The Harrison Raider Invitational is set to take place this Saturday at the Tippecanoe County Amphitheater. Year after year, this invite tends to bring some of the best teams and individuals in the state. This year will be no different. With the combination of top individuals and podium caliber teams entered, you won't want to miss this meet!
8:30am - 9am: Check-In
9am: Boys Varsity
9:35am: Girls Varsity
10:10am: Boys JV
10:45am: Girls JV
*all times are approx. and are subject to change slightly.
Location: Tippecanoe County Amphitheater
The individual race will be a race worth watching, as it features some of the best in the state. Most notably being Lucas Guerra and Jack Gilliard. Guerra holds the better PR with a 15:48, while Gillard boasts a PR of 15:51. These two are the favorites, and it should come to no surprise if either one wins. This battle seems like it will go down to the finish, and will be a kick to the end. If we had to choose a winner, we'd give it to Guerra based on his current PR and closing speed. Some other guys to look out for up front are Jesus Garcia, Robert Pratt, Cole Raymond, and Caleb Williams. All four of these individuals have been on the rise, and look to finish within the top 10. Depending on how quickly the race goes out, these four guys may not be coming over that final little hump towards the finish with Gillard and Guerra but don't expect them to far behind.
On the team side of things, the battle only gets more intense. With teams like Bloomington South, Harrison, and Highland set to duke it out early in the year. All but Bloomington South, will see each other a handful more times this season and through the tournament so this gives them the opportunity to test the waters and see how their competitors are looking early into things. B-South, on paper looks like the team that could be going for a big win here and has the manpower to do so. Harrison's top 2 guys, Williams and Soriano will need to be towards the front most of the way to give them a shot at stealing the team title away. Highland is one who will likely use this meet to their advantage to get in good racing with a few top teams, but can still be in contention for a top 5 finish.
The girls race sure won't disappoint. Headlining the individual race is senior Katelyn Wasson of Zionsville and the rising star Karina James, a sophomore at Lowell. Wasson comes into the meet with a 18:03 personal best while Karina James holds a best of 18:29. Both girls will be looking to lead their teams to team titles this weekend and all the way through the season.
It is likely that these two will be up front battling for the lead and it should come down to the homestretch. James doesn't quite have the experience that Wasson does, but always seems to get the job done and as we've seen in past races experience doesn't always mean a whole lot. With these 2 in the race, this race will go out fast and should separate themselves from the rest. We shouldn't underestimate the rest of the field though. Some key names to keep an eye on are Abby Beathea and Anna Settle. If this race happens to go out slow, look for these 2 to be right up with Wasson and James.
Now to the team side of things. The clear cut favorite has to be Zionsville. With Wasson up front followed by Anna Settle and Lauren Rinehart, these 3 can all land within the top 5. That should guarantee the win for the Lady Eagles. In fact, their top 5 have the potential to all finish within the top 10. Along with that, there average is by far the best in the meet and within the state, with an average of 5K time of 18:37. Zionsville is no joke, they'll be the team to beat. The next best team to compete with Zionsville is West Lafayette. Allie Steffey leads the time with Caroline Jordan. Steffey comes into this meet with a personal best of 19:08, and is only a sophomore. If this duo can manage to get inside the top 10, that will be a huge help for West Lafayette and their chances of beating of Zionsville. Bloomington South is one to not keep out of the team discussion either. They have a key low-stick runner, Abby Beathea. She has the ability to finish within the top 5, giving Bloomington South some low points. Behind Beathea is Paige Brummett and Lilly Myers. With these 3, they will look to battle with West Lafayette for the 2nd position.