1. Khalid Hussein, Wayzata
Breakdown: From the standpoint of his track record, Hussein is the hands-down favorite. Currently U.S. No. 21 in the Flo50 rankings, Hussein comes in as the highest returning athlete from last year's Griak -- he finished fourth, the only non-senior in the top 10 -- and the highest finisher at NXN in the field (29th). He has the second-fastest 5K personal best (15:05).
But while the numbers tell one story, real life has already shown us he's beatable, finishing second to his teammate, Grant Price, in his one race this year at the Columbus Catholic Invitational by four seconds -- albeit in a stellar early-season time of 15:49.
He also will have a target on his back as the hometown favorite and the top senior of one of the top teams in the nation. But this two-time NXN qualifier and member of two Minnesota state championship teams has both the experience and the history of success to back up his standing.