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Tom Mix, Published October 24 2012

Time arrives for group of Fargo Davies cross country seniors

Fargo - Most high school athletic teams lean on seniors for leadership.

The Fargo Davies boys cross country team is no different. But up until this fall, the Eagles had not had a senior class, let alone a senior on their roster.

In 2010 there were no seniors in any varsity sport at Davies. And in 2011, there just happened to be no seniors out for the boys cross country team.

So this season was a first of sorts for the 11 seniors on the team. For the first time they would officially have the senior distinction.

“It was really cool to be a younger team and to be able to say as a team we had no seniors,” senior Ethan Norstog said. “Being able to achieve what we have the last couple of seasons has been great to see.

“It is easy to see how much we have improved now because there was nothing before us. We are setting everything up. We are starting all the traditions and it is enjoyable to be the beginning.”

Norstog and fellow seniors Jonathan Griffin, Anders Clow, David Eide, Jace Duffield and Cole Mehring will be running at the North Dakota Class A boys meet at 3:15 p.m. CDT Saturday at Heart River Golf Course in Dickinson, N.D.

The Eagles have been working toward state all season, but all that work was started in the offseason.

Many team members coordinated summer workouts in order to ease into the regular season.

“We had a good group of guys that showed up to practice and put in our summer miles,” Duffield said. “We were all looking forward to the season, and when we came in we were looking to dominate right away.

“This season has been a lot of fun. This is my sixth year in this, and I have enjoyed my time with my team. We all work hard every day and have fun doing it.”

Like most of the senior class, Duffield’s cross country beginnings were at Fargo South, but the split and move to the Davies campus allowed him to become a leader on the team immediately.

Davies head coach Jason Holland has noticed the transformation from a youthful group to an accomplished pack of runners.

“It is a very cohesive group,” Holland said. “It was fun to see the work that they put in throughout their high school careers come to fruition at the EDC meet.”

The Eagles won the East Region meet scoring 62 points – five points better than West Fargo. It was a program milestone for Davies.

“It was the seniors’ last year, so we had to make sure they went out with a bang,” said junior Branden Scheel, who is ranked No. 6 in the state. “We have been working together for so long, and we figured we had to give it all we got.”

Scheel finished second at regions with a time of 16 minutes, 25 seconds and has been ranked in the state’s top 10 individual poll all season.

“The season has been going great,” Scheel said. “My team has been pushing me all through practice. It really has been helping. … It is giving me the push I need to compete well.”

Scheel, Norstag and Duffield along with Evan Kottsick and Ben Bitter were Davies’ top five scorers at the region meet.

The No. 3-ranked Eagles will have a tough test this weekend against No. 1-ranked Bismarck and No. 2 Williston.

“We have Branden leading the group,” Holland said. “Our two, three, four and five guys have been mixing back and forth the whole season. We know we have to put together good races to compete.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562