* Edina's Max Manley won the 2018 Roy Griak Boys Gold Race
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The 2019 version of the boys gold race offers its fair share of question marks. The individual race is wide open, with just one nationally ranked athlete entered in the field. There are no nationally ranked teams entered, either.
So if nothing else, this will mark an important juncture for those looking to make that next step. Teams from Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota are all entered, combining talent from some of the best regions in the country.
Two Colorado teams, Cheyenne Mountain (CO) and Cherry Creek (CO) could potentially rise up and win, while the stalwarts like Edina and Wayzata -- the program have combined for three Griak titles over the last three years -- could once again rule with an iron fist.
Check out our in-depth previews below.
Obsa Ali, Richfield (MN), 15:30.80
Previous Team Placements:
- 2018: 1. Edina (MN); 2. Olathe North (KS); 3. Wayzata (MN)
- 2017: 1. Great Oak (CA): 2. Wayzata (MN); 3. Dowling Catholic (IA)
- 2016: 1. Wayzata (MN); 2. Claremont (CA); 3. Millard West (MN)
- 2015: 1. Dowling Catholic (IA); 2. Edina (MN); 3. Wayzata (MN)
- 2014: 1. Wayzata (MN); 2. Sioux Falls (SD); 3. Saugus (CA)
Previous Winners/Top 3:
- 2018: 1. Max Manley, Edina (MN), 15:45.90; 2. Acer Iverson, Rosemount (MN), 15:49.90; 3. Andrew Brandt, Wayzata (MN), 15:51.00
- 2017: 1. Derick Peters, West Central (ND), 15:49.40; 2. Matthew Carmody, Dowling Catholic (IA), 16:12.00; 3. Carlos Carvajal, Great Oak (CA), 16:22.90
- 2016: 1. Seth Hirsch, Millard West (NE), 15:44.80; 2. Patrick Bose, Johnston (IA), 16:17.52; 3. Seth Eliason, Hopkins (MN), 16:22.44
- 2015: 1. Garek Bielaczy, East (TX), 15:36.01; 2. Sam Clausnitzer, Bismarck (ND), 15:52.03; 3. Jaret Carpenter, Wayzata (MN), 15:52.73
- 2014: Olin Hacker, Madison West (WI), 15:35.76; 2. Thomas Pollard, Gilbert (IA), 15:36.16; 3. Will Lauer, Sioux Falls (SD), 15:49.61
Teams to Pay Attention To:
- Colorado Springs Cheyenne Mountain (CO): The squad finished fifth at Liberty Bell on Sept. 7, averaging 16:14 across its scoring five and with the second lowest lowest compression of any team in the top 10, putting down a 37-second spread. Sophomore Nicholas Huger and Le Roux teamed to finish in the top 35.
- Ponte Vedra Nease (FL): You don't travel all this way without believing you can hang with the best teams in the field. The program's best effort came at the Spikes and Spurs Classic on Aug. 24, as the team won the field with a 16:44 average and 87-second spread. Harrison won the race in a season-best thus far.
- Wayzata (MN): While it might be a rebuilding year for the Trojans, this acts in some ways like a home meet. The squad typically performs well on Les Bolstad and might be a sleeper to podium. It's coming off a third-place outing at the Eden Prairie Metro Invitational on Sept. 14.
- Edina (MN): The Hornets finished second at the Spartan Challenge on Sept. 7, averaging a 53-second spread across a 16:46 average.
- MileSplit50 No. 7 Parker Wolfe, Cherry Creek (CO): We're curious to see how Wolfe responds after a career race at the Liberty Bell Cross Country Invitational in early September. The junior had his official "I'm here" moment, finishing second to Cole Sprout in 14:47.30, which still currently sits as a US No. 2 time. But the Les Bolstad course isn't for the faint of heart, and depending on weather and conditions, it's likely that it his race will run slower here than his previous outing. But even then, Wolfe enters as the prohibitive favorite based on his early start. He could validate a lot of opinions with a win in the gold race.
- Erik Le Roux, Cheyenne Mountain (CO): The sophomore didn't run particularly well at Liberty Bell, finishing 30th overall in 16:02.70, but there's reason to suggest he might come back firing here. He was one of the country's best freshman in 2018, and he finished with a PR at 5K of 15:13.77. This will be a telling race from Le Roux.
- Brady Yoder, Dickinson (ND): He enters with the third fastest time in the boys field with his 15:13.22 from the Billings Invitational on Aug. 30. He's the returning Maroon race winner from last year. How will Yoder respond to his step up in 2019?
- Emmet Anderson, Staples-Motley (MN): Anderson enters with the second fastest time. But take what you will from the Moorhead Dragon Twilight, where Anderson ran a PR of 15:09.40 in a field of 56 runners. Saturday's field will be quite different.
- Andrew Lauer, Sioux Falls (SD): Lauer ran 15:18.29 at the Augie Twilight on Sept. 6. He'll hope to compete with the field's top runners.
- Rheinhardt Harrison, Nease (FL): This presents a big moment for Harrison, who was 23rd in the Class 3A Championships in Florida a year ago as a freshman. He opened his season in August with a time of 16:08.90, but this will present his first true national-level test in cross country. Will Harrison race up to the expectations?