Nike Heartland Predictions


Assuming most of the Wisconsin top runners go to Nike, what surprises could develop? Does Bosley take it easy and just qualify instead of going for the win in order to stay fresh for FootLocker? Does Meinke have a big race left in him this season? How many from Wisconsin advance? Who are the other top kids from other states?


Peters SD is the favorite after winning Griak. Bosley is probably next. Carmody IA was 2nd at Griak and 2nd at IA state meet in 4A behind Sindt but it sounds like Sindt won’t run. Hussein MN is one of the top guys but will qualify as part of a team. Manley MN will be in the top 10 but team may also qualify. Sieperda IA has run low 15s several times this year and he likes to lead. The next few WI guys have an outside shot but they didn’t make the trip last year. I predict the 5 qualifiers to come from SD, MN, WI, and IA. MN may have 2 guys make it on teams which could open up 2 spots each for WI and IA.


@old_slow_guy Heartland is a week from Saturday or this Saturday? I believe Bosley is the best guy in this race but I don’t expect him to win as I don’t expect him to run with peters due to tactics. If he is with peters at the 2.5 mile mark he will win but he is best served to run to qualify with as little risk as possible. Since peters is running both he may opt to run conservatively as well however and if so Bosley will win. I agree with @maryss this field is very open for the 4/5 spot and a 2nd wisconsin runner who runs his top race of the season could make it in this field. In fact beyond the top 2 there is even a chance for 3 wisconsin runners but given the other states guys are equal to our guys it would be unlikely but meinke vanucci iron sheik ellenburg and kav all have a real shot at making it if they can finish 2nd in wisconsin, they should be right there for top 5 or 6 and I expect all those guys could be there at the 2.5 mile mark with a real chance in this field. Foot locker these boys have very little chance unless they have the race of their lifetime as the midwest region is absolutely loaded with true national elites and is the best region in the country with 3-4 studs from Illinois, 3-4 studs from Ohio, 2 national elite from Indiana, and then the usual studs from Michigan Colorado Missouri and a few more states if they all show up including peters from North Dakota. Foot locker Bosley will need to be at his best to qualify but he has the talent to get in and the talent to finish top 20 once he makes it. Beyond top 20 nobody knows until he runs the races. I don’t believe our girls can make it but I wouldn’t count out sippy who seems very mentally tough or sperka who is a freshman and freshman should be fearless. They both could sneak in. I think Muskego and sun prarie are the 4th and 3rd best teams in the heartland but both have a chance of qualifying as a team if they run their perfect race. On the boys side, if radar keeps improving and that super sophmore who didn’t run state is ok they could have a pretty impressive pack (possibly 5 guys between 15:50-15:59 on this course) that may be able to get the 2 spot but they need 5 guys to show up and feel good as their competitions will have 5 and probably a better 1 guy. No other boys teams from wisconsin need to go unless they are going for fun. If that freshman from jainseville keeps in shape I would love to see him run Heartland or foot locker given how much he was improving he may have another leg to go, not to qualify but to show how good he is although his top 25 at state already showed he could be a real force next year


The Nike Heartland race is 11-12.


Meinke is such a powerful runner. Put down some super competitive times and was a real Wisconsin hero throughout the season. That said, I feel he’s going to be a little bit of Gus Newcomb 2.0 if he chooses to continue. On top of that his late season status has been revealed per The Post-Crescent:

Neenah junior Matt Meinke entered as one of the favorites to win the D1 competition, despite battling a cold, double ear infection and sinus infection.

Meinke finished fourth with a time of 15:46.49 but battled Bosley of Homestead before waning at the end.

“I was just battling the first mile,” Meinke said. “It went real slow for me and I made my way up at two miles. I was second and me and Drew battled the last mile and then I got passed up by two people.

“Today I felt really good and warming up I felt pretty loose compared to the last four weeks. But I’ve been sick after conference. A cold and then we went to the doctors. I have a double ear infection and sinus infection. I was just battling.”[/quote]

No offense to this kid at all as he completely has my respect. But it’s time to hang it up for the season instead of trying to cultivate some come from behind path to redemption. As evidenced by many past elites beyond Newcomb, it just doesnt work that way when a contingent of factors like those listed above are present. Totally not saying he isnt capable but those winter months can get very long when youre suffering mentally from what should’ve been. Time to unwind and regroup. I would much rather see him shut it down, aim to run a 4:17/9:25 indoors by early April in track and then bring it outdoors for a 4:11-4:12/8:55.


