MileSplit50 Girls Team Rankings Countdown

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No. 2 Wayzata (MN)

Analysis: Long-time coach Dave Emmans has retired, but long-time assistant Addie Hallens takes over. She's got a background not only in XC but in Nordic skiing, too, which is what a good portion of young, endurance-minded Minnesota teenagers do in those winter months to build cardiovascular fitness. This year's version of Wayzata will be a compelling team to watch. All seven varsity members are back, including blue-chip prospects Emma Atkinson, Caroline Sassan and the fast-rising Abby Nechanicky. Health was an issue late in the season last year. But if this team is able to be ready-to-go for big meets, expect some master strokes to take place on a number of courses throughout Minnesota and beyond -- probably the most important task this season, outside of going for an NXN title, is taking back the Class 2A State Cross Country Championship it lost to STMA last year. Two Illinois teams dominated Roy Griak last year. But the Trojans might be shooting for that title in 2019, too. 

Biggest question: Will everything mesh when it needs to? 

Wayzata's got a lot going for it in 2019. It's won NXN before -- back in 2013. It's got all seven of its varsity runners back. And it finished third last year. But the Heartland still gets no respect. And Wayzata seems to always be fighting the notion that its just a step behind its powerhouse programs like F-M. This fall is a chance for the Trojans to really prove that idea wrong. Big meets are on the calendar. This team has a chance to be very, very good. 

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A preseason Q & A with new head coach Addie Hallen


How long have you coached (overall/at your school)? 

I've coached XC and track, and some Nordic skiing, over the past 18 years.  I've been coaching at Wayzata since 2010. This will be my 10th year. I'm a first year head coach.

What's your meet schedule?

  • St. Olaf Showcase - MN state course preview, partial varsity squad
  • Metro Invite - small invitational
  • Milaca Mega Meet - big invite
  • Roy Griak - enough said
  • Conference Championships - 4 of the top 5 ranked teams in MN state come together for the 1st time)
  • Sections  - State Qulifier (Wayzata-Edina-Mtka-Etc.)
  • MN State Meet
  • NXR Heartland
  • NXN

What was one important moment over the summer with your team and why? (Camp/Preseason Meeting/Etc.)

  • Top 20 athletes Team Trip to Copper Mt. Colorado in July
  • M/W/F team camp all summer (7-12 grade, 125 athletes)
  • High School Team Retreat week No. 1: Bonding, runner education, and a lot of team tradition!

What's focus on training over the summer for the varsity squad?

Obviously, mileage and base building, "comfortably hard" tempo running, easy threshold intervals, long runs, strides & running TOGETHER!

Which athletes do you see as a probable five/top seven this season?  

This team, like many, has a lot of variables happening especially with the returning varsity seven all back.

  • Emma Atkinson (Sr.) back, fit, and over coming a bout of early season bronchitis 
  • "Carol" Sassan (Sr.), battleing back from Mono during 2018 XC championship season, followed by whooping cough during NXN and then Influenza--all due to undiagnosed mono infection.  Looking more like herself everyday!  Fit and getting stronger.
  • Abbey Nechanicky (Fr.), super talented point-guard/basketball player, standout on the XC team
  • Rhynn Paulsen (Sr.) battleing stress reactions, genetic bone density issues, working on getting her healthy 
  • Lauren McCollar (Jr.) coming back from a tibial fracture during track, looking to race by Milaca
  • Grace Link (Jr.), healthy, fit and ready to roll, 2nd year running
  • Emelia Arnone (Jr.), healthy, fit and ready to roll, big improvement in track

NEW NAMES looking to break into our top 7/10

  • Ella Braufman (So.)
  • Anna Bartels (Sr.)
  • Grace Weber (Fr.)
  • Teegan Anderson (Fr.)
  • Ingrid Halverson (Jr.)

Which athletes have taken a bigger role in terms of veteran leadership? How have they shown it/what will you expect from them in 2019? 

