It usually takes an All-American to win the Water Street Mile.

At least the last eight races have gone to such decorated runners.

Matt Cooper is the defending champion and he was preceded by other UW-Eau Claire All-Americans over the past six years and UW-Stout’s Tim Nelson the two years prior.

So, will it happen again?

Despite the fact that several of the top names are injured or out of town, don’t count it out.

They’ll be racing the historic west side thoroughfare at 8:30 Saturday morning with a 5k race to follow at 9 in the 20th annual event of the Indianhead Track Club and Dove Healthcare that benefits the L.E. Phillips Senior Center.

One of the headliners is expected to be Kyler Lueck and he could be running with up to a dozen freshman-to-senior Blugold teammates.

That should make it interesting.

Lueck has the credentials. He won the 800 and was runner-up in the 1,500 in the Division 3 national championships this spring to claim All-American honors.

Cooper, last year’s winner in 4-minutes, 15.4 seconds is in Colorado and is not expected to take part.

Darin Lau and Patrick Treacy, the winners the two previous years, are sidelined with injuries. Treacy set the record at 4:14 in 2016 and Lau won in 4:18.7 in 2017.

Aaron Easker sandwiched two wins around Matt Scott the two previous years.

Following Cooper to the tape but well back last year were Treacy, David Ecker, Mike Fifield and Mike Friedman.

The female side has also featured All-Americans.

Defending champion Hannah Roeske, the Memorial High product who has become a Division 3 All-American at Wheaton College, won last year in 5:11.4 and placed second behind Aubrey Roberts in a time of 5:18.6 in 2017.

Roberts, a former Old Abe state champion and now a Division 1 All-American at Northwestern, is training for her senior season in Boulder, Colorado. She took her third Water Street win in 2017 in 5:04. The course record for women is 4:57 set by Dani Fischer in 2013.

Coming in behind Roeske last year were Zoe Smith, Morgan Maren, Sophia Smith and Mel Becker.

Defending champions in the 5k are Kyle Dekan of Eau Claire in 21:02 and Alison Klosterman, West Bend in 21:05 with Nikki Bowe two seconds behind.

Over 300 runners/walkers are expected to take part in the races, which also include team events, on courses that run west from First Avenue and finish just beyond the bend to Menomonie Street, according to Race Director Mary Pica-Anderson.

Race-day entry is $22 for the mile and $27 for the 5k. Race packet pickup is being held today and Friday at the Senior Center from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday morning at Menomonie Street Dental with registration until 8 a.m.


Water Street Mile Past Winners

Male

2000 -- Steve Sinclair, 4:24

2001 -- Cody See, 4:19

2002 -- Mark Albrecht, 4:22

2003 -- Larry Mboga, 4:16

2004 -- Cody See, 4:19

2005 -– Rich Maleniak, 4:19

2006 –- Ryan Meissen, 4:25

2007 -- Sean Olson, 4:27

2008 -- Chris Wirtz, 4:28

2009 -- Mathew Chesang, 4:23

2010 -- Jake Zander, 4:22

2011 -- Tim Nelson, 4:16

2012 -- Tim Nelson, 4:21

2013 -- Aaron Easker, 4:18

2014 -- Matt Scott, 4:14.9

2015 – Aaron Easker, 4:20

2016 – Patrick Treacy, 4:14.0

2017 – Darin Lau, 4:18

2018 – Matt Cooper, 4:15.4

Female

2000 -- Becky Schaefer, 5:29

2001 -- DeAnna Pasch, 5:44

2002 -- Jen Theisen, 5:23

2003 -- Sarah Kasabian, 5:04

2004 -- Jen Theisen, 5:13

2005 –- Carie Steil, 5:44

2006 –- Jen Theisen, 5:24

2007 -- Christina Locke, 5:24

2008 -- Mary Palmer, 5:15

2009 -- Maria Peloquin, 5:31

2010 -- Alyssa Sybilrud, 5:11

2011 -- Ashlyn Mauer, 5:15

2012 -- Aubrey Roberts, 5:30

2013 -- Dani Fischer, 4:57

2014 -- Monica Emerson, 5:22.8

2015 – Aubrey Roberts, 5:14

2016 – Mary Wirtz, 5:21

2017 – Aubrey Roberts, 5:04

2018 – Hannah Roeske, 5:11.4

Male 5K Winners

2012 -- Tony Bye, 16:51

2013 -- Darin Lau, 16:21

2014 -- Jesse Becker, 18:10

2015 – Jesse Becker, 17:42

2016 – Ben Gochanour, 18:02

2017 – James Merkel, 17:15

2018 – Kyle Dekan, 21:02

Female 5K Winners

2012 -- Amy Bye, 21:36

2013 -- Esobel Schultz, 23:55

2014 -- Karen Swanson, 19:33

2015 – Jordan Kelch, 19:41

2016 – Jordan Marco, 21:55

2017 – Izzy Lind, 20:22.

2018 – Alison Klosterman, 21:05.