With high school state track meets looming next weekend in both Dakotas, we’ve checked back in with T&F coaches in the states’ biggest classes to find out which teams they think are going to end up on the podium next Saturday afternoon.
Below, you'll find our second and final MidcoSN Coaches Poll of the season, and if you remember from last month (or need to see for yourself), it looks a lot like our first edition from this past April.
As a reminder of the format, we added up the votes from the head coaches in South Dakota Class AA and North Dakota Class A to determine our Top 5 for each class, with a first-place vote worth five points, a second-place vote worth four, and so on. The teams with the most points earned the top spot and subsequent spots on down, with ties broken by the number of first-place votes received...
Here's the final Midco Sports Network High School Track and Field Coaches Poll of 2017!
North Dakota A Boys
1. Bismarck Legacy
2. Bismarck Century
4. Bismarck High
5. Grand Forks Red River
RV. Fargo Davies
In North Dakota, we had zero movement – ZERO – in both the boys and girls rankings from our April Coaches Poll to now. On the boys side, Bismarck Legacy still holds a slim advantage over two-time defending champs Century for the top spot, though that margin has gotten even tighter in the last month. The Sabers picked up twice as many first place votes as the Pats, but they’ve not convinced everyone. A couple of third-place votes for Legacy have kept this a close race, which is what we can expect it to be at the Community Bowl next weekend. Minot, by the way, was barely ranked third over Bismarck in our April poll, but they doubled up the Demons in poll points this time around. The Magicians are nearly everyone’s pick to take the team bronze after a really strong showing this month.
North Dakota A Girls
1. Fargo Davies
2. Bismarck High
3. Bismarck Century
4. Grand Forks Red River
5. Bismarck Legacy
RV. Minot, Grand Forks Central
We had chalk in the Class A girls as well, as defending champions Fargo Davies retain their top ranking by a pretty wide margin over Bismarck High. The Eagles pick up every first-place vote but one, further cementing their place as the team to beat. Bismarck is the clear-cut choice for second, with Century and Red River a cut above the rest for third and fourth.
South Dakota AA Boys
1. Sioux Falls Lincoln
2. Brandon Valley
3. Rapid City Central
5. Sioux Falls Roosevelt
RV. RC Stevens, SF Washington, SF O’Gorman
To South Dakota, where we finally get a little movement. Lincoln is still the runaway favorite to capture their third AA title in four years, but look who’s the new No. 2! Brandon Valley, fresh off an ESD title this past weekend, has taken over the second spot from Rapid City Central, as the coaches have started to take notice that this Lynx team is for real. The Cobblers and Watertown go 3-4, with Roosevelt staying at No. 5, though we had three other teams within a point of the Riders for that last spot. Case in point, it's a little murky at the bottom of the AA standings.
South Dakota AA Girls
T1. Sioux Falls Lincoln
T1. Brandon Valley
3. Rapid City Central
T5. Rapid City Stevens
T5. Sioux Falls O’Gorman
We saved the tightest race for last. South Dakota’s AA Girls was literally too close to call, as for the first time in any class, we’ve got a tie atop the rankings. Sioux Falls Lincoln and Brandon Valley are deadlocked on points and first-place votes, so the Pats and Lynx will share the number one ranking going into the state meet.
Remember, these two went 1-2 at state last year, with the Patriots earning their first girls team title since 1987 by eight points (134-126) over BVHS. The two AA powerhouses are the overwhelming favorites to lap the field again this time around, but obviously, the coaches aren’t convinced the order of finish will stay the same.
Amazingly, we'll find out in just over a week how accurate our coaches are this year...
Day 1 of the South Dakota High School State Track Meet on May 26 sees the AA schools in Brandon, the A schools in Tea and the B schools in Sioux Falls at Howard Wood Field, with all three combining at HWF on Saturday. As always, both classes in North Dakota will gather at the Bismarck Community Bowl on both Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27.
Enjoy the region meets this weekend, and be sure to tune in to "Varsity Sports" Wednesday at 6:30pm on Midco Sports Network for a full state track preview for both states!