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Tom Mix, Published August 16 2012

Metro high school cross country preview capsules

Fargo Davies

Coach: Jason Holland (boys, third year); Lisa Svaleson (girls, third year)

Boys to watch: Brandon Scheel, Jr.; Ben Bitter, Soph.; Jace Duffield, Sr.; Ethan Norstog, Sr.; Cole Mehring, Sr.; Evan Kottsick, Soph.; Anders Clow, Sr.; Jacob Henne, Fr.; Matt Bauske, Soph.; Jonathan Griffin, Sr.; David Eide, Sr.

Girls to watch: Carly Bertsch, Sr.; Katie Bye, Fr,; Kayla Dostal, Jr.; McKenna Vetter, Fr.; Erica Johnson, Fr.; Heidi Bertsch, Fr.; Anna Holten, Sr.; Allison Cwikla, Jr.; Gretta Zola, Sr.

Coach’s comments: “I think we have the luxury of having good depth this year,” Holland said of the Davies boys squad. “Our top five guys are going to be tough and competitive.” … “We got a lot of younger runners and experience from our returning veterans this year,” Svaleson said of the Davies girls team who are two-time defending Class A team champions. “We are looking to have another exciting year.”

Fargo North

Coach: Gary Mailloux (boys, 38th year); Aaron Walker (girls, eighth year).

Boys to watch: Drew Weist, Sr.; Keith Lehman, Sr.; Jon Bell-Clement, Sr.; Brandon Quibell, Sr.; Ryan McCollum, Sr.; Nathan Hegstad, Fr.; Joey Weist, Jr.; John Daly, Jr.; Tanner Bjorlie, Jr.

Girls to watch: Jackie Harmon, Soph.; Alicia Swenson, Jr.; Sydney Pladson, Jr.; Samantha Swenson, Jr.; Molly Sarafolean, eighth grader.

Coach’s comments: “We feel like we have a good base of returners this year,” Mailloux said of his North boys team, which finished fourth in the EDC last year. “We also have a group of less experienced runners who we are looking to get contributions from … We have more depth on the team than we have had in recent years.” … “Last year we took third at the EDC meet and took sixth at state,” Walker said. “Our conference finish was the highest we had placed in a long time and we are hoping to build off that … The EDC is always competitive and we hope to be in the thick of things by October.”

Fargo Shanley/Oak Grove

Coach: Jaclyn Petik (boys and girls, sixth year)

Boys to watch: Tyler Pederson, Sr.; Brad Conant, Sr.; Thomas Startz, Jr.; Sebastian Startz, Jr.

Girls to watch: Alex Backlund, Jr.; Taylor Baumler, Jr.

Coach’s comments: “The boys have looked really good in the early practices so far,” Petik said. “A lot of them really worked hard in the offseason … We have a lot of new and younger runners on the girls team this year, but they look like they will contribute. We have also been getting great leadership from our senior captains Megan Marsolek, Karishna Mistry and Angela Cowles.”

Fargo South

Coach: Tyler Carlson (boys, first year); Troy Thorson (girls, third year).

Boys to watch: Christian Thompson, Sr.; Sean Ahlmess, Jr.; Reid Barnett, Jr.

Girls to watch: Madeline Strandemo, Sr.; Katie Bostrom, Jr.; Heidi Moore, Jr.; Maddie Bessler, Fr.

Coach’s comments: “Our full team is coming back from last year, which a big strength for us,” Carlson said of South’s boys squad. “Last year we were really young, but the guys have run a lot in the summer and are little more comfortable this year … The team is very ready for the season to start and we are really eager to see where we stack up with the other teams.” … “We took fifth place at the state meet last year, so we’ll be looking to improve on that finish,” Thorson said of the Bruins girls team. “We got a pack of girls at the top, but we got to work at developing dome depth … We have four or five girls that will have to fight for that fifth spot.”

West Fargo

Coach: Joe Bailey (boys and girls, 12th year)

Boys to watch: Austin Albrecht, Sr.; Darin Baltezore, Sr.; Griffin Sauvageau, Jr.; Nathan Aswege, Jr.; Anjelo Shepherd, Jr.

Girls to watch: Christine Baltezore, Sr.; Andrea Milbrath, Soph. Jen Dufner, eighth grade; Leah Hermanson, Sr.; Brooke Grooters, Sr.; Alexis Young, Soph.

Coach’s comments: “Both the boys and girls teams have put in a lot of miles this summer,” Bailey said. “Each team has a good base and really excited to compete this fall … The hard work in the offseason should pay off once we start competing. We will be ready for the big meets at the end of the season.”

Moorhead

Coach: Jeremy Blake (boys and girls, third year)

Boys to watch: Ezra Olson, Sr.; Matthew Lillehaugen, Sr.; Josh Young, Jr.; Jarrett Jenni, Sr.; Adam Hanson, Sr.

Girls to watch: Taylor Janssen, Sr.; Avery Selberg, Jr.; Mallori Johnson, Soph.; Mackenzie Kelly, Soph.; Brianna Gruenberg, Soph.

Coach’s comments: “Our boys team has one of the largest incoming freshman classes in a long time and some of those runners could factor into our top seven this fall,” Blake said of his boys squad, which is ranked No. 10 in Minnesota Class 2A. “We are really excited about this season and the future … Our girls team is very deep and fortunately our depth carries a lot of talent. The girls team (preseason ranked No. 6 in Class 2A) will be a lot like last year in which our top seven runners finished in a different order at every meet. They are difficult to predict.”