The End Is Near: Lake Conference Championships Highlight Day

Weather: Sunny, low 40s, decent wind


Virtual Meet Projection: Nova Classical Academy (28), Northwest Nighthawks (48), Math & Science Academy (59)

Top Individuals: Harris Anderson (MSA, 16:12), Luke Swanson (Northwest Nighthawks, 16:33), Dare Akinmusire (Nova, 16:56), Tavin Zeise (Nova, 17:13), Lukas Ladas (Nova, 17:18), Theo Andre (Nova, 17:19), Jeremiah Gavin (Northwest Nighthawks, 17:22)

The Skinny: After knee pain resulted in him sitting out the Swain and Jordan meets as a precaution, it's unclear if Harris Anderson will race here on Monday. Assuming Anderson does toe the line, he's the odds-on favorite to repeat as conference champion. He won by 36 seconds in 2017, and has looked in even better shape so far this year. However, the competition has also greatly improved within the conference, as Luke Swanson and Dare Akinmusire have each gone under 17:00 multiple times. Akinmusire and Swanson are the 2nd and 3rd returners from last year. The 5th-ranked Nova Classical Academy Boys should cruise to victory at this meet, as they are projected to take up four of the top six spots. Northwest projects as the likely runner-up, but their personal best times are slightly thrown off by the extremely fast Litchfield Invite. However, they still finish 2nd using season average times, but by only six points. They'll battle with Math & Science Academy for the runner-up position.


Virtual Meet ProjectionNorthwest Nighthawks (32), Math & Science Academy (46), Nova Classical Academy (57)

Top Individuals: Tierney Wolfgram (MSA, 17:06), Erika Swanson (Northwest, 19:08), Greta Hansen (MSA, 20:06), Margaret Myskowski (Northwest, 20:07)

The Skinny: Assuming Tierney Wolfgram runs here (which had been the plan as of last week), it will be just eight days removed from her epic 2:40 marathon debut, which would be a very tight turnaround for the one of America's youngest Olympic Trials qualifiers ever. Of course, Wolfgram is so much better than the rest of the field that she wouldn't need a full effort to secure the victory. However, if she sits out this meet to rest/recover a bit longer, then the door is open for Erika Swanson to take the individual title. Swanson has been a consistent force all year long, running in the mid 19s this season. Behind her should be Greta Hansen and Margaret Myskowski, who have each run right around 20:00 this season. However, Myskowski's time came on the very fast Litchfield course, so Hansen should probably be favored for 3rd, as she's been more consistent (Hansen's average 5k time this year is 20:41 versus Myskowski's 21:19). The Northwest Nighthawks, Math & Science Academy, and Nova Classical Academy should battle for the conference championship, though MSA will need Wolgram to run to be in contention. Even with the Dragons' star running, Northwest is slightly favored to win in the virtual meet, which would be a landmark first for the squad of homeschoolers.

(written by Sam O'Donnell-Hoff)