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Prep cross country: McMeekin, local teams prepared for sectionals

The Superior sophomore is back after qualifying for the state meet last year; Northwestern and Solon hope to have impact.

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Tayler McMeekin of Superior approaches the finish line during the Lake Superior Conference cross country meet on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021, at Grand View Golf Course in Duluth. McMeekin defended her title in 2022 and is looking to earn a second berth to the WIAA state meet.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune
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SUPERIOR — Superior sophomore Tayler McMeekin will be one to watch as girls and boys cross-country runners from across the state compete this weekend at the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association sectional meets.

McMeekin will compete with the Spartans in the Division 1 Sectional 1 girls meet Saturday, Oct. 22, in Onalaska. She won the Lake Superior Conference Championships October 11 in Duluth in 19 minutes, 39.3 seconds, or about 25 seconds over Proctor sophomore Lizzy Harnell.

McMeekin qualified for the state meet last year as a freshman, finishing 19th, but has battled injuries ever since, mostly dealing with her growth plates, and even dropped out of a race this fall.

“Honestly, I’m not even sure which knee has been bothering her more this fall,” Spartans coach Lee Sims said. “It's been both, then one, then both. I just know when they are bugging her, we switch gears and do the best we can to keep her progressing with little to no impact in hopes that the rest is enough for her to race fairly pain free.”

Things “definitely came together” at the LSC Championships, as Sims said, and that, of course, is a good thing for the Spartans heading into sectionals.

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Superior senior Savannah Leopold, known for her basketball prowess, is a solid runner. Grace Lemke, Josie Hanson, Elena Almonte and Veronica Acurero also finished in the top 31 for the Spartans at the LSC Championships, helping Superior finish third in the team standings to Hibbing and Proctor.

Superior’s Savannah Leopold (5137) looks back at Hibbing’s Jocelyn Strukel (5046) during the Lake Superior Conference meet
Superior’s Savannah Leopold (5137) looks back at Hibbing’s Jocelyn Strukel (5046) during the Lake Superior Conference meet at Grand View Golf Links in Duluth on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

“Our girls team ran awesome and placed as high as they possibly could have,” Sims said.

The boys, however, had mixed results as they finished fourth in the team standings.

Jacob Lind (second), Jaden Karren (15th), Julian Marynik (18th), Edward Hakanson (19th) and Kanayo Onwudiegwu (23rd) all finished in the top 25 for the Spartans.

Northwestern will compete in the Division 2 Sectional 1 meet Saturday, Oct. 22, in Rice Lake.

“The year’s been great,” Tigers coach Phil McGrath said. “We took home the Heart O’ North Conference titles for both the boys and girls.”

Northwestern’s Mark Jarmin (6884) holds a slight lead over Esko’s Benjamin Meysembourg (6766)
Northwestern’s Mark Jarmin (6884) holds a slight lead over Esko’s Benjamin Meysembourg (6766) during the John Woodbury Invitational at Norwood Golf Course in Lake Nebagamon on Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 20. Meysembourg finished fourth and Jarmin ended up in fifth place overall.
Jed Carlson / File / Superior Telegram

Top Northwestern girls finishers included all-conference runners Jenna Hursh (second), Ashlyn Sutherland (fourth), Alison Raboin (eighth), Shayna Wick (ninth) and Abby Johnson (22nd). The Tigers easily outpaced Hayward, 44 points to 85.

The Northwestern boys were equally impressive, with all-conference runners Emmett Johnson (second), Mark Jarmin (fourth); Ian Kalin (ninth), Hunter Fredrickson (18th) and Morgan Martens (20th). The boys finished with 53 points to Chetek’s 81.

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Solon Springs/Northwood will compete in the Division 3 Sectional 1 meet Saturday, Oct. 22, in Phillips.

The Solon Springs/Northwood boys dominated the Indianhead Conference Championships Oct. 13 at the Birkebeiner Trailhead in Cable.

Solon Springs’ Dylan Taggart (6956) and Isaac Dickenson (6941) along with teammate Tarver Sellwood (6954) try to move to the front of the pack at the start of the John Woodbury Invitational
Solon Springs’ Dylan Taggart (6956) and Isaac Dickenson (6941) along with teammate Tarver Sellwood (6954) try to move to the front of the pack at the start of the John Woodbury Invitational at Norwood Golf Course in Lake Nebagamon on Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 20.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Junior Dylan Taggart won in 17:00.2. Teammates Isaac Dickenson (17:52.2), Tarver Sellwood (18:23.8), Silas Kidder (18:29.9) and Isaiah Ahlberg (18:43.5) all finished in the top seven as SSN won its sixth boys title in the past seven years.

Junior Aubrey Guttormson is Solon Springs' only girls runner. She had been in the top 10 in conference all year and finished eighth at the Indianhead championships in 24:08.2.

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