Cambridge Norm Ayen Bluejacket Invitational
Location: Isanti Middle School, Isanti
Weather: 75 and partly cloudy
Virtual Meet Projection: Forest Lake (44), Centennial (56), Mora (86)
Top Individuals: Charlie Babcock (Forest Lake, 15:47), Cooper Lennox (Mora, 16:16), Tyler Anderson (Blaine, 16:18), Nicholas Jacobson (Blaine, 16:36), Max Carlson (Forest Lake, 16:38), Thomas Marrah (Centennial, 16:43)
The Skinny: Mora will bring the intensity to this meet after losing to Saint Cloud Cathedral by one point at the Milaca Early Bird Meet which bumped them down two spots in the Class A rankings (now ranked eleventh). A positive to take from that performance was that they placed three runners in the top ten which no other team was capable of on that day. It will be another very close race today on the team side of things but it looks like the main players will be Forest Lake and Centennial. Mora has the disadvantage against these big schools even though they are always finding themselves near the top of the Class A ranks. Cooper Lennox of Mora was also in a tight finish at the aforementioned race where he ended victorious, edging unranked runner Cedric Lefave from Hinkley-Finlayson by 0.80 seconds. Lennox finished with two eighth place finishes in state meets last year (cross country and 1600m) but looks to jump up in the placements as he is currently ranked fourth in Class A. Lennox will be challenged today by Charlie Babcock, a strong runner himself, who now has the All-State accolades to his name after his 24th place finish in Class AA last year. He will not let Lennox take an easy win today.
Virtual Meet Projections: Forest Lake (24), Andover (44), Centennial (77)
Top Individuals: Regan Duffy (Forest Lake, 18:43), Ava Wilson (Forest Lake, 18:48), Amelea Hauer (Forest Lake, 18:58), Gracie Stoks (Centennial, 19:02), Alyssa Gerth (Andover, 19:03), Alexa Havon (Andover, 19:12)
The Skinny: Forest Lake and Andover will be the two teams competing for the team title today. They are section 7AA rivals and will be two of the top teams vying for a state championship appearance. Forest Lake looks like they will have the edge due to being ranked fourth in Class A ahead of Andover's honorable mention position in the rankings. However, neither team shows clear dominance especially since the team from Andover is fresh off of a perfect scoring win at the Anoka ABC Early Bird Invite. Centennial is a team that has had recent success returns many of the runners from their State-qualifying team two years ago (last year they were third in their section), so they could mix it up in there too, but they likley won't be higher than third. Individually, the trio from Forest Lake of Regan Duffy, Ava Wilson, and Amelea Hauer have the field beat on paper but Alyssa Gerth and Alexa Havon from Andover will be challenging them after they pulled off an impressive one-two finish at the Anoka Early Bird Invite. The individual race has no clear cut frontrunner, so it will be a fun one to watch as it shakes up the team results as well.
(written by Emma Benner)