Is it just me or is it March-like? Seems like we’ve dodged the usual ultra-cold and wicked snowstorms that make this time of year a scheduling challenge. Only a few seasons ago we had all cancelled 2-3 practices a piece during this week just because it was “cold”. I’ll take the pleasant calm 2019 has started out with anytime.
While all is calm outside – inside the gym things are heating up. We have a great list of invitationals this weekend with my pick of the week for best spectator viewing will be up in Rocori. If you’re itching for something new to see, Wright County, Lake, and Central Lakes all have great conference events on Thursday or Friday worth checking out. On to the breakdown.
Eagan Invitational: The wildcats will host a mid-sized event with a chance to catch performances from Faribault, Maple Grove, South St. Paul, Farmington, and Chanhassen. Faribault had a new routine with a bright new uniform last weekend and will be looking to tune that up. Maple Grove and Chanhassen have both been having strong seasons and will be focused on bumping up the scores heading into more crucial meets down the road.
United Clay Becker Invite: Hawley high school hosts a north regional meet with mixed classes. Detroit Lakes has been posting great results, and will be a challenge for DGF, Bagley, Pelican Rapids, and the Mystix’s host team. Bagley and DGF will need to make some gains in order to improve their sectional standings.
Bloomington Kennedy Invitational: The excellent gym at Kennedy will provide a great warmup for teams who have sections there. Centennial, Roseville, Andover, and Bloomington will be eyeing top placements. Centennial has already made some strides this year and should be comfortably favored here.
Holy Family Invitational: The Fire will host an impressive AA lineup this weekend with Benilde and Totino Grace taking on Mound Westonka and Orono. A low-key meet to check out some of the more fun rivalries in AA.
Belle Plaine Invitational: This one is sneaky good with Austin, Albert Lea, Marshall, Belle Plaine, and Waconia all having quietly good seasons. I haven’t seen enough of this group to really know how things stand so keep an eye out for some telling results after this weekend.
Lewiston Altura Invitational: Section 1A gets together regularly and this weekend they’ll be mostly at the Cardinal’s home gym. St. Charles, Lewiston, Hayfield, and Plainview will be worth a watch. With the 3 Rivers Conference meeting coming up, these teams are getting serious about their ranks.
Rocori Invitational: The largest meet this week is in Cold Spring as Alexandria, Monticello, Hutchinson, St. Cloud Apollo, and Simley take on the hosts. I’m really interested in the Simley visit to Rocori as their state rivalry is usually fun to watch come the end of the year. On the class A side, Duluth Marshall, Cannon Falls, Lac Qui Parle Valley, Montevideo, PACT Charter, Yellow Medicine East, Aitkin, Frazee, and BOLD will all be there from last year’s state roster. Getting 7th or 8th in this one is going to be a big deal. Kinda reminds me of the intensity of the Wayzata invitational or Eastview Invitational for AAA schools. Teams will need to have their best day, but my money is on Lac Qui Parle and Aitkin to end up near the top.
Anoka Invitational: The Twisters host AA in the morning with Duluth Denfeld, Hermantown/Proctor, Cretin Derham Hall looking to do well out of the lineup. AAA features great teams from Brainerd, Spring Lake Park, Sauk Rapids, Hopkins, Lakeville South, Burnsville, and Forest Lake. Sauk Rapids hasn’t taken on their section 4AAA rivals much from Brainerd, Anoka, Forest Lake, Elk River, and St. Francis so keep an eye on their finish.