WILSON - A larger field than a year ago is expected to be on hand Wednesday as North Central hosts its 15th annual Division 3 Invitational cross country meet on the Gorzinski farm property.
The meet begins at 3 p.m. (EDT) with the junior high girls' race, followed by the junior high boys', varsity girls' and varsity boys' races. High school events cover 3.1 miles. Junior high harriers go 1.8.
Six schools are entered this time, doubling the number from a year ago, in a meet open to schools with enrollements of 150 or less.
We're excited about that, and there's a chance a few more schools could enter" said North Central coach Jerry Root. "If we get the extras, it will be a bonus."
Joining the Jets are Carney-Nadeau, Big Bay de Noc, Superior Central, Marquette North Star Academy and Goodman-Pembine, Wis.
Carney swept both ends of the title last season. Senior Dionte Blanhik will try to defend his crown, while last year's girls' champion Casey Charlier has graduated.
The North Central boys are led by freshman Seth Polfus and sophomore Bryce Holle. The Jets, however, may be running without junior Dillon Robinson who's nursing an ankle injury and questionable for Wednesday.
"Dillon's ankle has been real sore, but the other guys are healthy," said Root. "We're real pleased with the consistency of Seth and Bryce. They've medalled in every meet, with 10 or more schools entered in three of those. We hoping (senior) Josh Granquist can run. We hope to have a full group of runners available for this meet."
Superior Central senior Nick Maki may also be in the title hunt.
"North Star Academy also has some good runners," Root added.
The girls' race appears wide open, with Superior Central senior Selena Walters among the favorites.
"We're very pleased with Sam Cryderman, who medalled at Superior Central (on Sept. 7)," said Root. "I thought she also ran well at Iron Mountain (Sept. 10).
A free meal and dessert will be available for runners and coaches after the meet.