The End Is Near: Lake Conference Championships Highlight Day

PREVIEW

Camden Conference Championships

Location: Lakeview Golf Course, Cottonwood

Weather: Mid-40's and sunny

BOYS

Virtual Meet Projection: Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd (18), Canby/Minneota (46)

Top Individuals: Mikey Kvaal (LQPVDB, 16:36), Ezekiel Sather (LQPVDB, 16:39), Mason Brehmer (LQPVDB, 17:22), Griffin Johnson (LQPV, 17:28), Jalyn Ufkin (Canby/Minneota, 17:34), Rory Schackelford (YME, 17:35)

The Skinny: Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd has dominated the Camden Conference in recent years, and there is no reason to suspect they won't this year. In addition to scoring just 18 points in the virtual meet, they actually own nine of the top 13 fastest season-best times in the competition. Of course, just as dominant as the Eagles are, Canby/Minneota has just as strong a grip on second. In fact, Canby/Minneota and LQPVDB combine for a remarkable 20 of the 22 fastest runners this season. The dominance of those two schools simply overwhelm the rest of the conference. Rory Schackelford of Yellow Medicine East is the best runner in the conference not from either one of those two schools, and while it may be a challenge to upset either of the two favorites (Mikey Kvaal and Ezekiel Sather of LQPVDB), he is a returning State qualifier with a lot of potential.

GIRLS

Virtual Meet Projection: Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd (26), Canby/Minneota (32)

Top Individuals: Grace Drietz (Canby/Minneota, 18:32), Isabel Schirm (LQPVDB, 19:29), Grace Hegland (LQPVDB, 20:13), Mckenzie Ruether (Canby/Minneota, 20:32), Anika Fernholz (LQPVDB, 20:41)

The Skinny: Last year, the conference championships came down to a mere four points between Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd and Canby-Minneota, and 2018's edition of the meet looks like it could be just as close between those two same teams. The virtual meet puts the two schools actually to within two points of the exact score last year (26-32 vs 27-31), so clearly these two teams appear to have a stranglehold on the conference. At the same time, the edge does appear to be in the hands of LQPVDB, as they have two the head-to-head matchup both times they've seen each other this year. Individually, Grace Drietz is the returning Conference Champion, and she's the favorite again with a season-best of 18:32 and a ninth-ranking in Class A. Her biggest challenge takes the form of last year's third-place finisher Isabel Schirm, who has had an excellent season in her own right, finishing either runner-up or the winner six times this year. No other runner is expected to make a seious puck to challenge either of those two girls.

(written by Mark Rice)

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