Jake Arason was the first Grand Forks Red River cross country runner to cross the finish line, third overall in the Eastern Dakota Conference championships. He turned at the finish line and watched for his teammates to finish.
The wait wasn’t long.
Red River High School had six of the top 12 placers in repeating as boys EDC champion Saturday at Lincoln Park. The Roughriders had 31 points to beat runner-up Fargo North by 21. Grand Forks Central was sixth at 132.
Top-ranked Fargo Davies repeated as girls champion, scoring 29 points with Central second at 77. Red River scored 153 to place sixth.
“I waited (at the finish line) for everybody else to come in,’’ Arason said. “It was so exciting, so awesome. Our depth is usually what gets it done.’’
Red River had six of the top 12 finishers in Arason, Matthew Rongitsch (fourth), Zach Simon (sixth), Thomas Hugo (seventh), Ryan Prusak (11th) and Hunter McHenry (12th).
“It shows our aggressiveness,’’ Simon, a senior, said. “We have to work with depth, to get everyone in the top 10 or 20.’’
No other team had more than three top-12 finishers. McHenry didn’t score team points for Red River; he would have been the highest placer on five of the teams and no worse than the No. 4 on any other team.
It was the first race this season in which Red River had more than four top-12 finishers.
“We ran really well,’’ Red River coach Richard Dafoe said. “It’s the first time this season we’ve had everybody run well. It was fun to watch.
“We didn’t do anything differently. It seems like we always have one or two guys with off days. Today we didn’t have any of those.’’
Davies was even more dominant in the girls race. The defending state champion Eagles were led by winner Megan Lundstrom. Davies had three of the top five finishers, seven of the top 13 and 10 of the top 20 finishers.
Grand Forks’ top finisher was runner-up Mikayla Weiss of Central. The junior, slowed early this season by a foot injury, had her highest place of the season.
At the start of the season, “I was just looking for a top-20 finish,’’ Weiss said. “That’s all-conference, and I was all-conference my last two years. I didn’t think I could get second. The season was a slow buildup to this.’’
Central coach Sean Allan said a top-three place was the goal they set for Weiss. “She just kept working and improving,’’ Allan said. “There were times we were both a little concerned that it might not happen. But I’m proud of Mikayla. She kept working.’’