Stars Out To Shine On Today's Big Day Of Racing

Weather: 70 degrees, humid, light wind


Virtual Meet Projections: Worthington (32), Redwood Valley (78.5), Murray County Central (110)

Top Individuals: Adam Koller (Worthington, 16:14), Andrew Huber (Worthington, 17:01), Mitchell Buerkle (Springfield/Cedar Mountain, 17:14), Christian Lietz (Worthington, 17:19), Justin Clarke (Murray County Central, 17:24), Jayson Peyerl (Redwood Valley, 17:33)

The Skinny: Worthington is the lone Class AA school in this 18-team field, and while at the moment it appears to be a challenge for them to qualify for State out of Section 2AA, they do enter the year returning five runners under 18 minutes (each of whom project to be in the top 14 of this meet) and have a solid team win under their belt already at the Mountain Lake Invitational. While Redwood Valley has a competitive team, a few things would need to go wrong in order for Worthington not to take the win. Also, a few things would likely need to go wrong for Adam Koller (who opened his season in 16:44 last week) not to take the individual win. He owns the best PR in the field by 46 seconds, and he's a full minute ahead of anyone who is not his teammate. If he elects to run a more strategic race, perhaps to help pace and drag along his teammates, I could see someone else taking the win. But I doubt it.


Virtual Meet Projections: Canby/Minneota (58), Pipestone (133), Southwest Minnesota Christian (136)

Top Individuals: Morgan Gehl (MCC, 18:17), Grace Drietz (C/M, 19:20), Mckenzie Ruether (C/M, 20:19), Lauren Karnitz (Redwood Valley, 20:30), Catherine Buffie (Redwood Valley, 20:31)

The Skinny: Morgan Gehl faced a real challenge in her fiest meet of the season, matching up early against Tenley Nelson and Makenna Thurston. Here, she won't have nearly that level of competition, although Grace Drietz is no slouch (she is, in fact, already a four-time All-State runner between XC and track as just a freshman). Those two athletes were first and second at this same race last year. Those two athletes are also only ones that have run under 20 minutes, and considering the quality of times run here in previous years, that doesn't look like it is going to change today. On the team side of things, Canby/Minneota is projected to put 5 in the top 27, each of whom have run 22:09 or better, making them one of the better Class A teams out there and a contender for State out of Section 3A. They shoudl easily come away with the team title. 

(written by Mark Rice)