Weather: Sunny, near-freezing temperatures
Top Individuals: Geno Uhrbom (Greenway, 15:36), Cameron Stocke (Virginia, 16:18), Tyler Norgord (Grand Rapids, 16:45), Taran Howard (Deer River, 16:50), Garrett Beckrich (Grand Rapids, 17:02), Greg Peterson (Greenway, 17:03)
The Skinny: The returning conference champion and number one ranked individual in Class A of Geno Uhrbom is in the field. He won this meet by 59 seconds last year and it would be surprising if he did not defend his title. However, the field is a bit stronger this year with the emergence of Cameron Stocke, an eighth grader who is currently ranked sixth in Class A. Uhrbom has only lost one race this year, against Class AA competition where he still took second. Stocke will continue his breakout season, where he has finished every meet in the top three whereas last year he only cracked the top ten twice. Uhrbom's team from Greenway/Nasjwauk-Keewatin looks to come away with the win as well. Their competition from International Falls and Grand Rapids are projected to finish well behind them as Greenway has the front runner and the depth of their next four runners. And as of last week, they have their number-two runner Greg Peterson back after he had missed most of the season, which will be huge for them as they make the push on towards a potential State appearance.
The Skinny: Ava Hill headlines this field, coming in with the ranking of tenth in Class A. This is unsurprising as she has not finished lower than second at any of her races this season. She won this meet by over a minute last year, and looks to put on a similar show today. As the two time Class A state champion in the 800m and as high up as an eighth place finish in cross country, she has an impressive range that helps her to win the big races. Hill is also a very consistent runner and leads her team, Mesabi East, as they hunt down the team conference title. Mesabi East most recently defeated both Hibbing and Greenway, the two teams that are projected to be their biggest competition. Mesabi East has the advantage with three front runners that set the tone for their fourth and fifth runners. Hibbing is an interesting team to watch in the field as they have an incredibly small spread of only 29 seconds between their first through fifth runner's personal bests.