Cross country teams look strong


A strong group of seniors will lead the Maple Lake boys and girls cross country teams. They are, front row, from left: Jordyn Hausladen, Margaret Graham and Caitlin Weege. Second row, from left: Rachel Loch, Catie Fobbe, Hanna Stewig. Third row, from left: Quinn Youngs, Ben Smail, Joe Elsenpeter, Jake Fynboh. (Photo by Brenda Erdahl)

The Maple Lake girls and boys cross country teams are on the hunt again for top Central Minnesota Conference finishes and state meet berths.
On the girls’ side, the Irish return 2016 state meet qualifiers Gus Demarais and Mary Miller. Although it’s early in the season, both have already bettered their time trials significantly this year, and are looking to head back to state as individuals.
On the boys’ side, Mike Miller will be on the hunt for a state meet berth after a successful spring on the track team. He put in alot of miles over the summer and Head Coach Ben Youngs expects him to be the team’s top returning runner.
Team-wise, state may be a tall order to fill on both sides.
The Irish girls are part of the toughest section (5A) in the state, with rivals like Annandale and Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted in the mix. In the CMC, HL-W-W and Eden Valley-Watkins-Kimball will be the teams to shoot for as two ranked teams in the conference.
“Our girls have spent several years on the bubble, but not quite accomplishing a trip to state. With the toughest section in the state, we will have to have our three through five runners improve from last year,” Youngs said.

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