Most of the top cross country teams and runners in the Blue Water Area will be at Marysville City Park Thursday for the Marysville Invitational.
The varsity races at the annual meet begins at 4:30 p.m. with the girls race. The boys race follows at 5 p.m. A total of 17 teams will be competing, including defending girls champion Croswell-Lexington and defending boys champion St. Clair.
The Pioneers and Saints will be the favorites again. St. Clair’s boys again feature a deep and fast group of runners. With the Portage Invitational on Saturday, however, St. Clair’s strategy could change a bit, but it’s likely to compete for the top spot regardless.
What happens behind the Saints will be interesting, as Yale and Cros-Lex have been going back and forth through the season. The Bulldogs topped the Pioneers this past weekend at the Wagener Park Invitational, and did so in the first meet of the year, as well. Cros-Lex came out on top in the first two Blue Water Area Conference jamborees, however.
Cros-Lex’s girls have had a fairly dominant start to their season – winning the Mike Jackson Invitational, Port Huron Invitational, Wagener Park Invitational and both BWAC jamborees.
It was at this meet a year ago, however, that Marysville started to show it could be a problem for the Pioneers, finishing eight points behind. The Vikings wound up getting the better of Cros-Lex in the regional. Marysville is coming off a win in the Hanson’s Invitational.
Individually, it’s a familiar story: Algonac’s Morgan Beadlescomb and Port Huron’s Rachel Bonner are the front-runners. Both will also run at Portage, but they have found ways in past meets to win a race while still conserving energy.