Packers almost perfect at GF Invitational
The West Fargo girls cross country team wasn't perfect Saturday, but it was definitely close. Led by first-place finisher Alissa Mears, the Packers had five of the top six finishers to win the girls team title at the Grand Forks Invitational at L...
The West Fargo girls cross country team wasn't perfect Saturday, but it was definitely close.
Led by first-place finisher Alissa Mears, the Packers had five of the top six finishers to win the girls team title at the Grand Forks Invitational at Lincoln Park.
"This was the best meet we've had all year," West Fargo coach Joe Bailey said, "and it's a good time to be doing that."
Mears sprinted in front of the pack early and never seemed to slow down. She finished in 14 minutes, 57 seconds -- 40 seconds faster than second-place runner Britny Bucholz of West Fargo.
"Throughout the year, runners have stayed with (Mears) for a mile or so," Bailey said. "But they haven't been able to keep that pace."
East Grand Forks Senior High's Jordyn Konze spoiled the Packers' bid at a perfect score by edging West Fargo's Jessica Roseou for fifth place.
Konze finished in 15:57, a second ahead of Roseou. West Fargo runners Christine Baltezore and Ellie Grooters finished third and fourth, respectively.
The Packers, who are ranked second in the state, finished with 16 points, followed by Grand Forks Central with 87 and Fargo Shanley with 90. Grand Forks Red River finished fifth with 170, while Senior High was sixth with 197.
"West Fargo is impressive," Central coach Sean Allan said. "They run really well together. They're the No. 2 team in the state for a reason."
Erin McLeod's seventh-place finish paced Red River. Jaclyn Sand took ninth to lead Central.
"The girls ran really well to take second," Allan said. "Jaclyn Sand and Hannah Koch (12th place) had great races."
West Fargo also won the boys team title, but it was much more contested.
The Packers, led by Jameson Gehrig (second place) and Spencer Uetz (third), finished with 57 points. Central finished second with 63 points, followed by Fargo North with 78.
The finish was a preview of next weekend's East Region meet.
"We showed how close we can be to West Fargo," Allan said. "They're the favorite, but we kept it tight."
Shane Harlow led Central with a fourth-place finish. Tom Fisher was ninth, Paul Shafer 13th and Alex Torrey 14th for the Knights.
"Paul had a great run," Allan said. "He had a tough week last week. It was really nice to see him bounce back."
Francis Mendee finished seventh to pace Red River.
"It was a tough day," Red River coach Chris Douthit said. "The effort was there, but my job is going to be to ensure that these guys are prepared for next week. There were some solid performances, but I didn't have them as prepared for this as they needed to be."
Matt Konze finished 36th to lead Senior High.
Mach Akon of Fargo North won the boys race in 16 minutes, 44 seconds.