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Published August 22 2013

Metro Cross Country Preview Capsules

Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton

Coach: Mike Anderson (14th year)

Last season: Girls finished seventh in Heart O’ Lakes Conference. Boys finished sixth in Heart O’ Lakes Conference.

Who’s gone (girls): Danette Larson

Who’s gone (boys): None

Key returners (boys): Ryan Leach (captain, 2011 state team qualifier), Sr.; Tony Santos (captain, state team qualifier 2011 and individual qualifier 2012), Sr.; Joshia Hurner, Sr.; Josh Cole, Jr.; Bailey Crook, So.; Dan Wilson, eighth-grader; Cameron Ash, eighth-grader; Jaden Crook, eighth-grader.

Key returners (girls): Kylie Hamernik (captain), Sr.; Marissa Blair, Sr.; Brooke Critchley, Sr.; Meghan Breid, Jr.; Elizabeth Schmitz, Jr.; Shayley Gifford, Soph.; Baylie Narum, eighth-grader.

Coach’s comments: “The boys have a solid nucleus of experienced seniors and underclassmen, and should be in the mix at both the HOL conference and at the (Class 1A, Section 8) sectional meets. The girls have runners that are experienced and continue to develop. If they can demonstrate both depth and the ability to pack as a team this season, they can become competitive with several high finishes at many local meets. With only one athlete graduating from last year, improved finishes at both the conference and sectional meets should be expected.”

Moorhead

Coach: Jeremy Blake (fourth year)

Last season: Girls were Class 2A, Section 8 champs and finished seventh at the state meet. Boys were Class 2A, Section 8 runner-up and finished ninth at the state meet.

Who’s gone (girls): Taylor Janssen

Who’s gone (boys): Matthew Lillehaugen, Ezra Olson, Jarrett Jenni, Sam Benson, Adam Hanson.

Key returners (boys): Josh Young (captain), Sr.; Hunter Zbasnik, Jr.; Luke Lillehaugen, Jr.; Eric Wicklund, Soph.; Eli Herrick, Soph.; Jamison Allen, Soph.; Akira Shastri, Jr.

Key returners (girls): Mallori Johnson, Jr.; Avery Selberg, Sr.; Mackenzie Kelly, Jr.; Brianna Gruenberg, Jr.; Jayda Janssen, Soph.; Erica Hauf, Sr.; Olivia Hamilton (captain), Sr.

Coach’s comments: “Last fall’s state berth along with a record-setting track season should answer any questions the girls may be asking themselves about whether or not the Spuds deserve to be mentioned alongside some of the elite teams in Minnesota. Besides that, 11 of last year’s top 12 runners return this fall, setting the Spuds up for another run at the section title and if fortunate enough to qualify, an improvement on their state finish in 2012. In order for the boys to return to the Minnesota state championship, some unfamiliar names will need to become recognizable this fall. Four of the top seven scorers for the Spuds graduated, but the local roads were paved all summer by an energized group of youth.”

Fargo Davies

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

Last year’s finish at state: Boys 2nd, girls 3rd.

Key returners (boys): Branden Scheel, Sr., (all-state); Evan Kottsick, Jr.; Jacob Henne, Soph.

Key returners (girls): Katie Bye, Soph. (all-state); Erica Johnson, Soph. (all-state); McKenna Vetter, Soph.; Heidi Bertsch, Soph. (all-state); Kayla Dostal, Sr.; Halle Rygg, Sr.; Hannah Buchholz, Sr.

Coach’s comments: “After graduating 11 seniors from last year’s team, you would think we would be in for a rebuilding year, but we think we still have plenty of talent coming back,” Holland said of the Eagles’ boys squad. “We have a lot of younger runners looking forward to filling some of those spots left by the seniors.” … “We have the largest team we have ever had at Davies,” Svaleson said of the Eagles girls team. “The team is full of talented runners, and it will be exciting to see how they do this fall.”

