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By Greg DeVillers, Published October 11 2009

High school cross country: Gehrig, Mears, Packers sweep EDC meet

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Not all that long ago, West Fargo was an also-ran in Eastern Dakota Conference cross country.

Now the Packers are a budding dynasty.

West Fargo swept the team and individual championships Saturday in the EDC meet at Lincoln Park.

Jamison Gehrig won the boys race, leading the Packers to their second straight championship. West Fargo had 48 points to runner-up Grand Forks Central’s 68, followed by Fargo Shanley (77) and Grand Forks Red River (107).

In the girls division, Alissa Mears won her second straight EDC championship, sparking the Packers to their third straight team title. West Fargo had 27 points, followed by Fargo South (47), Shanley (110) and GF Central (114).

Such dominance hasn’t always been the case for West Fargo.

“Ten years ago, West Fargo was somewhere in the bottom half of the conference,” said Joe Bailey, in his ninth season as the program’s head coach. “Our numbers were low. We’ve gradually gotten more kids out and moved up. That’s what you want to do. Now it’s about trying to maintain.”

Bailey has no magic formula for the climb to the top, other than the athletes.

“Talent is the No. 1 thing; these kids are talented,” Bailey said. “And they’re dedicated. They get in their running over the summer. They work hard in practices and do everything we ask of them.”

The Packers had quality depth – they had six of the top 10 finishers in the girls division and seven of the top 23 in the boys division.

Mears broke her personal-record time by 29 seconds, winning in 15:00.44 to edge Fargo South’s Tarin Lachowitzer (15:01.72). The two sophomores ran one-two for most of the race, with Lachowitzer a few strides in back.

“We’ve been battling back and forth all year,” Mears said. “She’s beaten me a few times.

“I’m really competitive. I like it when we’re close, when it comes down to the end to see who’s strongest. Good competition helps, knowing there will be somebody pushing you.”

Gehrig ran a 16:18.06 to beat runner-up and teammate Spencer Uetz by 10 seconds, with Grand Forks Central’s Shane Harlow and Paul Shafer placing third and fourth, respectively.

Gehrig said it was the first time in approximately a month that he’s won a race. “I’ve consistently been in the top three, but Shane usually beats me,” Gehrig said. “We’re about the same – I think it came down to who was feeling better today.”

Harlow was ranked fourth in the most recent state coaches’ poll, one spot ahead of Gehrig. And Central was ranked second in the boys team poll, also one spot ahead of the Packers.

“West Fargo came out and ran hard,” Central coach Sean Allan said. “We’ve been flip-flopping with them all year. They had a good day. We’re happy with what we did. The kids competed.”

Boys

Team scores: West Fargo 48, Grand Forks Central 68, Fargo Shanley 77, Grand Forks Red River 107, Fargo South 129, Fargo North 150, Devils Lake 250, Wahpeton 307.

Top 10: 1, Gehrig, WF, 16:18.06. 2, Uetz, WF, 16:28.05. 3, Harlow, GFC, 16:40.47. 4, Shafer, GFC, 16:47.92. 5, Peterson, WF, 16:48.17. 6, Naylor, S, 16:52.52. 7, Mendee, RR, 16:55.75. 8, Norstag, FS, 16:58.66. 9, Mack, DL, 17:08.81. 10, Francois, RR, 17:13.21.

Other area finishers

North: 12, Shepherd, 17:22.19. 18, Landman, 17:43.90. 34, Quibell, 18:14.89. 40, Weist, 18:19.88. 46, Tai, 18:27.55. 56, Kraft, 18:55.67. 67, Wenzel, 19:10.73. 69, Lehman, 19:17.20. 80, Hetland, 19:46.96. 85, Hanson, 20:00.92.

Shanley: 11, Naylor, 17:21.86. 16, Savageau, 17:42.61. 20, 17:48.67. 24, Stanga, 17:53.61. 26, Pederson, 18:00.52. 31, Rothfusz, 18:08.52. 37, Gapp, 18:18.02. 43, Conant, 18:23.77. 45, Gossett, 18:26.42. 47, Battles, 18:33.06. 83, Olson, 19:54.22. 96, Berg, 20:25.70. 115, Tupa, 21:16.51. 116, Apte, 21:17.46.

South: 25, Bitter, 17:58.99. 28, Wrolstad, 18:03.96. 32, Scheel, 18:09.38. 36, Radcliffe, 18:17.60. 39, Duffield, 18:18.76. 44, Mehring, 18:25.15. 51, Eide, 18:43.97. 52, Ahlness, 18:44.47. 55, Poss, 18:54.01. 58, Volk, 18:57.96. 70, Johnson, 19:29.47. 78, Okland, 19:39.19. 81, Wensel, 19:47.98. 92, Nawrot, 20:21.37. 95, Winge, 20:24.76. 103, Clow, 20:38.11.

West Fargo: 19, Johnson, 17:46.23. 21, Baltezore, 17:51.29. 22, Grosz, 17:52.34. 23, Salter, 17:52.60. 29, Binde, 18:04.29. 30, Hahn, 18:05.56. 41, Schulz, 18:21.28. 53, Hillen, 18:52.58. 54, Albrecht, 18:53.28. 60, Aswege, 18:58.67. 61, Bailey, 19:02.30. 76, Gilliss, 19:35.43. 93, Spieker, 20:23.00. 101, Lardy, 20:35.49. 106, Schock, 20:44.90. 107, Hennen, 20:55.99. 111, Rutten, 21:10.66. 112, Hawley, 21:11.07.

Girls

Team scores: West Fargo 27, Fargo South 47, Shanley 110, Grand Forks Central 114, Fargo North 147, Grand Forks Red River 187, Wahpeton 306, Devils Lake 350.

Top 10: 1, Mears, WF, 15:00.44. 2, Lachowitzer, FS, 15:01.72. 3, Valenti, FS, 15:23.39. 4, E. Grooters, WF, 15:25.01. 5, Roesler, FS, 15:27.24. 6, Baltezore, WF, 15:31.71. 7, Rosenau, WF, 15:32.38. 8, Backlund, S, 15:46.06. 9, Bucholz, WF, 15:52.65. 10, B. Grooters, WF, 15:53.91.

Other area finishers

Fargo North: 11, A. Sarafolean, 15:56.95. 30, Roche, 16:51.98. 35, Harmon, 16:56.89. 39, Plecity, 17:01.54. 42, Geston, 17:04.80. 61, Reinholz, 17:35.96. 62, Boe, 17:36.32. 63, Nordsletten, 17:36.61. 70, Stenstrom, 17:52.99. 72, Gross, 17:55.04. 74, Gunkelman, 17:59.81. 77, Derby, 18:02.43. 84, K. Sarafolean, 18:26.10. 96, Shockman, 18:53.77. 97, Sherer, 18:57.72. 100, Benson, 19:02.79. 101, Kulla, 19:08.80. 104, Ivers, 19:14.42. 109, Rerick, 19:21.13. 110, Skunberg, 19:21.53. 120, Larson, 19:38.69. 131, Clarens, 20:29.19. 132, Lean, 20:39.61.

Fargo South: 18, Zastoupil, 16:13.77. 19, Bostrom, 16:14.03. 20, Schalow, 16:16.18. 21, Storm, 16:20.27. 24, Dostal, 16:35.78. 27, Cwikla, 16:45.01. 33, Isakson, 16:56.03. 36, Helland, 16:57.80. 37, Rygg, 16:58.67.41, Bitz, 17:03.77. 43, Bertsch, 17:07.51. 50, Magrum, 17:14.75. 66, Hatlevoll, 17:42.59. 68, Aarsvold, 17:44.58. 76, Boatman, 18:02.16. 94, Bruer, 18:49.76. 102, Benson, 19:11.14. 111, Eiler, 19:21.97. 118, Strong, 19:35.51. 122, Zollinger, 19:45.42. 127, Unhjem, 20:01.68. 128, Sampson, 20:14.73. 146, Lorenz, 22:52.87. 147, Christensen, 23:11.64.

Shanley: 15, Baumler, 16:07.53. 17, Remus, 16:12.62. 26, Rivard, 16:39.56. 44, Jordan, 17:07.73. 47, Nichols, 17:10.94. 51, Forness, 17:20.01. 54, Asheim, 17:23.66. 80, Rothfusz, 18:16.69. 90, Grinde, 18:44.56. 98, Lackmann, 18:59.52. 99, A. Marsolek, 19:01.43. 103, Irsfeld, 19:12.69. 108, Nelson, 19:20.68. 112, Frei, 19:22.87. 113, E. Marsolek, 19:23.27. 117, Rieke, 19:32.42. 129, M. Marsolek, 20:22.55. 130, Kaeding, 20:23.96. 140, Cowles, 21:23.99. 143, Paul, 21:54.71.

West Fargo: 23, Levin, 16:30.66. 28, Sauvageau, 16: 46.70. 31, Young, 16:54.59. 40, Stoppler, 17:02.19. 46, Perry, 17:10.51. 48, Dobler, 17:11.37. 52, Dullum, 17:21.44. 53, Parr, 17:22.90. 67, Parsons, 17:43.59. 69, Olheiser, 17:50.56. 87, Bollinger, 18:32.62. 88, Saville, 18:40.51. 105, Shorma, 19:16.09. 106, Schroeder, 19:19.58. 119, Grant, 19:37.68.


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