A one-two finish
By Tyler Shoberg
West Fargo track and field coach Darin McKinnon was pleased with his team's performance at Saturday's East Region meet at Fargo South High School.
"It turned out to be a very good weekend, and hopefully we can carry that through to this weekend," he said.
That's because the Packers boys took their third straight Eastern Dakota Conference tournament title, and the girls placed second overall.
"We had some very good performances, and I think the big thing now is to assure we're all healthy and rested and ready to go," McKinnon said. "As competitive as the region was, we know it's going to be tougher at state."
While the Packers may not have made a clean sweep in the standings, they did so with the Senior Athlete of the Year honors. West Fargo's Shane Siverson and Alissa Mears took the titles after a season full of standout performances.
"It was only fitting," McKinnon said. "Mears had a fantastic meet. She stepped up as a senior and that's something you can't really measure.
"Siverson had a very good day, as well. He was just nipped at the end in the 100."
Siverson combined with Alex Spacek, Chaz Gunderson and Jaime Heinen to win the 400 relay with a time of 42.75 seconds. Spacek, Gunderson, Shelby Schulz and Siverson then teamed up in the 800 relay and took first place in 1:30.55.
Siverson also took two second-place finishes; one in the 100-meters and the other in the 200. Both times, he was edged by Fargo North's DeSean Thompson.
The other West Fargo win came in the triple jump, where Heinen took the crown with a leap of 44 feet, 11.5 inches. He also placed second in the long jump.
Other top West Fargo finishes came from sophomore Griffin Sauvague in the 3,200 with a second-place effort of 9:52.09. Daniel Asa took second in the 300 hurdles with a time of 40.75 seconds.
On the girls said, Fargo Davies took the title with 134.5 points; just a half point ahead of West Fargo.
"Davies just outperformed, and our hat goes off to them," McKinnon said. "They did an excellent job; they earned that title."
Amanda Levin swept the sprints, taking titles in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter runs.
Mears took an individual championship in the 800 with a time of 2:17.64, beating the runner-up position by more than a half second. She also combined with Brooke Grooters, Christine Baltezore and Keana Karnopp to win the 3,200 relay with a meet-record 9:44.51.
Bruenjes successfully defended her triple jump crown after jumping 37 feet, 7.5 inches. She also placed second in the long jump just an inch short of first place.
West Fargo's final title came in the pole vault, as junior Kaley Stotz cleared 9-9 to beat out second place by three inches.
The Packers placed second in both 800- and 1,600-meter relays.
This weekend, they head to the State Tournament in Bismarck beginning Friday. For McKinnon, that means West Fargo needs to leave it all on the line.
"When you get to this level, distances and times don't mean a lot right now," he said. "The goal is to go out and give it your best effort and if you do, good things happen."