At State, I thought Meinke was just worn down from the season. After learning that he had been very sick, I am totally impressed with his effort at State! Incredible! Who knows what he could have done had he been healthy!


Maybe Drew was sick :wink:


He is definitely the Rocket man but I can’t help but notice that he needs some help with his upper body form. Maybe it is because he has played soccer so long but he really leads with his shoulders quite a bit and I think that if he smoothed that out he would save tons of energy left over that might make him invincible. Obviously he was much better than 15:46 if healthy. I agree I think he needs a couple weeks down and have some kid fun and just hit the weight room and pool for awhile before getting back to business. Good luck to him and looking forward to watching him this spring.


Top 5 predictions.

Boys: 1-Peters 2-Bosley 3-Hussein (team) 4-Sieperda 5-Carmody 6-Meinke
1-Wayzata 2-Pleasant Valley 3-Stillwater 4-Edina 5-Middleton

Girls: 1-Covert 2-Fenske 3-Wolfgram 4-Atkinson (team) 5-Nock 6-Ping
1-Wayzata 2-Edina 3-Sun Prairie 4-Johnston 5-Shawnee Mission North


You might be hedging your bets. Do you want to clarify which Ping will be 6th?
Also I think Wolfgram will give everyone a run for the money because she soloed state basically, she probably should be ranked ahead of Covert. Wolfgram #1 and if Grace didn’t beat herself up too badly both Ping girls in the top 7.
I’m also picking Hussein over Bosley.


Sounds like Hussein is just starting to peak.


Picking Grace Ping 6th and final qualifier. Sis will probably be top 10 also. I will also clarify that only 2 boys teams will qualify but 3 will make it through for girls. It looks to be tight for the qualifying spots after Wayzata. 5th runners for boys need to run 16:15 to finish 100th because if they drop to 16:30, they will be adding 40 points compared to the competition. The fields get deeper every year but I don’t see the winning times from last year being matched.


Curious about your high placement of Nock. I’m not super familiar with Iowa, so you may be right, but her times and head-to-head matchups don’t really scream “NXN Qualifier” to me.

Atkinson seems a touch high too, but like you said, she’ll most likely get in with her team, so it won’t matter much…


She won the Heartland meet in Ames and I watched her win several other times looking easy. I am not extremely confident but the odds are against an all MN group. I am hoping that others post predictions so I can compare. I just don’t see more than a few obvious qualifiers in either gender.


True, but I’m sure there are some people we’re missing…

Does anyone know much about XC in the Dakotas beyond Peters? I know Kelby Rinas and Mattie Shirley-Fairbanks have had great success before…


@maryss please tell me about the pleasant valley boys team? I think people should do their own predictions and not base off someone else’s typically but I think you should just view that you did such a good job that people are referring to you as a gold standard. I do predict that middleton will beat the other Minnesota boys teams outside wayzata, they have 2 boys in their top 5 that have only ran a couple meets this year and the last few weeks may have given both of them the chance to mostly catch up with their top 3 giving them a pack between 15:40 and 16 flat on that flat course. I think that kind of pack is better than what Edina and Stillwater brings to the table, and may not even be too many points away from wayzata although that may be a pipe dream for this mostly underclassman top 10 runners (8 are back). I think wisconsin has 2 girls that could be there as individuals but they need to drop 20 seconds to compete with the Minnesota girls and ya don’t know until you know, teamwise Muskego is good enough to crack the top 2 and definitely top 5 especially if their freshman lead runner places in top 6 girls. I think Bosley has the best kick in the field as he will run 4:08 as a junior this year I think but he will run to qualify he won’t care about his place here so he won’t drive all the way to the finish line unless he needs to to get 5th place. Nobody will know how good Bosley is until nationals good or bad. The bad is he went out in a lousy 5:10 at state meet compared to 4:35 at the Illinois state meet. Need to prepare to go out in sub 4:40 and he may not be prepared but he did go out fairly quick when he ran 15 flat so I think he will be alright for national type environments. My guess at nationals he will be one of those boys who is near the back at the mile but finishes near 10th and is a top 5 returner. He will need to figure out how to be there for the entire race as a senior to place top 3 at footlocker but his current style is fine for finishing top 15 as a junior


