The Elks look to face the strongest challenge from #2-ranked Monticello and #3 Eden Prairie, the 2008 Class AA champs.
Defending Class AA individual champ Maria Hauger of Shakopee tops the individual rankings among girls' big school runners.
Jamie Piepenburg of Alexandria, 3rd in Class AA last year, is ranked #2; Megan Platner of Eden Prairie is ranked #3.
Find the complete rankings below, along with team-by-team descriptions, authored by Class AA girls' ranker Dave Emmans, the Wayzata girls' coach.
1. Elk River – Although the defending state champs lost their number one runner, Emma Bates, second over-all finisher, they return a host of talent. Abbi Aspengen, 12, ranked 6th individually (see below) leads the way.
2. Monticello – Finishing 5th last season, Monticello is led by the dynamic Seidenkrantz sisters. Erica, 11, is ranked fifth, and Amber, 9, is ranked 8th individually. Both were all-state runners a year ago finishing 6th and 10th respectively.
3. Eden Prairie – For the first time EP finds themselves not on top of the hill, but don’t count the Eagles out. They return Megan Platner, 12, ranked 3rd and finishing 5th a year ago and Laura Lawton, 12, who finished 18th. The Jeff Lindlief led Eagles are always a pre-season favorite.
4. Roseville – Roseville returns all state runners Allison Cordes, 10, and Becca Dyson, 12. Both are 12th and 13th respectively in the preseason poll.
5. Lakeville North - North looks to improve on their 9th place finish a year ago. Taylor Perkins, 10, and Emma Johnson, 11, finished 33rd and 30th respectively at the state meet.
6. Minnetonka – The Skippers look to rebound from an uncharacteristic 14th place finish at last years state meet. All-state runner Megan Bailey, 12, finished 11th last year and is rated 9th. Maggie Carruth, 9, is a runner to watch this fall. She defeated two-time defending state champion Haylie Zenner in the 800 last spring with a sizzling time of 2:12.14.
7. Prior Lake – The Lakers slip to 7th after a 2nd place finish to Elk River a year ago. They lost all-state runner Paige Foster, but still return their next six.
8. Wayzata – Although the Trojans lost 3 of their top 7, there is enough to rebuild. The question is if they can get someone to run with Minnetonka and Eden Prairie’s big guns in 6AA.
9. Moorhead - Moorhead lost 3 of their top 4 but always do a great job in restocking the shelves. All-state runner Tayler Janssen, 10, twentieth place finisher a year ago leads the way.
10. Lakeville South – Finishing 4th a year ago, South falls to 10th losing 2 of their top 4. They do return all-state runner Erin Kilbride, 9, and always have an abundance of young talent.
11. Mounds View – The Mustangs make an appearance in the top 12th with no superstars, but tight pack running. They finished 13th a year ago.
12. Hopkins – The Royals lose all-state runner Hannah Jocelyn, but return a solid group of seniors.
13. Andover – This squad spent much of last year near the top of the rankings, but finished a disappointing 5th at Sections. They ave the talent to make an impact
14. Alexandria – Jamie Piepenburg, 11, ranked 2nd, finished 3rd a year ago.
15. St Michael-Albertville
17. Coon Rapids
1. Maria Hauger, 10, Shakopee ... State Champ in 2009
2. Jamie Piepenburg, 11, Alexandria ... 3rd
3. Megan Platner, 12, Eden Prairie ... 5th
4. Erica Seidenkranz, 11, Monticello ... 6th
5. Nicole Heitzman, 10, Andover ... 7th
6. Abbi Aspengren, 12, Elk River ... 8th
7. Cassidy Soli, 10, Champlin Park ... 9th
8. Amber Seidenkranz, 9, Monticello ... 10th
9. Megan Bailey, 12, Minnetonka ... 11th
10. Chrissy Monson, 10, Albert Lea ... 12th
11. Manon Gammon-Deering, 12, Little Falls ... 13th
12. Allison Cordes, 10, Roseville ... 14th
13. Becca Dyson, 12, Roseville ... 17th
14. Laura Lawton, 12, Eden Prairie ... 18th
15. Erin Baker, 9, Grand Rapids ... 19th