Prep cross-country: Three storylines

  • Article by: DAVID LA VAQUE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 26, 2013 - 11:59 PM

Richfield's Obsa Ali, who is No. 1 in the preseason cross-country poll, broke the state track meet record in the 3,200 meters last spring.

Photo: Richard Sennott • Star Tribune file,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

1. ‘Breathtaking talent’

Already enamored with the metro area’s strong class of 2015, Wayzata boys’ cross-country coach Bill Miles said a few breakout performances last season created a pool of “breathtaking talent.” Richfield senior Obsa Ali, ranked No. 1 in the coaches’ preseason poll, took runner-up at state as a first-time distance runner while still moonlighting as a soccer player. He gave up soccer and worked this summer on improving his finishing speed. Stillwater’s Eli Krahn helped the Ponies win the state cross-country meet and then elevated his profile with a freshman national record (4 minutes, 9.38 seconds) in the 1,600-meter run at the track and field state meet in June. They each will face tough competition from the junior class. Joe Klecker of Hopkins took third at state last fall, with Wayzata’s Connor Olson (fifth) and Chaska’s Joey Duerr (sixth) fewer than nine seconds behind.

2. Flanagan moves to 2A

Blake senior Clare Flanagan, the two-time defending Class 1A girls’ cross-country state champ, moves up to Class 2A this fall. Her winning time of 14 minutes, 4.1 seconds was more than 12 seconds ahead of second place. However, the mark would have been good for third against the 2A field. The second-place 2A runner was Anna French of Wayzata. That foreshadows a tantalizing pair of year-end meets because Blake and Wayzata are both in Section 6. Coaches voted Flanagan No. 1 in the preseason poll, one spot ahead of French.

3. Wayzata sets the pace

Coaches voted Wayzata atop both the boys’ and girls’ preseason polls. Led by French, the girls return their top nine finishers. The Trojans also placed seventh at the Nike Cross Nationals in Oregon. French, Michaela Keller-Miller and Annika Lerdall were the Trojans’ top three runners at both events. The girls were voted No. 1 because they are proven. The boys, who placed third at state, got the top spot for potential. Olson, Josh Nielsen and Ian Eklin, the Trojans’ three fastest runners, return. Stillwater, second in the poll by only two points, won the past two state titles but its two best finishers graduated.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Toronto 21 1st Qtr 0:04
Indiana 26
Cleveland 6:30 PM
Detroit
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
Miami
Memphis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Chicago 9:30 PM
Golden State
Washington 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
NY Rangers 0 1st Prd 4:28
NY Islanders 0
Arizona 2 1st Prd 7:24
Philadelphia 1
Winnipeg 0 1st Prd 4:41
Pittsburgh 1
Washington 0 1st Prd 4:31
Columbus 0
Tampa Bay 6:30 PM
Carolina
Dallas 6:30 PM
Montreal
Detroit 6:30 PM
Florida
Colorado 7:00 PM
Nashville
Buffalo 8:00 PM
Calgary
Minnesota 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Anaheim 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Ball State 19 1st Half 6:55
Akron 12
Northern Ill 12 1st Half 7:22
Bowling Green 17
Western Mich 27 1st Half 6:34
Buffalo 23
Ohio 10 1st Half 7:50
Eastern Mich 18
Xavier 20 1st Half 6:02
Georgetown 8
Vanderbilt 27 1st Half 3:18
Georgia 28
West Virginia 10 1st Half 7:56
Kansas State 13
Central Mich 15 1st Half 5:40
Kent State 12
Saint Josephs 19 1st Half 5:20
La Salle 12
Nebraska 13 1st Half 3:52
Michigan 18
Miami-Ohio 16 1st Half 5:51
Toledo 22
Tulsa 17 1st Half 5:40
Tulane 18
George Washington 19 1st Half 5:47
VA Commonwealth 19
Pittsburgh 17 1st Half 6:58
Virginia Tech 19
Indiana State 7:00 PM
Evansville
Tabor College 7:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Florida 8:00 PM
Alabama
Tennessee 8:00 PM
Arkansas
Texas A&M 8:00 PM
Auburn
Baylor 8:00 PM
Oklahoma State
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 8:00 PM
Utah State
Fresno State 8:05 PM
San Diego St
UNLV 9:00 PM
Nevada
SD Christian 9:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Colorado State 10:00 PM
Boise State
Temple 25 1st Half 6:14
UCF 22
Campbell 11 1st Half 7:12
Presbyterian 14
Coastal Carolina 11 1st Half 6:01
High Point 25
Gardner-Webb 20 1st Half 7:46
Radford 18
UNC-Asheville 25 1st Half 6:21
Liberty 24
Winthrop 21 1st Half 5:56
Longwood 25
Columbia International 12 1st Half 6:06
Charleston Southern 24
Tulane 7:00 PM
Houston
(3) Baylor 7:00 PM
TCU
Navy 7:00 PM
American Univ
Valparaiso 7:00 PM
Illinois-Chicago

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What chance does the Wild have of making the playoffs?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close