Pleasant Valley struggled early in the season but won their last 5 races including the state meet. Their number 1 runner ran 4:19/9:21 in track as a Jr. He had a slow start to the season and has been steadily improving finishing 4th at state. They put 5 in the top 22 at state with number 5 running 16:15 and 6th runner running 16:35. Dowling beat Middleton and Edina at Griak but Pleasant Valley beat Dowling by 45 points at state. If they duplicate their state performance, they will be tough to edge out for 2nd.


Those 2 middleton boys didn’t run or didn’t run well at griak but they should be ready to do well at heartland. It’s a tough top 5. Should be a nice battle for 2nd. Middleton I didn’t think would be good enough until next year but that second spot seems open depending on which team shows up. Middleton put top 3 around the ten spot at wisconsin state but their 4 runner is as good as the three but didn’t run due to a sickness and the 5 runner was the 1 runner before getting injured over the summer. He is getting better and better if he caught up by Heartland they will be a good team. He was a sub 9:20 guy as a junior I believe so has the talent but hasn’t quite made it back yet. He opened at griak but state was his top showing thus far but still not up to par but this extra time was probably most important for him, his name is jack radar, Middleton has a ton of good young runners but probably not good enough to make nationals unless jack radar has his best meet this year so far and can hang with the top 4 guys from his own team. I don’t think middleton has had 5 or for that matter 7 guys all run their best on the same day so that’s either coming next or will be a goal for next year but as @westharrier stated they have been so much better than any team in wisconsin this year that they have been able to rest runners and not even risk guys at big meets like state if they aren’t ready to run their best. Their 1 runner ran 4:20 as a sophomore and has been solid all year but not that good of a individual runner yet this year. Caleb easton did run a nice final mile at griak to I believe finish top 10. He may have to seperate from his teams pack with a mile to go he does have the ability to be a low stick based on his sophomore track times and has sporadically shown that capability throughout the year but not anywhere near bosley meinke, iron sheik, vanucci, kav, Ellenberg so unlikely he is a top 10 individual like the pack above which will all be there at the 2.5 I’m guessing for at least top 10 but in the right setting Caleb could be on paper ahead of the wayzata number 2 runner. Also from track as a sophomore Bosley finishing speed looks slow given his sophmore prs of 9:05 4:22 and 2 flat but that’s because he was injured all season. As a freshman he ran a 4:16 1600 meter 3 weeks before state and achored his 4x800 as a freshman in 1:56 (team finished 2nd in 7:48!or 7:49) He has real speed and in the right setting if healthy could he a 4:08 1:54 guy as a junior. At Midwest footlocker there will be some guys who will be trying to break 4:02 this year but at Heartland I think Bosley is likely the fastest runner in the field when it comes to a kick (ellenburg from wisconsin will also likely run 1:54 this year but not sure he has the strength as a junior to be there as he has been allowing separation too often)


Apparently there is a tremendous amount of kids registered for Heartland NXR. This is part of an email that was sent out this morning.

CHAMPIONSHIP RACES-We have set the fields for the boys and girls championship races. If you registered for the championship race you were NOT guaranteeed entry. We will have record entries in the meet again, with over 3000 in the high school races alone, so the task of setting the championship fields was a difficult one. We strongly encourage you to check your final race assignments if you entered the championship race. All you need to do is log into your account and and review your athlete race assignments. If your team or individual did not make it in the championship race, you will easily be able to see that from your account. More importantly, you will also be able to see what race we re-assigned you to. Box assignments will also be posted at but probably not until sometime on Thursday.


Bittersweet. Footlocker MW will always get a great turnout but Nike HL has really grown over the past 12-13 years to the point where they cant accept everyone into the races they want. The course in Yankton is a pancake too!