An unofficial state cross country meet will be held Friday and Saturday, with White Bear Lake and Mounds View among the teams accepting invitations.

The Twin Cities Running Club is hosting the meet and enlisted retired cross country coaches to run the event. The high school coaches are not allowed to take part because the 2020 season officially ended with their section meets, after the Minnesota State High School League canceled all fall state competitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Island Pines Golf Course in Atwater (just east of Willmar) will be the site, with Class AA teams competing Friday and Class A on Saturday. Most of the top teams will be there, along with many individual standouts from other teams.

There will be five “waves” of four teams each. Mounds View boys will run at 10:10 a.m. and White Bear Lake boys will run at 10:50 a.m. The Mounds View girls will run at 2:10 p.m. and the White Bear Lake girls will run at 2:50 p.m.

Gary Wilson will accompany the White Bear Lake boys. Wilson, former Minnesota Gophers coach, was a volunteer assistant with the Bears in 2018 and 2019. Mike Andres, a teacher and parent of one of the runners, will accompany the Bear girls.

White Bear Lake’s boys placed third in Section 4AA behind two ranked teams and the girls placed second. Mounds View’s boys placed first and the girls second in Section 5AA.

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