Photo from the 2015 Ev Berg Invitational
It's a clash between highly ranked runners and a couple of Class AAA powerhouses at the Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna. This is the first of three big meets at Brooktree with the Big 9 Conference Championships and the Section 1AAA meet still to come.
The premier matchups for this meet will be Finn McCormick and Henry Karelitz from Nova Classical Academy versus, Andrew Casey and Bryce Stachewicz from Lakeville North. On the team side, it looks to be a closely contested race between Rosemount and Lakeville North boys.
For the girls, it's a much clearer race with Natasha Sortland standing out for the girls, but on the team side, it could be. A close race between a few Class AAA squads.
Boys Race Preview
Minnesota Coaches Ranked Runners: Andrew Casey (9th Class AAA), Finn McCormick (1st Class A), Henry Karelitz (5th Class A)
Minnesota Coaches Ranked Teams: Rosemount (2nd Class AAA), Lakeville North (4th Class AAA), Nova Classical Academy (2nd Class A)
See the MN Coaches Rankings!
The Skinny: The premier matchups for this meet will be Finn McCormick and Henry Karelitz from Nova Classical Academy versus, Andrew Casey and Bryce Stachewicz from Lakeville North. On the team side, it looks to be a closely contested race between Rosemount and Lakeville North boys.
Finn McCormick by far has the season's best time out of any runner in this race with a seasonal best time of 15:57.50 that is 14 seconds faster than his teammate Henry Karelitz. He will be the favorite in this race, but there is a deep group of runners behind him that includes Karelitz, Andrew Casey, Bryce Stachewicz, Will Harder, Hunter Dunne, and Preston Meier that will look to overtake McCormick. Of note, McCormick has never run on this course, so some of the Section 1AA (from past years) might have a leg up on this course that they have run many times.
On the team side, it appears to be a race between Class AAA powerhouse's Rosemount and Lakeville North. They are both currently ranked as top five teams in their class and top ten in Minnesota. Our virtual meet results, have them separated by only 6 points in our team results. They both recently faced each other at the Roy Griak where Rosemount placed 5th overall and Lakeville North finished 12th overall in a deep field.
85 points separated them at Roy Griak, but for the average time, they were only separated by 3 seconds (17:22 to 17:25). What separated them was the minute difference in the split of each team. I would expect this to be a close race between the two teams, with Rosemount being favored at the moment.
Girls Race Preview
Minnesota Coaches Ranked Runners: Natasha Sortland (2nd Class AA) Marisa Schute (HM Class AA)
Minnesota Coaches Ranked Teams: Eagan (11th Class AAA)
See the MN Coaches Rankings!
The Skinny: Natasha Sortland will look to blow away the rest of the field at Brooktree Golf Course. Her seasonal best time of 18:08.50 is over a minute better than anyone else in the field, and she has won her last four races, all by considerable amounts. Only two other girls in the field have a seasonal best time under 20:00, Marissa Shute and Nadia Vaughn.
For the team race, things should be a little closer than the individual race. It appears to be a three-team race between Eagan, Rochester Century, and Northfield. All three are coming off big wins at their respective meets. They all also have a solid varsity squad top to bottom, with a split under one minute. Right now Eagan is the projected winner, but with how each team runs, it could be anyone's race to win.