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

Weather: Mid 60s, partly cloudy, little to no wind


Virtual Meet Projection: Saint Cloud Cathedral (79 points), Melrose (91 points), Holdingford (106.5)

Top Individuals: Michael Miller (Maple Lake, 16:50), Jake Andres (Pierz, 16:54), Noah Stewart (Morris, 16:57), Christopher Borash (Royalton, 17:09), Elijah Weiss (Albany, 17:14)

The Skinny: It will be exciting to see Michael Miller's second race of the year, as he's already shown great improvement on the grass. After breaking 10:00 in the 3200m last spring, Miller opened his season strong with his first sub-17:00 time ever. He should be favored to follow that performance up with a win. Jake Andres and Noah Stewart have both also gone under 17:00, with Stewart's occurring already this season. Stewart also had a solid track campaign, dropping his 3200m PR by over 20 seconds en route to a time of 10:16. On the team side, it appears that depth will be the biggest difference, as St. Cloud Cathedral's stellar 31.90 second 1-5 split puts them over the edge in the virtual meet, despite them not having a true low stick. Through three runners, Melrose leads Cathedral, but the 4th and 5th pull Cathedral ahead on paper. Keep an eye out for the gap between the 3rd and 5th runner for Melrose,  as it could decide the team battle.


Virtual Meet Projection: Maple Lake (44 points), Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball (56 points), Albany (71.5 points)

Top Individuals:  Kristine Kalthoff (Albany, 19:35), Augustus Demarais (Maple Lake, 19:59), Sophie Pribyl (Maple Lake, 20:01), Mary Miller (Maple Lake, 20:03), Grace Rieland (Albany, 20:15)

The Skinny: In the girls race, various State contenders will compete. Kristine Kalthoff has been an All-State performer in each of the last two years, and will likely repeat that after a breakout track season saw her drop an 11:34 and finish on the podium at State. Augustus Demarais was 41st at State a year ago, and had a solid season opener last Friday. She should be Kalthoff's top competition individually. Demarais will also have a stake in the team battle, as her Maple Lake squad currently sits at 7th in the coach's ranking. Their biggest competition will be previously-ranked Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball girls, though the 12 points that separate them from Maple Lake are somewhat deceiving. At the Maple Lake Invitational earlier this year, the home team beat EVWK by 54 points, indicating that they should win a bit more comfortably than the virtual meet suggests. Both teams had fairly large 1-5 splits (2:42 for Maple Lake, 3:43 for EVWK), which will have to drop if they wish to place as well at State as their rankings.

(written by Sam O'Donnell-Hoff)