Virtual Meet Results: Staples-Motley High School (69), Greenway High School (108), Lake City High School (169), North Shore (267), Proctor High School (273), Saint Cloud Cathedral High School (275), Mora High School (290)
Top Individuals: Emmet Anderson (Staples-Motley, 15:09.4), Hunter Klimek (Staples-Motley, 15:29.9), Geno Uhrbom (Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin, 15:38), Cooper Lennox (Mora, 15:50.9), Cameron Stocke (Virginia, 16:05.8), Shef West (Blake, 16:25), Isaac Swanson (North Shore, 16:35.8)
The Skinny: Junior Emmet Anderson and senior Hunter Klimek give Staples-Motley arguably the best 1-2 in the state (and certainly in Class A), making them the strong favorite in D3. The Cardinals potential to place five in the top 30 is also something few teams will have the ability to match, though they did finish runner up as a team to West Central at Pierz on Monday. Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin will have a quality top four but they could lose 15 or more points in the fifth spot without a powerful second runner to keep pace with junior Geno Urhbom. North Shore could also figure in the top four teams with a group of three that is among 13 individuals entering Saturday with a PR under 17 minutes, but it is a big jump in scoring back to their final two scoring runners. Lake City has the tightest split in their PR numbers and look to be another team with an outside shot at challenging for the team win.
Emmet Anderson, Hunter Klimek and Geno Uhrbom, round two, will also include several of the top individuals in Class A this time around after the trio battled last week at the Lucky Lindy Invite. Mora senior Cooper Lennox has a PR under 16 minutes but has struggled to put together early season form thus far. Virginia freshman Cameron Stocke has a PR of 16:05 and could use the competitive field to produce a big race and perhaps even drop below 16 minutes for the first time. Blake sophomore Shef West saw good improvement in track last spring and looks geared up to challenge himself against the state's best in cross country setting a PB at the Minnesota Private School Championship last Friday in 16:25.
Virtual Meet Results: Perham High School (50), Staples-Motley High School (92), Lake City High School (134), Fairmont High School (227), Blake School (228.5), North Shore (248), Waterville-Elysian-Morristown High School (249)
Top Individuals: Natasha Sortland (Zumbrota-Mazeppa/Kenyon-Wanmingo, 18:44.9), Kyanna Burton (Staples-Motley, 19:01.7), Liz Birkeland (Perham, 19:14.1), Aspen Rohde (Perham, 19:15.9), Laura Thompson (Fairmont, 19:19.3), Aften Robinson (Staples-Motley, 19:30.9), Calia Chaney (Pequot Lakes, 19:36.2), Jacey Majerus (Lake City, 19:46.1), Kaitlyn Carlson (St Croix Central, 20:00.9), Mya Morris (Perham, 20:13.1), Macy Hanson (Fairmont, 20:16.7)
The Skinny: Many intriguing storylines will unfold in the girls D3 race with many of the state's best Class A schools and individuals racing head to head for what may be a preview of state meet action. Coaches class A no. 2 Perham has a scoring edge in our projections over no. 1 top ranked Staples-Motley based on PR data but it is a toss up going off of the numbers from this season. Perham freshman Liz Birkeland has a PR among the best in the race but has not yet been within a minute of that form yet this season, and the Yellowjackets lead in our virtual meet is based on her top results. Staples-Motley no. 1, eighth grader Kyanna Burton set her PR of 19:01.7 this season and followed it up with a 19:17.5 in the next race. Both teams are strong but Perham's fifth runner has potential for a top 15 finish which would make them very difficult to beat in a race of this size. Lake City will be led by freshman Jacey Majerus, who has a PR under 19 minutes and won her home Invite on Tuesday with in 19:46.1. If she can hold her own among the top runners in the race and Lake City can close down their near two minute split, they have the quality to be among the top teams in the D3 race.
Zumbrota-Mazeppa/Kenyon-Wanimingo freshman Natasha Sortland has the fastest PR in the field at 18:30.5 and was runner-up at the St Olaf Showcase in 18:44.9 before following up with a dominant win at Hayfield in 18:45.4. As of Saturday no one in D3 will come into the meet in better form than Sortland, but you have to prove it week to week and lots of young talent will be on display on Saturday. The highest ranked senior in the field is 11th and seven of the top ten are freshman or eighth graders.