Conference meet: Oct. 1 at Deer Valley Country Club, Deer Grove. Defending team champion: Riverdale. Individual champion: Anthony Ruthey, Riverdale (graduated).
Teams to watch: Even with the graduation of three-time state medalist Ruthey and another solid senior, Gannon Haskins, the Rams are still the team to beat, with four of their top six players back from 2018's Class 1A state runner-up squad and several young guns looking to fill out the lineup. ... However, Sherrard appears primed to challenge for conference supremacy, returning all but one player from a team that finished as a sectional runner-up that placed seventh at state. ... Rockridge, which swept the regional and sectional team titles and went on to finish eighth in Bloomington, will be retooling somewhat this year but still has a young nucleus to build around. ... Sterling Newman is coming off a sixth-place state finish and could be a force to reckon with, along with a Fulton squad that earned second-place finishes at the TRAC and regional meets.
Individuals to watch: Among the returning Rams, senior Ryan Bussert looks to build upon the success of last year, when he took third at conference and earned his first all-state medal by placing 10th in Bloomington. Junior Hayden Musser and sophomores James Moorhusen and Ashton Sutton (fourth at the TRAC meet) likewise look to capitalize on their postseason experience. ... Fulton senior Andrew Schrader is primed for greater things this fall, going from a seventh-place conference finish to an individual regional title and an eventual tie for 29th at state. ... Sherrard graduated top 10 state finisher Ethan Earl, but is bolstered by the return of all-conference junior Evan Earl. ... Rockridge also returns a top 10 conference finisher in sophomore standout Drew Hall. ... Orion senior Reece Holst looks to progress after qualifying for sectionals last fall.
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Conference meet: Oct. 2 at Oak Run Golf Course, Dahinda. Defending team champion: Ridgewood. Defending individual champion: Thomas Bumann, Ridgewood.
Teams to watch: With back-to-back LTC Railsplitter team titles to their credit, Ridgewood's Spartans now take aim at three in a row after having never won a conference title prior to 2017. Four of the six members of a 1A regional runner-up squad return for first-year head coach Shannon Bumann. ... Williamsfield, which returns four sectional qualifiers, is capable of challenging the Spartans for LTC supremacy.
Individuals to watch: Reigning conference champion Thomas Bumann (who tied for 45th at state) and his twin brother Bill, both juniors, will team with classmate Ganon Greenman to set the pace for Ridgewood; all three were top five finishers at last year's Railsplitter meet. ... Two more juniors, Annawan-Wethersfield's Jacob Cathelyn and United's Drew Brown, were both sectional qualifiers in 2018. ... Mid-County senior Tristan Rogers looks to build on a seventh-place LTC showing.