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N.D. state cross country preview: Red River girls, Central's Quinn Roehl represent top local hopefuls

Red River girls take the No. 1 seed to the North Dakota Class A state cross country meet Saturday in Jamestown. The Roughriders have never won a state team title.

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Red River's Lauren Dosch (258) and Jocelyn Schiller (236) keep pace with Valley City's Greta Goven (294) and West Fargo runner Jordan Knudsvig (314) during the girls 5K race as part of the N.D. Eastern Dakota Conference cross country championship meet held at Lincoln Drive Park in Grand Forks on Saturday, October 8, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — The Grand Forks Red River girls cross country program has never won a state team championship and Grand Forks Central hasn't had an individual boys state champion since 2000.

If local runners pull off victories this weekend at the North Dakota state cross country meet in Jamestown on Saturday, it'll make for some unique accomplishments.

In the final Class A state poll, the Red River girls hold the No. 1 team seed with Lauren Dosch as the No. 4 individual and teammate Jocelyn Schiller at No. 5. The pair went 1-2 at the East Region meet in Grand Forks.

"We recognize the potential that is there, but we're still sticking with running our races and what they can control and the role everyone plays on the team," Red River girls cross country coach Sarah Boese-Noreen said. "They know the Red River girls have never won a state championship but it's not something we've focused on. They know from Day 1 we train for everyone to run their best race at the state meet. Everything we've done so far is to be at our best at state."

In the final state poll, Central senior Quinn Roehl is the No. 3-ranked runner in the state. He finished second at East Region.

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"That top group of six or seven boys is just impressive," Central cross country coach Sean Allan said. "It's an impressive group of young men. You could race a couple of days in a row, and you'd have a different result every time. That'll be a fun, exciting race to watch. It's going to take a special time to win."

Williston's Fynn Krenz and West Fargo Sheyenne's Aiden Johnson are the top two runners in the final state poll.

"It's a total toss-up," Allan said. "I think Quinn has just as much of a chance to win as anyone else. It's goign to come down to who has the good day and how executes the race the best."

Roehl is a three-year captain for the Knights.

"He never cuts corners in practice," Allan said. "He does the little things and puts in the work. He's a kid hopefully the young ones look to and want to be like."

The Red River boys were ranked No. 4 in the state in the final poll, despite nobody individually ranked in the Top 10.

Sophomore Elijah Dafoe, senior Jonah Dafoe, junior Micah-Larsen-Schmidt, sophomore David Radke and junior Kael Berberich each finished between seventh and 18th at the East Region race.

"Going into the season, we set a goal to finish in the Top 3 at state," Red River boys cross country coach Richard Dafoe said. "Realistically, we're still striving to get there. Third to sixth will be super tight. We can run well and be third and we can run well and be fifth. The focus right now is to stay relaxed and be light and rested and ready to go."

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In the North Dakota Class B race in Jamestown, the top area hopefuls are Hillsboro-Central Valley's Christian Brist, the No. 2-ranked runner in the final poll, and Jenna Soine of Hatton/Northwood/Larimore. Soine is the No. 5-ranked runner on the girls side.

In the team race, Bowman County is the favorite on the boys side, with the Burros ranked No. 3. On the girls side, Rugby is No. 1 with area schools Hillsboro-Central Valley at No. 4 and Grafton at No. 5.

Grand Forks runners

GF Central boys: Sr. Quinn Roehl (second at EDC); sr. Cayden Reed (24th at EDC); jr. Preston Diederich (25th at EDC); soph. Aidan Fiala (40th at EDC); jr. Curtis Sande (41st at EDC); eighth-grader Grant Martin (54th at EDC); soph. Layton Boaz (60th at EDC); jr. Alex Lotties; fr. Jack Berry; soph. Derek McLaren.

GF Red River boys: Soph. Elijah Dafoe (seventh at EDC); sr. Jonah Dafoe (12th at EDC); jr. Micah Larsen-Schmidt (13th at EDC); soph. Joe Quinn (14th at EDC); jr. David Radke (15th at EDC); jr. Kael Berberich (18th at EDC); sr. Matthew Evans (26th at EDC); sr. Jake Jenkins (28th at EDC); soph. Eli Zerr (35th at EDC); Koen Dunnigan.

GF Central girls: Eighth-grader Claire Fiala (46th at EDC); jr. Claire Hynek (54th at EDC); eighth-grader Emma Brown (76th at EDC); sr. Sierra Heyd (77th at EDC); jr. Ellen Berry (79th at EDC); jr. Emily Arnold.

GF Red River girls: Sr. Lauren Dosch (first at EDC); jr. Jocelyn Schiller (second at EDC); eighth-grader Jocelynne Hoefs (ninth at EDC); jr. Morgan Hartze (10th at EDC); fr. Ava Parks (15th at EDC); soph. Brooke Dorsey (22nd at EDC); jr. Selena Wu (25th at EDC); sr. Evelyn Dupont (28th at EDC); fr. Synje Peterson; seventh-grader Kaia Lam.

Related Topics: GF RED RIVERGF CENTRAL
Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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