"We're going to be solid because we're going to be a little deeper than last year," coach Broze said. "The kids are excited; most of them did a lot of running this summer."
The coach says Rochester Century could be the team to beat in the Big Nine Conference and hopes the Scarlets can squeeze somewhere into the Top 4. "We were seventh last year so that would be a nice jump for us."
Chaska and Chanhassen are the Section 2AA favorites and Marshall could challenge, as well.
The Scarlets begin the season Aug. 27 at the Austin Invitational.
EAST GIRLS: The Cougars have 21 runners out in grades 8-12, and coach Neill Paarmann is expecting about 10 more when the seventh-graders show up. "That's the best numbers we've had in a long time," he said.
"Improvement" will be the by word for East this year as it looks to move up from a 10th-place in the Big Nine to the middle of the pack. "Fourth would be really great, and fifth would be good, too," Paarmann said.
This year's team will be led by freshman Ivy Glade. She is the team's clear-cut No. 1 runner and has been looking good in preseason practices. Junior Jennifer Johnson is also looking good as is sophomore Andrea Nett. Those three should consistently be in the Cougars' top five.
Behind that trio is a group of promising but unproven runners who should sort themselves out as they get into the season. Paarmann figures Rochester Century, Owatonna and Winona are the teams to beat in the Big 9 while Shakopee and Chaska are the favorites in the section.
The Cougars open the season Tuesday, Aug. 27, with a home quadrangular involving Faribault, Belle Plaine and Minnesota Valley Lutheran up on the East campus.