Our first section meets are just 2 short weeks away and teams are at the height of the invitational season. Some JV programs are already wrapping up this weekend and those teams will be looking their very best of the year between this weekend and the final invitationals next weekend. The huge JV divisions on the schedule will be ultra-competitive as they showcase the best of our up and coming talent here in MN. It’s also conference championship season with Suburban East, Mid-State, Minnesota River, Wright County, 3 Rivers, and Big 9 all celebrating their finales this week. Let’s preview our marquee competitions this weekend:
Wright County Conference Championships: The WCC has serious section 3AA implications every year with 8 teams all coming out of that section. Mound Westonka will host and look for Orono, Hutchinson, Waconia, and Mound to be in the hunt for top placements. It never surprises me to see things shake up here, so look for someone to make a jump up the charts with a top-notch performance.
Totino Grace Invitational: The EGals host a real winter classic each year with an all-AA meet. The Sartell-TG rivalry starts to heat up from here to the end of the year, and TG will be bringing out their still-new kick routine with a gospel choir flair against Sartell’s “Grease” theme. Rocori, Marshall, South St. Paul, and Simley should be on your watching list here.
3 Rivers Conference Championship: Wabasha Kellogg hosts our far southeastern MN class A championship. St. Charles, Houston, and Wabasha are looking sharp so far this season, and after that it’s really up to who’s going to “hit” – especially in the jazz division. If you want to get out of section 1A, you have to do well here so the energy will be high.
Big 9 Conference Championships: Just down the road from 3 Rivers, Winona will be hosting the eclectic mix known as the Big 9. Rochester area schools will be joining a strong Austin and Faribault programs. Northfield will try to play spoiler in there and could be a wild card in the results. Owatonna will be making its first conference appearance bringing the total participating teams up to 9 for the first time.
Pelican Rapids Invitational: The highlight of the northern teams this weekend will be at Pelican Rapids where the host school has been picking up the pace this year. Crosby and Frazee will be joining DGF and Bagley for a look at the top placements. Frazee has been undefeated so far this season and will be focused on the numbers.
Yellow Medicine East Invitational: The largest class A meet this weekend will be at YME where Cannon Falls and Zumbrota from the east will join a surging LqPV team and tough competitors from Montevideo, YME, and BOLD. Cannon Falls has yet to get in the mix with the always tough 3A teams, so this one could get interesting. YME always makes moves as the season goes along, so expect a stronger score with a home field performance.
Wayzata Invitational: The 20 team AAA main event will be at Wayzata this weekend. (Check it out on live stream) I love how many of the highest scoring teams will compete here, and yet I always think things can change so quickly in AAA that it will be ancient history by the time sections play hits. Wayzata, Maple Grove, Spring Lake Park, Mounds View, Lakeville North, St. Cloud Tech, Prior Lake, Brainerd, and Anoka all appeared at state and will be joined by some of the best up and coming teams who are looking to make the trip this year. This JV division will be a who’s who of our elite programs. Some of these JV’s will score well in the varsity division. Top 6-5 JV teams are really doing something special to get a placement here.
Farmington Invitational: The tigers host a 7-team AAA meet with Tartan, Bloomington, Roseville, Osseo, Farmington, Irondale, and Minneapolis Southwest making appearances. The AA event will include Hill Murray, Robbinsdale Cooper, St. Paul Academy, and Belle Plaine. I’ll be watching how Roseville and Irondale stack up in section 3AAA and how Belle Plaine compares to the WCC championship scores from this one.