More (Saint Peter, 16:51), Seth Pierson (Saint James, 17:02), Troy Parulski (Saint James, 17:03)

The Skinny: Last year, Saint James steadily climbed up the rankings and surprised people until they eventually settled into a runner-up finish at the State Championships. Nearly their whole team has returned, and we'll get our first look at them in this meet. Projected to win the meet pretty handily thanks to their tight spread and frontrunning duo of Troy Parulski and Seth Pierson, we'll also get a chance to see if someone on Saint James' team can step up to fill the void left by the graduated Lukas Pierson (and they will get a great chance with having to compete against All-State-caliber runners Lane Schwarz, Grant Strukel, and Bailey More). The battle gets very tight after that with LeSueur-Henderson and Fairmont vying for second, and perhaps to see if either of them could work towards a State-qualifying run out of Section 2A.

GIRLS

Virtual Meet Projection: LeSueur-Henderson (55 points), Fairmont (63 points), Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial/Nicollet (69 points)

Top Individuals: Makenna Thurston (LCWM/N, 18:54), Isabelle Lind (Saint Peter, 19:14), Laura Thompson (Fairmont, 19:17), Sarah Krumholz (Fairmont, 19:25), Victoria Flores (LSH, 19:46)

The Skinny: The 12th-ranked Fairmont girls, with a semi-depleted roster after graduating three from their 5th-place team in 2017, will have a tough battle right away at the hands of the unranked (at the moment) LeSueur-Henderson and LCWM/N squads. Our virtual meet puts LSH on top by virtue of placing their top five girls in the top 17, each of whom have run under 22 minutes, but that score may possibly be inflated by the quick times of LSH's home invitational last season. LCWM/N is naturally led by the 6th-ranked All-State runner Makenna Thurston in the first race of her senior year, but to win the meet, they'll need to depend on the rest of their lineup to close the 3-plus minute 1-5 spread. This race could also be a good opportunity for Isabelle Lind to hang with the All-Staters around her to try to work her way up to an All-State spot herself after finishing 33rd at last year's state meet (and 17th in the 3200m during track)

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