2011 Cross Country Season Section Assignments
The big news is Worthington, DeLaSalle, Holy Family Catholic, Saint Anthony Village, Dassel-Cokato, and Thief Rivers Falls are moving up to Class AA. Section changes include; New Prague: 2AA to 1AA, Willmar: 2AA to 8AA, Andover: 5AA to 7AA, Saint Michael-Albertville: 8AA to 7AA, Big Lake: 8AA to 7AA, Medford: 1A to 2A, Lac Qui Parie Val/Daw-B: 6A to 3A, Mayer Lutheran: Out of 4A joins Holy Trinity-Lester Prairie in 5A, Royalton: 5A to 6A, East Central: 7A to 5A, Pelican Rapids: 8A to 6A.
What is the biggest impact based on last years results?
· Holy Family Catholic, a perennial cross country power in both the boys and girls from Section 4A moves to Section 2AA. Section 2AA becomes a stronger Section with the addition of Holy Family Catholic. The boys Section 2AA also picks up Mubarik Musa of Worthington (2009 Class A champion, 2010 mile champion).
· MSHSL reaffirms Section assignments are not based on strength of teams. Earning a State bid in Section 6AA and 3AA will continue to be the toughest route to State. We often focus on the team depth in these sections, but several excellent runners do not get the opportunity to run at State (especially in track).
· The individual 2011 boys Class A title loses a good battle between Mubarik Musa of Worthington and Brandon Clark of the Blake School. Brandon Clark recovered from his tactical State error leading the pack to a 4:52 first mile (12 seconds faster than the Class AA first mile) to finish 12th the next week at the Nike Heartland Regionals, beating Musa. Musa beat Clark by a few seconds at the Griak. The interesting aspect of Worthington moving up a Class is it offers Musa the opportunity to win a State individual title in each class. Cole O'Brien of Burnsville, Josh Thorson of Wayzata, and Joel Reichow of White Bear Lake, to name a few top Class AA runners, will enjoy the added competition at the individual level. From a Class A individual guys perspective, Jonathon Surber of St. James and Byron Schuldt of Nevis round out the revised top three runners going into the 2011 cross country season. Jensen Orlow of Holy Family Catholic, also considered a 2011 Class A individual favorite moves to the Class AA competition.
An Early Look ahead to the 2011 Team Competition
Class AA Contenders (Guys) – This is always tough to predict as the perennial powers often do not miss a beat via graduation. Stillwater may be the favorite out of the gate as they return all of their scorers. The qualifying teams from Section 6AA are always considered favorites (defending champions Wayzata may have the favorite individual in the race with Josh Thorson). Rosemount and Burnsville appear to be contenders as well.
Class AA Contenders (Gals) – 2010 Second Place Monticello returns all scorers after scoring a low 79 points. Defending champion Eden Prairie and Wayzata will fill in the seniors nicely, but earning a State bid is not easy in Section 6AA.
Class A Contenders (Guys)- Minnehaha Academy, St. Cloud Cathedral, and Waseca appear to be the top three based on the season ending results. However, never count Perham out (defending champions) as they are a perennial contender. The class switch was a year too late for Glencoe-Silver Lake, as their 2010 senior laden team finished third in the Section last year.
Class A Contenders (Gals) – Perhaps the most exciting rematch in a long time, as Adrian (defending champions) and second place St. Cloud Cathedral return all of their runners in 2011. In fact the top 5 teams last year combined only lose 1 scoring runner to graduation, as Dover-Eyota/St. Charles, La Crescent, and Esko will be battling for a title as well. Waseca, The Blake School, Canby/Minnesota/Lincoln and Perham return all of their scoring runners as well.
For full Section listings for the 2011-2012 school year, visit the Minnesota State High School League site at http://www.mshsl.org/mshsl/competitivesections.asp.