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Prep cross country: Duluth East’s Miatke, Superior’s McMeekin take Dan Conway Classic titles

Greyhounds sweep team titles as event moves from Nemadji to Pattison Park Golf Course.

Duluth East’s Oliver Miatke (8797) grinds his way to a first place finish during the Dan Conway Classic
Duluth East’s Oliver Miatke (8797) grinds his way to a first-place finish during the Dan Conway Classic at Pattison Park Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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SUPERIOR — As Duluth East cross-country runner Oliver Miatke turned the corner for the third and final loop Thursday, Sept. 8, at the Dan Conway Classic, he began pulling away from Noah Foster.

That, however, was nothing compared to the afterburners he displayed as he rocketed toward the finish line at Pattison Park Golf Course, catching onlookers a little off-guard.

“I always have a kick, that’s what I like to say,” Miatke said. “There’s just something in my brain that whenever I see the finish, it takes me to another level.”

Miatke (pronounced MATT-key) won going away, with the senior covering the five kilometers in 16 minutes, 34.5 seconds.

Foster, a senior with Cromwell-Wright/Barnum, was second in 16:57.5 and Cloquet senior Miles Fischer third in 17:20.3. Duluth East junior Sam Blascyk (17:23.0) was fourth as the Greyhounds, competing as a team in the Dan Conway Classic for the first time since 2017, dominated in the boys team competition.

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Superior’s Tayler McMeekin (9068) holds a small lead over Northwestern’s Jenna Hursh (1811) on the first lap of the girls race at the Dan Conway Classic
Superior’s Tayler McMeekin (9068) holds a small lead over Northwestern’s Jenna Hursh (1811) on the first lap of the girls race at the Dan Conway Classic at Pattison Park Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2022. McMeekin won the race and Hursh finished second.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Superior sophomore Tayler McMeekin breezed to victory in the girls race in 20:16.4, with Northwestern junior Jenna Hursh a distant second in 21:03.9. Duluth East junior Rowan Bixler was third in 21:08.5 as the Greyhounds easily took the girl team title after placing five runners in the top eight.

McMeekin, who has dealt with knee issues and got a slow start to the season, lopped about 1:15 off her season best in winning her first race this fall.

Is she back?

“I think so,” McMeekin said, cracking a smile as big as her performance Thursday.

Spartans sophomore standout is gradually returning to her state-caliber form.

This was the first time in about 20 years the race wasn’t held at its traditional home, Nemadji Golf Course.

The temperature was in the mid-80s with a strong wind out of the south as Superior senior Ethan Grams hosed down runners with cold water as they came by.

“That was nice,” McMeekin said of getting water to begin the last lap and then after the race. “And it was nice that it wasn’t sunny. The course was pretty flat for the most part, except for a couple bumps. It was three full loops, compared to Nemadji, which was two. That made it a little harder.”

There’s a psychological aspect that tells the brain three laps is more than two, even if the distance is the same. And, it gets a little boring, according to McMeekin.

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Cromwell-Wright’s Noah Foster (8692) crosses the finish line in second place
Cromwell-Wright’s Noah Foster (8692) crosses the finish line in second place at the Dan Conway Classic at Pattison Park Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

The sun came out for the boys race later in the afternoon and Foster noticed. He was asked how he was feeling.

“Hot,” he said.

Foster, the Cardinals standout, has dealt with knee issues, sore glutes and was sick earlier in the season.

“It’s been tough,” he said.

The remedy?

“Stretch more,” he said.

Foster said he’s about 85% healthy, and to keep up with a burner like Miatke, that doesn’t cut it. Miatke turned his 10-yard lead into 50 yards in a hurry on that last lap.

“He took off, and I hit the wall,” Foster said.

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Carlton-Wrenshall’s Sara Cid (8617) grabs a quick drink as she runs through the sprinkler at the Dan Conway Classic
Carlton-Wrenshall’s Sara Cid (8617) grabs a quick drink as she runs through the sprinkler at the Dan Conway Classic at Pattison Park Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2022. Cid finished 14th overall.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Pattison Park welcomes runners

Superior athletic director Ella Olson knew that Nemadji Golf Course wouldn’t work for the Dan Conway Classic this year, so she reached out to Pattison Park Golf Course.

“They said absolutely,” Olson recalled. “Come on out.”

Pattison Park has new owners in Brad and Deanna Moen and they saw the event as an opportunity to grow their product. The Spartans checked out the course in June with Brad Moen leading the way and found it suitable for Superior cross country’s signature event.

“He’s been amazing to work with,” Olson said. “He has bent over backwards for whatever we’ve needed.”

Pattison Park had to shut down for the event, whereas Nemadji, with 36 holes, could still operate, albeit with more limited capacity and logistical issues. It’s a busy time of the year for Nemadji, which is also under new management, as golfers scramble to get rounds in while the weather is still optimal.

“They never said we couldn’t have it there,” Olson said of Nemadji. “We just couldn’t do it now.”