We have 20 amazing seniors supporting the team tradition and team culture of our program. 

Who are some new faces who will make an impact in 2019? (i.e. freshmen, transfers, runners who've improved)

We have a deep freshman class thats very committed, focused and hungry!  See some names above.

Six weeks before the state championships, what's a staple workout that's readying this team for the postseason run? 

Griak week!  Last year week did race specific 600s on a wooded/hilly trail.  This year we will try to line them up for competing well at the Griak but not give up too much training being late September. It's that balance of State Prep for early Nov and NXN Prep for early December.

What will success look like in 2019 for this team? 

Continued work on leadership. Teaching young women to put it all into the sport and run for their team, but lead a balanced lifestyle. Recognizing that XC performance outcomes do not define who we are as human beings. Take back a State Championship! Get MN teams out of Heartland and represent at NXN. Look to finish better than we did in every championship race, starting with Milaca through NXN.  

What's the biggest challenge facing this team this fall?

Getting Sassan, Paulsen, and McCollar healthy.    

Is there a quote or a saying, or a purpose your team lives by? What is it and why? 

Key values that support our team vision/purpose:  GRATITUDE.  JOY.  TOGETHER.  TEAM IS FAMILY.  BALANCE.  NO FEAR.  I AM... (insert positive affirmations).

Our team mantra will come when the time is right for the 2019 season.  

WHY?...

We read the Deena Kaster/Michelle Hamilton book Let Your Mind Run as a top 20 during our Colorado trip.  The ladies are working on positive mindset.   

What are three big goals for this team in 2019? 

Our outcome goals, which are secondary to the process, are...

  • Undefeated JV Championships
  • State Championship 
  • NXN trip with top 5/Podium Finish

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Projected Top 5


Wayzata High School (MN)534
1) Emma Atkinson17:39.1026
2) Abby Nechanicky18:09.0080
3) Caroline Sassan18:13.9096
4) Lauren Mccollor18:32.70165
5) Emelia Arnone18:32.80167
Average Time: 18:13.50 Total Time: 1:31:07.50 1-5 Split: 53.70
6) Grace Link18:37.70205
7) Rhynn Paulsen18:43.30231


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MileSplit50 Girls Team National Rankings Countdown

25 -- Link

Aug. 20 -- East Grand Rapids (MI)

24 -- Link

Aug. 20 -- Farmington (MN)

23 -- Link

Aug. 20 -- North Allegheny (PA)

22 -- Link

Aug. 20 -- Zionsville Community (IN)

21 -- Link

Aug. 20 -- Flower Mound (TX)

20 -- Link

Aug. 21 -- Prosper (TX)

19 -- Link

Aug. 22 -- Ann Arbor Pioneer (MI)

18 -- Link

Aug. 23 -- Downers Grove South (IL)

17 -- Link

Aug. 24 -- STMA (MN)

16 -- Link

Aug. 25 -- Lone Peak (UT)

15 -- Link

Aug. 26 -- Mountain Vista (CO)

14 -- Link

Aug. 27 -- Saratoga Springs (NY)

13 -- Link

Aug. 28 -- Edina (MN)

12 -- Link

Aug. 29 -- Bozeman (MT)

11 -- Link

Aug. 30 -- Niwot (CO)

10 -- Link

Aug. 31 -- Desert Vista (AZ)

9 -- Link

Sept. 1 -- Yorkville (IL)

8 -- Link

Sept. 2 -- Saugus (CA)

7 -- Link

Sept. 3 -- Naperville North (IL)

6 -- Link

Sept. 4 -- Beavercreek (OH)

5 -- Link

Sept. 6 -- Great Oak (CA)

4 -- Link

Sept. 6 -- North Central (WA)

3 -- Link

Sept. 6 -- Fayetteville-Manlius (NY)

2 -- Link

Sept. 6 -- Wayzata (MN)

1 -- Link

Sept. 6 -- Summit (WA)