Mitchell Hanson

Mitchell Hanson and Faribault cross country are off to Rochester Mayo's 50th annual invitational Thursday afternoon at Eastwood Golf Club. (Mike Randleman/Faribault Daily News)

Get your umbrellas ready.

A rainy week expects to continue Thursday with rain and thunderstorms popping up in forecasts. That shouldn't be an issue for area volleyball teams, but every other fall sport is reliant on cooperating weather.

Keep tabs with your respective school's calendar before heading off to events. With that said, here's a look at what's on tap for Thursday if dry skies prevail.

Faribault High School

- Cross country at Rochester Mayo Invitational, 3:40 p.m. = — Less than a week after Faribault hosted its 54th annual home invitational, the Falcons are off to Eastwood Golf Club for the 50th running of the Mayo Invite. Event schedule is as follows: Girls and boys 2.5K at 3:40 p.m., JV girls at 4, JV boys at 4:30, varsity girls at 5, varsity boys at 5:30 and kids at 5:50. Live results will be available at Wayzataresults.com.

This 30-team meet is Faribault's biggest of the season outside of the St. Olaf High School Showcase, which featured 39 teams, to open the season.

Top 10 teams that will be in attendance on the boys side per the Sept. 9 Minnesota Cross Country Coach's Association rankings: Class AA No. 5 Stillwater, AA No. 6 Eastview and Eagan, which is outside the top 10 receiving votes. Ranked individuals are AA No. 4 Carter Briggs (Winona), AA No. 6 AJ Green and Ethan Vargas (Stillwater) who was receiving AA votes.

For the girls, Class A No. 1 Luverne is the only ranked team, but both top-ranked individuals will be in the field. They are Stillwater's Analee Weaver and Zumbrota-Mazeppa/Kenyon-Wanamingo's Natasha Sortland. Winona Cotter is in the field, but the Ping sisters, who finished 1-2 at 2018 Class A state as well as last year at Mayo, have since moved to Arizona.

Stillwater is the meet's defending girls champion and Red Wing is the boys'. The Faribault boys were 11th last year and the girls were eighth.

- Girls tennis at Albert Lea, 4:30 p.m. — If the weather holds off, the Falcons will look for their second Big 9 win of the week, and season, after edging Red Wing on Tuesday. Per incomplete results on Big9.org, Albert Lea is winless on the season. Faribault is 3-6 overall and 1-5 in the Big 9.

- Girls swim and dive at Rochester Mayo, 6 p.m. — The Falcons have their first road dual meet of the season. They're taking on a team they just Saturday at the Lakeville Relays. While it may not portend directly for a traditional dual setting, the Spartans' depth lifted them to a third-place finish in Lakeville while the Falcons were sixth.

- Girls soccer at Rochester Mayo, 7 p.m. — These two teams played to a shootout last year won 5-4 by Mayo in Faribault. Mercedes Huerta had two goals in that game and one on Tuesday against Red Wing. If the Falcons (1-6, 0-4 Big 9) can keep up that type of offense, they could hang tight with a Mayo team (2-3, 2-0 Big 9) that's kept every opponent within two goals this season.

- Boys soccer vs. Rochester Mayo, 7 p.m. — The Falcons were riding high at 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the Big 9 until they received a scare from Red Wing on Tuesday. The winless Wingers managed a tie with the then co-Big 9 leading Falcons. Faribault earned its first ever win at Mayo last year and will look to pick up what would be its best win of the season here on Thursday. The Spartans tied 2-2 with another Big 9 unbeaten, Austin, on Tuesday and sit at 4-3-1 overall and 2-1-1 in the Big 9.

- Volleyball at Mankato East, 7 p.m. — The Falcons (3-5, 1-1 Big 9) make their second trip of the week to Mankato after falling Monday at Mankato West. East (1-7, 1-2 Big 9) has lost seven matches and 15 sets in a row, most of which came against tough competition at the Eden Prairie Pudas Invite. Faribault beat East in five sets last year led by 16 Payton Evenstad kills and 26 Hanna Cunniff digs.

Bethlehem Academy

- Volleyball vs. United South Central, 7:15 p.m. — BA (2-6, 1-0 Gopher) welcomes the USC Rebels (2-1, 0-1 Gopher) to Van Orsow Auditorium for the Cards' Gopher Conference home opener. No one on the roster was alive the last time BA lost a home conference match in the 1990s. Its 137-match overall conference win streak was snapped in 2018, but both losses came on the road. The Rebels were swept in their conference opener at Class A No. 4 Medford. BA has struggled against some big schools this season but handled conference foe Blooming Prairie in four sets.

Waterville-Elysian-Morristown

- WEM/JWP cross country at Maple River invitational, 4:30 p.m. — The WEM/JWP girls are going for their third meet win of the season while defending their title at Maple River. To find the winner's circle at host venue Maple River West Middle School, they'll have to knock off Blue Earth Area, Madelia/Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther, Maple River, Medford, Minnesota Valley Lutheran, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva, Sibley East and United South Central. On the boys side, BEA senior Grant Strukel defends his individual title and SE defends the team title. For the girls, WEM/JWP freshman Addison Peed was the winner with a time of 21:35.

- Volleyball at New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva, 7:15 p.m. — The Class A No. 5 Bucs (10-1, 1-0 Gopher) are going for their 11th straight win against the Panthers (1-3, 0-1 Gopher) who just picked up their first Monday vs. Fairmont. WEM swept last year's meeting and, after letting NRHEG hang tight in a 25-22 first set win, cruised late in the match.

Kenyon-Wanamingo

- Volleyball vs. Zumbrota-Mazeppa, 7:15 p.m. — The Class A No. 2 Knights (3-1, 1-1 Hiawatha Valley League) will look to recalibrate after a 3-0 setback Tuesday at AA No. 5 Kasson-Mantorville. A usually potent K-W offense has a chance to get back on track against the Cougars who were 21-7 a year ago but now sit 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the HVL. That can happen after the graduation of nine seniors, several of who were integral to pushing K-W to five sets in 2018.

- Z-M/K-W cross country at Rochester Mayo invitational, 3:40 p.m. — Z-M/K-W is up against plenty of big schools in this one, but it will hope to land freshman Natasha Sortland in the winner's circle as she's ranked No. 1 in the state in Class A. She'll battle with Stillwater's AA No. 1 Analee Weaver.

Reach Sports Editor Mike Randleman at 507-333-3119 or on Twitter @fdnmike.

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