Meet of the Week: 2023 Lake Conference Championships


The most loaded cross country conference in Minnesota is back this week in the 2023 Lake Conference Championships where many of the state's best teams and runners will come together at Gale Woods Farm to race for conference supremacy. 

Gone are last year's individual champions in Hamza Mohamed and Abbey Nechanicky of Wayzata, but Wayzata does return the championship teams of last year but will face some stiff competition last year. 

Here we preview this years Lake Conference Championships:


Boys Individual Preview

It's a who's who of experienced runners returning to this year's Lake Conference Championships with six of last year's top ten runners returning and thirteen of the top twenty overall. Leading the way this year as the fastest runner this season is Wayzata's Will Weber, with Minnetonka Sean Fries and others not far behind. 

Projected Top Five Runners


Will Weber


Sean Fries


Landon Hering


Daniel McCollor


Elijah Donaldson


Many of the state stop runners will be here with 9 runners having a PR this season under 16 minutes and 6 more having a PR under 16:30. 

Weber comes in as the fastest runner this season in the field with his 15:24.10 PR from last weeks STMA Invite, but has only won one race this season. Sean Fries has the second-fastest PR in the field but has yet to win a race this season. Hering has also not won a race yet but has run 15:36 twice this season. McCollor was last year's runner-up and is this year's top returner from last year's meet. 

If we look at the head-to-head results from Roy Griak, Weber was the top finisher from these teams with Hering just 7 seconds behind him and Fries 10 seconds behind Hering. There is not clear cut favorite in this race this year with a plethora of Minensota's fastest runners at one meet. 

Boys Team Preview

Last week's top three Class AAA teams in the Minnesota XC Coaches Association rankings will meet up here to determine who should be the front-runner for the Class AAA State title just a few weeks before the meet. Those teams this year are the #1 Wayzata boys, the #2 Minnetonka boys, and the #3 Edina boys. 

Those three teams most recently faced off at the Roy Griak Invitational where Wayzata finished 4th, Edina 5th, and Minnetonka 7th at one of the nation's premier meets. Wayzata established supremacy over Edina and Minnetonka beating them by over 60 points at the meet, with Minnetonka and Edina separated by just 2 points. 

Projected Lake Conference Results

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Wayzata will come in as the favorites after their Roy Griak performance and after they return four of their top five runners from last year's Lake Conference Championship team. Minnetonka isn't too far behind them and they actually own the top team average in Minnesota with a 5K average of 15:55.66. 

Edina is also a strong team this year and is coming off a huge performance from the Alexandria Lions Meet of Champions where they won the meet by 19 points over Stillwater with a 16:18 team average. That was the fastest Meet of Champions team average for any team since 2018 (Mounds View - 16:12). 

Girls Individual Preview

Some of the best of the best in Minnesota cross country reside in the Lake Conference year in and year out, this year is no different with the #3, #4, #6, and #13 ranked girls overall all residing in the Lake Conference. 

Projected Top Girls Finishers


Sydney Drevlow


Evie Malec


Avery Marasco-Johnson


Jazleen Malherek-Osorio


Alyson Kleyman


At the top of the projected results, there seems to be a clear favorite in Sydney Drevlow who owns the top seasonal PR and overall PR in the field and ranks as the #85 runner this season nationally by time. Behind her is star Minnetonka freshman Evie Malec who ranks as the #16 freshman nationally, and Avery Marasco-Johnson who has been one of the state's top runners since 2020.

Not too far behind them is Wayzata's top runner this season in Jazleen Malherek-Osorio who has taken the reigns of one of the nation's top programs in Wayzata. This season she has three 2nd-place finishes and an 11th-place finish at Roy Griak behind five other Minnesota runners, including Drevlow and Malec. 

Several of the top runners at this meet also ran at last weeks STMA Invite where Malec took the win over Marasco-Johnson, Malherek-Osorio, Kleyman, and Ella Graham. Drevlow probably has the most impressive win of the season thus far beating Mia Hoffmann at the Brave Like Gabe Invite, 17:35 to 17:52. 

It's a strong field at the top but is also deep with talent. The odds would say that one of Drevlow or Malec would win here, but there are many girls close behind them who have a lot of experience and drive. 

Girls Team Preview

Two of Minnesota's perennial powerhouses in Wayzata and Minnetonka will face off here ranked as the top two teams in Minnesota by score, team 5K average, and as the top two teams in the Minnesota XC coaches rankings. 

The Wayzata and Minnetonka girls have faced off against each other multiple times this season at the Maple Grove Crimson Twilight where Wayzata beat Minnetonka 29-38, at Roy Griak where Wayzata dominated Minnetonka 118-358, and at last week's STMA Invite where Wayzata again beat them 27-51. 

Projected Team Scores

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Based on those previous meet results and the projected standings above, Wayzata will come in as the heavy favorite, with the other teams needing some huge performances to even come close to the Wayzata girls.