Fargo South

Coach: Tyler Carlson (boys, second year); Mike Merritt (girls, fourth year)

Last year’s finish at state: Boys 14th, girls 4th.

Key returners (boys): Sean Ahlness, Sr.; Reid Barnett, Sr.; Gerrit Postema, Sr.; Eli Simonson, Soph.; Devin Sailer, Soph.; Menkeh Mendin, Fr.

Key returners (girls): Heidi Moore, Sr. (all-state); Maddie Bessler, Soph. (all-state); Katie Bostrom, Sr.

Coach’s comments: “We have a lot of guys on the team who have a strong work ethic,” Carlson said of the boys team. “We are building some depth on the team and we will also have some senior leadership on the team this fall, which is really nice.” … “We are returning two all-state runners in Heidi Moore and Maddie Bessler, which is nice,” Merritt said of the South girls team. “A number of the girls ran during the summer and the miles they logged are starting to show early on in the season. We also have a couple new runners to the team that will figure into the mix.”

Fargo North

Coach: Gary Mailloux (boys, 39th year); Aaron Walker (girls, ninth year)

Last year’s finish at state: Boys 9th, girls 5th.

Key returners (boys): Tanner Bjorle, Sr. (all-state); John Daly, Sr.; Andrew Harms, Sr., Sanders Ellingson, Sr.; Nathan Hegstad, Soph.; Tucker Lehr, Soph.; Coghlan Fisher, Fr.; David Dowdell, Fr.

Key returners (girls): Molly Sarafolean, Fr. (all-state); Alicia Swenson, Sr. (all-state); Jackie Harmon, Jr.; Samantha Swenson, Sr.; Sydney Pladson, Sr.; Andie Sarafolean, Sr.

Coach’s comments: “We have some kids that have proven ability,” Mailloux said of Fargo North’s boys team. “I don’t expect that we’ll start out at the level that we did a year ago, but we are excited to get the season started.” … “We have an experienced group of runners that are coming off a great summer of running,” Walker said of the Spartans’ girls team. “We are optimistic about the upcoming season and as always we hope to be running well as a team come October. We are going to have more depth on the team this fall than we have had in the past.”

Fargo Shanley/Fargo Oak Grove

Coach: Jaclyn Petik (seventh year)

Last year’s finish at state: Boys 8th, girls 10th.

Key returners (boys): Tom Startz, Sr. (all-state); Seb Startz, Sr. (all-state); John Christensen, Jr.; Mason Lantz, Fr.

Key returners (girls): Alex Backlund, Sr.; Taylor Baumler, Sr.; Macey McManus, Jr.; Heidi Lageson, Soph.; Mary Simon, Soph.

Coach’s comments: “We have a solid top four returning, and we’ll be hoping to finish in the top four of the Eastern Dakota Conference,” Petik said of Shanley’s boys team. “We don’t have a lot of numbers this year, but we hope to contend with the runners we do have.” … “A lot of the runners on the girls team are coming off injuries,” Petik said. “We are hoping to get stronger as the year goes along.”

West Fargo

Coach: Joe Bailey (13th year)

Last year’s finish at state: Boys 5th, girls 7th.

Key returners (boys): Parker Rosenow, Jr.; Noah Schafer, eighth-grader; Cody Koles, Soph.

Key returners (girls): Jen Dufner, Fr. (all-state); Alex Young, Jr.; Andrea Milbrath, Jr.; Katelyn Ask, Fr.

Coach’s comments: “Our expectations will be to improve as we go along,” Bailey said of the West Fargo boys team. “We are a very young team, and we’ll need some kids to step up, but I’m optimistic based on what I’ve seen so far in practice.” … “As with the boys, we have a couple of proven runners on our girls team,” Bailey said. “We’ll have a pretty good pack of kids this year that all ran hard over the summer.”


Compiled by Chris Murphy and Tom Mix