Location: Winona Senior High School, Winona
Weather: Mid 50s, sunny, humid
The Skinny: Winona's 10th-ranked boys should take their home meet by storm, and win with a commanding 36 points. Colten Brand, Winona's frontrunner so far this year, has the fastest time out of any runner in the field so far this fall with his 16:21 at the St. Olaf Showcase. His 8th place finish among ranked competition at that race caught a lot of people's eye, and he'll definitely look to do that again on Saturday. Expect Drew Hastings of Belle Plaine and Axel Daood of Saint Charles to be right behind or with Brand early on, as they have both established big PRs already in this early season. Albert Lea will be another one of the top teams to watch, as although they are projected to be much behind Winona, they are projected to be far ahead of the rest of the teams in the field. Led by senior Vidal Moreno, they hold 4 of the top 20 runners in the field in terms of PRs this fall, and 5 of the top 22. Behind them in third should be Rochester Century, and Onalaska and Holmen will likely have a tight battle for 4th.
The Skinny: This meet will be very exciting on the girl's side, as ranked teams and individuals from both Minnesota and Wisconsin square off. Onalaska, the 2nd-ranked D1 girls in Wisconsin, are expected to take the win with 55 points. They are led by the Malecek triplets, Kora, Lydia, and Amailia, who are all projected to finish in the top 5, and the best hope of Minnesota being able to break up the trio if Winona's Anni Skillicorn (who has quietly been having an excellent season, after also having an excellent track season) and three-time top-ten finisher for Class A Kayla Christopherson. Belle Plaine is the 4th-ranked team in Class A, and they are projected to take the runner-up spot over several Class AA teams. Earlier in the week, they battled the mud at the Waconia Run Of The Lakes Invite where they took third, 32 points behind fellow-ranked team Howard Lake Waverly-Winsted, so they'll need a great run here if they don't want to lose a few places in the polls. They don't have a definite low stick, as their fastest girl Mckenna Hermann has the 10th fastest time in the field, but they have a solid 1-4 pack that could make big moves up through the field. Faribault, Rochester Century, and Winona are unranked, but could make big statements if they run well on Saturday.