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Metro area’s runners to watch have less time to show what they’ve got

By Star Tribune, 09/09/20, 6:30PM CDT


Top girls and boys in this shortened 2020 season without a true state meet ahead.

Analee Weaver from Stillwater, who won the Class 2A cross-country race, is back this year but won't have a state meet to defend her title at. Photo: Shari Gross ¥ shari.gross@startribune.com

School just started this first week for many, but fall sports athletes are on a fast and strange track to the shortest season in memory.

Many swimmers, divers and cross-country runners are competing with no fans on site. Some swim meets are held with teams in different pools, while runners go off in waves that require checking chip times to determine how they placed.

The girls’ tennis regular season ends in three weeks.

Those sports along with boys’ and girls’ soccer are playing shortened schedules against a limited number of opponents, making it harder to assess season favorites. Postseason plans haven’t been announced and state tournaments won’t be held.

But the games, meets and matches in this pandemic-scarred season still matter. Here are some of the best cross-country runners this fall.

Five girls’ runners to watch

Anna Fenske, Farmington, senior
Molly Moening, St Paul Highland Park, junior
Abbey Nechanicky, Wayzata, sophomore
Analee Weaver, Stillwater, senior
Ali Weimer, St Michael-Albertville, junior

Five boys’ runners to watch

John Faller, East Ridge, senior
Elliott McArthur, Mounds View, sophomore
Kyle Nordling, Prior Lake, senior
Gabe Smit, Prior Lake, senior
Ethan Vargas, Stillwater, senior


The start of the Class 1A boys' state meet in 2019 at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Photo: Shari L. Gross • shari.gross@startribune.com

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