(All Races 3200m)
Location: Bassett Creek Park, Crystal, MN
Weather: High 60s, sunny, moderately windy
The Skinny: In lieu of a Mounds View-Minneapolis Washburn rematch, MV will only be running their Junior Varsity at this meet. This not only leaves Washburn in a dominant position to win the race, it also means this will essentially be the Caleb Haugland show. He made a big statement at the St. Olaf Showcase beating other highly ranked athletes by almost 10 seconds, with a stellar time on the State Meet course. The fourth-ranked phenom is no stranger to running alone on this course - last year he traversed the 3200m distance in 10:10, leaving the rest of the field more than 40 seconds behind. That solo effort almost earned him the fastest time at the meet, but he was narrowly beaten by now University of Minnesota runner Declan Dahlberg. It wouldn't be unheard of to expect Haugland to chase down the sub-10 minute barrier, and continue to climb the state rankings. Mankato East is projected to take a solid 2nd place finish, with frontrunner Jett Oachs in among the top other competitors. Rounding up the podium should be Mounds Views junior varsity crew (projections done after taking out their top 7).
The Skinny: Two words. Emily. Covert. She puts on an incredible show every time she's puts on the spikes. At the beginning of the season, Milesplit US ranked her fifth in the entire United States (which I think is an understatement). She placed top 10 at Foot Locker Nationals and annihilated the MN 3200m record last year, and has only backed it up this fall. Her time of 17:07 on the St. Olaf state meet course was 23 seconds faster than her state winning race last fall. At the Ron Kretsch Invitational in 2017, she won the junior race by over a minute in 11:10, a time that would be phenomenal for that distance on a track. Her teammates Grace Dickel and Chole Garcia-Chafing will look to show up as well and help put their team on the map again. Visitation is also projected to put 3 girls in the top 12, so that should be interesting to keep tabs on in regards to how the team results stack up.