The 2013 Girls High School National Invitational Tournament (NIT), to be held May 18-19 in Racine, Wisc., is shaping up nicely. The early organization of the tournament has allowed the country's top teams to commit well in advance of the event, and the NIT currently showcases an exciting lineup.
At present, 20 teams have signed on for the three-division tournament. Seven of the eight teams that competed at last year's national championship are making the Midwest trip, the most notable being back-to-back champion Fallbrook High School. The San Diego teams headlines the surge in California's girls' rugby, and the Warriors will be joined by fellow SoCal competitor Fullerton, as well as veterans Sacramento Amazons and newcomer Danville Lady Oaks, both out of NorCal.
More West representation comes in the form of Kent, last year's fifth-place team out of Washington and Utah's Snow Canyon (Utah). We're particularly excited to see Summit back in the competition. The Colorado team dominates the state competition every fall but has pulled out of spring competitions to mimic the seasonality of other high school sports. But now Karl Barth's team is back, and they should be one of the best teams out there.
There's a nice contingent out of Wisconsin, which is not only hosting the tournament but also a hotbed for high school rugby. The nation's third- and fourth-best teams, Divine Savior Holy Angels and Catholic Memorial, lead the pack, while Kettle Morraine and Vernon also look to impress the hometown crowd.
The Wisconsin teams comprise more than half of the Midwest representation at the NIT. Ohio's Lakewood High School, last year's finalist, and their rival St. Joseph's Academy bolster the lineup. Minnesota powerhouse Armstrong is in the fold, as is Illinois' Plainfield.
A collection of five teams account for the east coast. West Carroll out of Maryland is the southernmost and most successful team from the region, which is complimented by Pennsylvania's State College, New Jersey's Elizabethtown, Massachusetts' Berkshire United, and New York U19s.
A month remains before the SCORe complex in Racine is teeming with the country's best teams, and RugbyMag.com will be there to cover all of the action.
For more information on the NIT, visit: