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Published October 08 2011

Scheel races to region title

MOORHEAD – Fargo Davies sophomore cross country runner Branden Scheel was about halfway through Saturday’s race when he realized he had a great opportunity to win.

The weather was perfect. His legs felt great. He was going to go for it.

A huge kick down the stretch helped Scheel capture the East Region championship with a time of 16 minutes, 26.80 seconds at Johnson Park. West Fargo earned the team title in a tight boys race with 65 points. Grand Forks Central was a close second at 67 and Davies was third with 73.

“I was definitely prepared for this one,” Scheel said. “I was probably better prepared than most of my previous races. I made sure I did everything right before the race. And it equaled a pretty big race.”

Scheel, who finished third at last year’s region meet, let several others set the pace to start the meet.

He said he wasn’t sure if wind would be a factor in the race, so he wanted to get a feel for the conditions before he made a move.

Scheel just hung around the leaders until about the 1.5-mile mark. That’s when he realized it was time to go.

“Halfway through the race I just felt great,” Scheel said. “I figured I might as well go and kick it, and see what I can get. I’m pretty happy with my time. It went well.”

Scheel has been the model of consistency this season. He has won six of eight races and has come away with a personal-best time at almost every competition.

He missed his PR by about 10 seconds in Saturday’s race.

But that wasn’t important. This race was about earning a conference title and gaining momentum for state.

“I wanted to get out there and see what the guys in the EDC are racing,” Scheel said. “They’ve got some big guys out west. I haven’t raced them before, so I’m looking forward to racing the guys out west.”

West Fargo took the team crown with five all-conference performances.

Austin Albrecht was seventh (16:50.73), Darin Baltezore was ninth (16:53.49), Griffin Sauvageau finished 11th (16:59.11), Erich Hahn was 18th (17:22.05) and Nathan Aswege was 20th (17:26.33).

Grand Forks Central had four top 20 finishers, including third-place Paul Shafer. Shafer was selected as the East Region senior athlete of the year.

Grand Forks Central coach Sean Allen earned region coach of the year honors.

Packers coach Joe Bailey said he knew the boys team race would be close, and that his team would have a shot at a championship.

“We had a great day,” Bailey said. “It was a great effort. The whole team really stepped it up and ran really, really well.”

Team scores: West Fargo 65, Grand Forks Central 67, Fargo Davies 73, Fargo North 99, Shanley/Oak Grove 104, Grand Forks Red River 113, Devils Lake 237, Fargo South 325, Wahpeton 398, Valley City 457.

All-Conference

1, Scheel, FD, 16:26.80. 2, Bjorlie, FN, 16:35.03. 3, Shafer, GFC, 16:46.64. 4, Weist, FN, 16:48.21, 5, Bitter, FD, 16:49.60. 6, S. Startz, S/OG, 16:50.41. 7, Albrecht, WF, 16:50.73. 8, T. Startz, S/OG, 16:51.40. 9, Baltezore, WF, 16:53.49. 10, Tingum, GFRR, 16:56.15.

11, Sauvageau, WF, 16:59.11. 12, Roehl, GFC, 17:01.10. 13, Trevino, DL, 17:06.80. 14, Fisher, GFC, 17:07.48. 15, Torrey, GFC, 17:14.01. 16, Norstog, FD, 17:19.33. 18, Hahn, WF, 17:22.05. 19, Collins, GFRR, 17:25.67. 20, Aswege, WF, 17:26.33.

Other metro finishers

Fargo Davies: 22, Duffield 17:32.95. 29, Mehring 17:46.92. 39, Eide 18:05.30. 43, Clow 18:09.56. 50, Griffin 18:23.21. 54, Henne 18:29.98. 57, Yocum 18:33.89. 58, Bauske 18:34.33. 59, Gray 18:34.88. 67, Barglof 19:12.85. 73, Nemer 19:22.08. 76, Wensel 19:34.17. 119, Larson 21:21.54. 123, Apte 21:38.28. 130, Isakson 23:05.84. 133, Arness 23:14.54. 136, Zander 23:42.77. 138, McPherson 24:14.25.

Fargo North: 27, Daly 17:45.22. 30, Weist 17:48.20. 36, Bell-Clement 18:03.38. 37, Hegstad 18:03.81. 40, Lehman 18:05.86. 47, Quibell 18:16.78. 60, M. Wenzel 18:35.94. 69, Walton 19:15.78. 80, Schilling 19:39.13. 87, B. Wenzel 19:58.40. 94, McCollum 20:17.00. 105, Ellingson 20:36.01. 117, Poitra 21:08.76. 139, Dravitz 24:41.89.

Fargo South: 31, Thompson 17:48.91. 35, Ahlness 18:01.81. 66, Barnett 19:06.81. 92, Lynch 20:10.44. 101, Gingritch 20:30.80. 102, Sustaita 20:31.79. 104, Kloubeck 20:35.05. 108, Sailer 20:38.36. 110, Curfman 20:40.20. 112, Spiering 20:52.47. 116, Simonson 21:07.82. 121, Postema 21:25.58. 125, Vannote 22:33.14.

Shanley/Oak Grove: 25, Pederson 17:39.73. 32, Christensen 17:54.38. 33, Conant 17:56.58. 38, Stanga 18:04.49. 48, Thibert 18:17.67 53, Olson 18:28.12. 72, Lantz 19:19.74. 88, Nesler 19:59.52. 99, Libbrecht 20:26.79. 114, Dobbins 21:02.80. 118, Brock 21:14.15. 124, Optiz 21:48.85. 132, Hanson 23:08.88.

West Fargo: 28, Shepherd 17:46.01. 41, Coles 18:06.80. 44, Vasquez 18:10.53. 51, Pergande 18:23.53. 61, Rosenau 18:37.18. 74, Hewitt 19:25.79. 81, Peterson 19:40.11. 86, Cookman 19:58.01. 95, Olson 20:17.54. 96, Kroke 20:18.38. 103, Huber 20:32.45. 106, Smith 20:36.75. 128, Eisenbeisz 22:50.77.


Readers can reach Forum reporter

Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

Hotzler’s blogs can be found

at www.areavoices.com