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Proctor's Matt Welch leads the pack early in the Section 7A cross country championship race on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 in Cloquet. (Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com)
Proctor's Matt Welch leads the pack early in the Section 7A cross country championship race on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 in Cloquet. (Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com)

Proctor runner wins state boys cross country title; Esko girls win team title

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Cloquet Minnesota 122 Avenue C 55720

NORTHFIELD, Minn. - Top-ranked Matt Welch, a Proctor senior, remained undefeated Saturday by winning the Minnesota Class A high school boys cross country title on the campus of St. Olaf College.

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Welch was first in 15 minutes, 34 seconds for 5,000 meters for his ninth win in nine starts. No. 2-ranked Charlie Lawrence, a Foley senior, was 12 seconds back in 15:46.5 It was the closest Lawrence had been to Welch in placing second behind the Proctor runner this season. Lawrence had edged Welch by less than a second to win the 2012 Class A track 3,200-meter run in June.

The No. 2-ranked Esko girls won their second state championship, and first since 1980, with 115 points. Annandale was second with 150.

Former Class A girls champion Marisa Shady, an Esko senior, was fifth in 14:44.8 for 4,000 meters. Top-ranked Clare Flanagan, a Blake junior, repeated as champion in 14:04.1

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