Tuesday Meets In Austin, Cottonwood, Mankato, And St. Peter

Weather: Scattered thunderstorms, low 70s, high humidity


Virtual Meet Projection: Austin (40), Albert Lea (47), Owatonna (76), Rochester Century (98)

Top Individuals: Henry Hinchcliffe (Austin, 15:57), Vidal Moreno (Albert Lea, 16:20), Caedon Mccartney (Owatonna, 16:25), Brockdon Lawhead (Austin, 16:35)

The Skinny: At this meet a year ago, Austin and Albert Lea tied for fourth with 105 points. This year the story will be different as they will be the top two teams trying to grab the title. While the virtual meet makes the competition seem deceptively close (each of Albert Lea's varsity runners ran significant season best times at a potentially suspect-length Ev Berg Invite course), it will be interesting to see how Albert Lea matches up with their conference competition. Albert Lea, Austin, Faribault, Owatonna, Rochester Century and Rochester John Marshall will all square off as Big 9 conference rivals for the first time this season. Austin and Albert Lea will be able to showcase their improvements from last year's conference meet where they finished seventh and eleventh, respectively. Henry Hinchcliffe finished second at the Big 9 Cross Country Conference Championships last year and a win at today's race would be a great start to his season.


Virtual Meet Projection: Rochester Century (51), Austin (76), Owatonna (77), Faribault (84)

Top Individuals: Helen Li (Rochester Century, 18:36), Delilah Baedke (Owatonna, 18:50), Abigail Lewis (Austin, 18:57), Ruby Gernandt (Faribault, 19:24)

The Skinny: Big 9 conference rivals Helen Li (who is now absent of her graduated running partner Aly Welch) and Abigail Lewis will face off for the first time this season. They are not new to racing each other as they are the top two returners from last year's Cross Country Conference Championships. They finished second and third respectively and should be challenging each other for the win this year at both the Big 9 Conference meet and at today's meet. As those two match up for the individual title, their respective teams will also be the two hoping to be crowned victorious. If Austin has a fifth runner that closes the gap between their fourth and fifth runner, it could prove to be a close finish for the top two teams.

(written by Emma Benner)