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


Weather: Low 70's, mostly sunny, calm


Virtual Meet Projection: Edina (55), Buffalo (86), Willmar (119), Eden Prairie (123)

Top Individuals: Nick Scheller (Chanhassen, 15:20), Isaac Basten (Buffalo, 15:36), Max Manley (Edina, 15:42), Torin Christianson (Chanhassen, 15:49), Eli Hoeft (15:52), Hudeife Mire (Willmar, 15:57), Jake Derouin (Eden Prairie, 16:01),

The Skinny: The Baumann/Rovn Invitational has historically been a stellar early season meet, where top athletes break in the notorious Gale Woods Farm course for the first time of the year. In 2016, Seth Eliason and Matt Wilkinson put on a phenomenal show that was covered nationally. This year we might see the same, with six ranked runners in AA, Max Manley (1st), Nick Scheller (6th), Isaac Basten (7th), Jake Derouin (8th), Eli Hoeft (9th) and Torin Christianson (12th) toeing the line to start the race. Basten was the 2017 champion over Scheller by 8 seconds, but this year it could be anybody's race. On the team side, Edina's crew is the favorite to take the win, with their scoring 5 all projected to come in the top 16 (rumor is that Willem Gokemeijer will not be racing). An incredibly narrow margin separates Willmar and EP for 3rd (although Willmar did finish a disappointing distant second in their season debut), and we may see a 6th runner coming into play like we did with Wayzata and Stillwater at Marshfield. For these teams that means Weston Hansen and Alex Guiterrez (6th runners for each team, respectively, based on PR) will need to race well.


Virtual Meet Projection: Edina (36), Willmar (55), Marshall (107), Eden Prairie (136), Lakeville South (141)

Top Individuals: Brianne Brewster (Lakeville South, 17:39), Heidi Schmitz (Willmar, 17:56), Liesl Paulsen (Eden Prairie, 18:05), Maria Rickman (Edina, 18:14), Meghan Pierson (Chanhassen, 18:21), Macy Iyer (Edina 18:22), Morgan Richter (Edina, 18:31), Sadie Schreiner (Edina, 18:40).

The Skinny: Brianne Brewster, Liesl Paulson, and Heidi Schmitz square up again in what hopes to be a thrilling follow-up to last year's race. In 2017, Paulson took the win in 18:46 with Brewster coming in second and Schmitz in third. At the end of last season Brewster came out with the fastest PR and is consequently projected to win the race, but as we all know Gale Woods is a much more grueling and unforgiving course than that of Nike Heartland where each runner ran their season best last year. This should allow several girls to be in contention for the win once again. Maria Rickman and her 2nd-ranked Edina girls look to take the win with all 5 of their top runners projected to come in the top 10. Section 2AA competetors Willmar and Marshall will get a good look at each other today too was the projected 2nd and third teams (last year, Marshall held Willmar off and beat them, though Willmar reversed that results at Sections). Eden Prairie and Lakeville South are built similarly- one heavy low stick and a tight 2 through 5 pack, so the race for the whole top five could be very revealing.

(written by Adam Wilkinson)