The last time a West Fargo boys cross country team had won an Eastern Dakota Conference championship was 2008.
That changed Saturday.
The Packers edged Grand Forks Central by two points to take the East Region title with a score of 65. The West Fargo girls team finished runner-up in their race with 80 points.
"Both boys and girls raced very well," West Fargo cross country coach Joe Bailey said.
Five West Fargo boys earned All-Conference honors en route to their team title. Austin Albrecht was the first Packer to cross the finish line at 16 minutes, 50.73 seconds for seventh place. Daren Baltezore took ninth, followed by Griffin Sauvegeau in 11th, Erich Hahn in 18th, and Nathan Aswege in 20th.
"Certainly having those five in the Top 20 was key," Bailey said. "They ran well, and each of them knew their points were counting.
"In fact, each kid all the way down the line knew that every point they could get would help their team."
Four West Fargo girls earned All-Conference honors, as well. Christine Baltezore led the way in 11th place with a time of 15:38.22. Nipping at her heals was teammate Andrea Milbrath, who hit the tap a little more than 3 seconds behind her. Jen Dufner, a seventh grader, finished in 16th place, and Leah Hermanson was 19th.
Beginning at 3:30 p.m. today, the Packers will be participating in the Andrew Carlson Challenge at Rose Creek in Fargo. Although it is a sort of "fun run" between the conference race and the state tournament, don' t think West Fargo athletes won't be giving it their all, Bailey said.
"Once the kids get in there, they're all going to have a little competitive edge and will want to do well," he said.
Boys soccer just misses East Region title
After beating Fargo Shanley 1-0 last Tuesday, the Packers suddenly had a shot of winning the EDC title. All they had to do was win their final game of the season.
But Fargo South put an end to that dream, after Isaac Kehson scored at the 44-minute mark of the second half and the Bruins held on for a 1-0 victory Thursday.
The loss dropped West Fargo's record to 10-2 in conference play, while the Deacons remained at 11-1.
Still, the Packers will enter this week's state tournament in Minot as the No. 2 seed. They are scheduled to face the West's No. 3, Bismarck St. Mary's, in the first round Thursday at 3 p.m.
Several West Fargo players also were named to the All-EDC team. They were seniors Brandon Beyer, Paul Lanctot and Sam Saville, and juniors Brady Rotert and Kory Wolden.