After a muddy, rainy race in the Section 7A cross-country meet at the Cloquet Country Club, the North Shore Storm found themselves in a familiar position.
For the second straight year, they qualified for the the state meet, this year led by sisters Cedar and Lamar Gordon.
Cedar, a sophomore, has been one of the Storm's top two runners all season. She finished the 5,000-meter race in 20 minutes, 20.4 seconds, good enough for 10th in the section.
Lamar has been a reliable fourth or fifth runner throughout the season, but she surprised her sister at the Oct. 25 race, finishing 14th - less than six seconds after her sister.
"At the end, I thought I was all alone in the kick," Cedar said. "I looked back, but I didn't see anybody - I think I looked back the wrong way or something. When I finished there was this whole crowd that finished right after me and I had no idea. That was pretty crazy - (Lamar) was in a group of three girls right behind me and I didn't know any of them were behind me. I probably would have sprinted a little harder at the end if I had known people were right behind me."
Storm junior Kate Walsberg, who finished 38th at the section meet, is excited for a second crack at the Minnesota Class A meet on Saturday, Nov. 3, since they will be running a more familiar course their second time around.
"I feel like this year we will have more of a feel for what the course is, now that we've already run, so we know what's coming," Walsberg said. "We know that it's a really fast course and everyone is going to be pushing us. I feel like we have more of a heads up of what we are able to do and where the course is really tough."
Mesabi East junior Ava Hill won the Section 7A crown for the second consecutive year with a time of 18:54.5 and led the Giants to the team title as well.
Section 7A Championships
At Cloquet Country Club
1. Mesabi East, 98; 2. North Shore, 111; 3. Moose Lake-Willow River/Barnum, 133; 4. Proctor, 135; 5. Duluth Marshall, 155; 6. Virginia, 174; 7. South Ridge, 193; 8. International Falls, 193; 9. Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin, 211; 10. Mountain Iron-Buhl, 213; 11. Eveleth-Gilbert, 285; 12. Ely, 287; 13. Wrenshall, 313; 14. Esko, 337; 15. East Central, 389; 16. Cromwell-Wright/Floodwood, 402; 17. Deer River, 484.
1. Ava Hill, ME, 18:54.5; 2. Sydney Binsfield, P, 19:16.0; 3. Ashlee Siegle, DM, 19:37.9; 4. Natalie Fultz, EG, 19:42.0; 5. Lydia Skelton, ME, 19:47.0; 6. Bella Thomas, ME, 19:53.5; 7. Zoe Devine, Ely, 19:56.5; 8. Ryan Ford, IF, 20:06.6; 9. Emma Stattelman, DM, 20:16.7; 10. Cedar Gordon, NS, 20:20.4; 14. Lamar Gordon, NS, 20:26.0; 20. Autumn Smith, NS, 21:05.6; 29. Claire LaVigne, NS, 21:32.1; 38. Kate Walsberg, NS, 21:47.5; 41. Malin Anderson, NS, 21:54.2; 43. Louise Ramberg, NS, 22:00.1.