  • An ambulance was called out to Pattison Park to attend to a girls runner but Olson said it turned out to be nothing serious.
Superior’s Tayler McMeekin (9068) starts to build her lead at the start of the Dan Conway Classic
Superior’s Tayler McMeekin (9068) starts to build her lead at the start of the Dan Conway Classic at Pattison Park Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2022. McMeekin won the race in 20:16.4.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Boys

Teams

1. Duluth East, 39; 2. Northwestern, 89; 3. Moose Lake/Willow River/Barnum, 116; 4. Superior, 125; 5. North Shore, 136; 6. Cloquet, 154; 7. Esko, 166; 8. Hayward, 178; 9. Duluth Denfeld, 189; 10. Hermantown, 251; 11. Lakeview Chistian Academy, 314.

Individuals

1. Oliver Miatke, DE, 16 minutes, 34.5 seconds; Noah Foster, Cromwell-Wright/Barnum, 16:57.5; 3. Miles Fischer, Cloq., 17:20.3; 4. Sam Blascyk, DE, 17:23.0; 5. Benjamin Meysembourg, Esko, 17:27.7; 6. Ian Thorpe, NS, 17:38.8; 7. Emmett Johnson, NW, 17:45.6; Charles Juntunen, DD, 18:01.9’ 9. Jack Riley, Carlton-Wrenshall, 18:04.7; 10. Mark Jarman, NW, 18:08.4.

Girls

Teams

1. Duluth East, 29; 2. North Shore, 77; 3. Northwestern, 89; 4. Cloquet, 132; 5. Moose Lake/Willow River/Barnum, 156; 6., Superior, 164; 7. Hayward, 169; 8. Duluth Marshall, 186; 9. Hermantown, 200; 10. Duluth Denfeld, 223.

Individuals

1. Tayler McMeekin, Sup., 20:16.4, 2. Jenna Hursh, NW, 21:03.9; 3. Rowan Bixler, DE, 21:08.5; 4. Olya Wright, NW, 21:11.0; 5. Anna-Britta Helmer, DE, 21:18.6; 6. Carolina Arvold, DE, 21:23.1; 7. Taylor Wood, DE, 21:32.3; 8. Sasha Wahman, DE, 21:32.8; 9. Lamar Gordon , NS, 21:34.1; 10. Grace McCormick, DD, 21:39.5.

Duluth East’s Oliver Miatke (8797) reacts after crossing the finish line in first place
Duluth East’s Oliver Miatke (8797) reacts after crossing the finish line in first place at the Dan Conway Classic at Pattison Park Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
Cloquet’s Miles Fischer (8669) brushes his wet hair out of his face after running through the sprinkler at the Dan Conway Classic
Cloquet’s Miles Fischer (8669) brushes his wet hair out of his face after running through the sprinkler at the Dan Conway Classic at Pattison Park Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2022. Fischer finished third overall.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
Northwestern’s Emmett Johnson (6222) leads a group on a turn
Northwestern’s Emmett Johnson (6222) leads a group on a turn during the Dan Conway Classic at Pattison Park Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2022. Johnson finished seventh overall.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
Esko’s Spencer Hipp (8834) smiles as he runs through the sprinkler during the Dan Conway Classic
Esko’s Spencer Hipp (8834) smiles as he runs through the sprinkler during the Dan Conway Classic at Pattison Park Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
Superior’s Jacob Lind (9085) crosses the finish line in 11th place
Superior’s Jacob Lind (9085) crosses the finish line in 11th place at the Dan Conway Classic at Pattison Park Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
Carlton-Wrenshall’s Jack Riley (8633) and Northwestern’s Mark Jarman (6220) cool off as they run through the sprinkler
Carlton-Wrenshall’s Jack Riley (8633) and Northwestern’s Mark Jarman (6220) cool off as they run through the sprinkler during the Dan Conway Classic at Pattison Park Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2022. Riley finished in ninth place and Jarman was 10th.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
Superior’s Kanayo Onwudiegwu (9088) runs through the sprinkler during the Dan Conway Classic
Superior’s Kanayo Onwudiegwu (9088) runs through the sprinkler during the Dan Conway Classic at Pattison Park Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
Northwestern’s Jenna Hursh (1811) collapses at the finish line after her second place finish
Northwestern’s Jenna Hursh (1811) collapses at the finish line after her second-place finish at the Dan Conway Classic at Pattison Park Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
Water runs off Cloquet’s Bri LaCore (8645) after she ran through the sprinkler
Water runs off Cloquet’s Bri LaCore (8645) after she ran through the sprinkler during the Dan Conway Classic at Pattison Park Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
Cromwell-Wright’s Emaleigh Olesiak (8691) smiles as she crosses the finish line in 16th place
Cromwell-Wright’s Emaleigh Olesiak (8691) smiles as she crosses the finish line in 16th place at the Dan Conway Classic at Pattison Park Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
Superior’s Grace Lemke (9064) cools off as she runs through the sprinkler
Superior’s Grace Lemke (9064) cools off as she runs through the sprinkler during the Dan Conway Classic at Pattison Park Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

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