Lake Superior Conference Championships (Postponed to 10/12)
Location: Grand View Golf Links, Duluth
Weather: Low 40's and sunny
The Skinny: The top four times this season, and eight of the top 14, have been achieved by runners from Cloquet, so they are the heavy favorite to take home yet another Lake Superior Championship. They are certainly no strangers to winning this conference, as they have done so five of the past six years, only losing to Proctor in 2015 by two points. In each of the past three years, they have scored no more than 27 points, and they will likely continue that streak this year too, projected to score just 21. Last year's champion was Aiden Ripp, who is still making his way back after missing the first half of the season, but still owns the fourth-best time in the field. Blaine Bong and Jordan Allen have traded off being Cloquet's top runner this year, and either one of them could be considered the overall favorite (though Bong is coming off a disappointing Swain race where he faded towards the end, so me might have a little extra motivation), and Jesse Bahan should mix it up in there too. With Jacob Gontjes' status unknown (he has not raced since September 18th), the runners most likely to break up Cloquet's grip are Proctor's John Werner (an XC rookie who only have two races to his credit this year, but done very well in both of them) and Denfeld's Isaac Fink (who is experiencing something of a breakout season).
The Skinny: Proctor had a tough season with injuries last year, resulting in them not winning the conference championships last year, and then proceeding to qualify for State when some key runners returned. This year, they have been a lot more healthy, and are being led by an excellent season from senior Sydney Binsfield. With five of the top 15 runners, Proctor will enter the meet as the projected winners, and they have a little bit of cushion over Marshall's projected runner-up score. However, the individual battle appears a little up-in-the-air at the moment, as the top top runners in the conference, Binsfield and Marshall's Ashlee Siegle both did not race at Swain (or at least, do not appear in the results - they both were registered to run the meet). It would be a great loss if niether athlete runs, as they both have serious All-State potential at this years State Championships, plus Siegle is the defending meet champion. In their abscence, the meet then becomes a battle between Ashland's Elena George and Marshall's Emma Stattelman.
(written by Mark Rice)