WILSON - What will it take to catch Munising in today's Central U.P./Skyline Conference cross country meet?
Area teams and coaches have been scrambling to find answers prior to the meet, which begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) with the junior high boys' race on the Gorzinski farm property just off Kell Rd.
"The Munising boys and girls, no doubt, have real good teams," said Carney coach Jake Polfus. "But anything can happen when you have a (relatively) small field of runners. For the girls, our third and fourth runners need to move up with our second runner. Most of our boys also have to move up."
The opening race will be followed by the junior high girls', high school boys' and high school girls' events.
High school events cover 3.1 miles, with junior high runners going approximately 1.8.
Joining host North Central and the favored Mustangs are Carney-Nadeau, Big Bay de Noc, Superior Central and possibly Forest Park.
The Munising boys and Superior Central girls were crowned champions a year ago. The Cougars, however, are low on numbers this year.
Munising's boys are led by freshman Brett Hannah. Others to watch are Carney's Dionte Blahnik, Munising's Izaak Mahoski and Sam MacArthur, North Central's Dillon Robinson and Superior Central's Jesse Eisenbroek.
"When Munising moved into this conference, they brought in a good history with them," said North Central coach Jerry Root. "Up to this point of the season, they've proven they're the toast of the town. And we don't look for them to letdown."
The Munising girls are led by Alyssa St. Amour, Anna Baij and Emily DesJardins.
Forest Park's Casey Ponchaud, if she makes an appearance today, could also be among the frontrunners.
"Carney has some good runners, too," said Root. "Our top girls have been within a minute of each other, and I was impressed with Big Bay's top runners (Patience Harris and Kelsi Stapleton in Saturday's Carney Invitational)."
Carney's leaders are Autam Wery and Casey Charlier.