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Runners take part in the annual West Fargo Elementary Cross Country meet Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Eastwood Elementary School. This year, the event was renamed in honor of Gary Otterness, who helped create it back in the 1980s. Otterness taught for 37 years throughout the district, and continues to be active in events after retiring years ago. Tyler Shoberg / West Fargo Pioneer

Ty's Take: Packers' Ballweber finishes sixth at state

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After a frustrating East Region meet two weeks ago, the West Fargo boys tennis team had a lone representative at last week's North Dakota Class A State Tournament in Grand Forks.

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And Brady Ballweber made sure he represented well: the freshman went 3-2 in singles to grab sixth place overall.

"(It was) still a really good tournament both weekends," West Fargo coach Chad Anderson said. "Brady only lost to Grand Forks Red River players, both at region and state - he beat everyone else he played."

Ballweber started the state tournament by defeating Bismarck's Jaden Wirrenga 6-4, 7-5 in the championship first round. But he got bumped to the consolation bracket after falling to Red River's Jake Kuhlman 6-4, 6-2. Kuhlman went on to place fourth.

Ballweber won his next two matches to earn a spot in the consolation championship against a familiar opponent: Roughrider product Andre Caoili. The two had met once before in very similar circumstances, battling it out during the consolation championship of the East Region individual tournament a week earlier.

Caoili won that particular match, and duplicated the efforts at state, beating Ballweber 6-1, 6-4.

Cross country prepares for postseason

The West Fargo cross country team finished its regular season with a sweep during Saturday's Grand Forks Invitational at Lincoln Park Golf Course.

The Packer boys tallied 44 points to edge Grand Forks Central by six points, and the girls posted a season-low 27 points to beat out second-place Fargo Shanley-Oak Grove by nearly 60.

Darin Baltezore led the West Fargo boys with a runner-up finish in 17 minutes, 5.58 seconds. Teammate Griffin Sauvageau rounded out the Top 5 with a time of 17:14.66, and Austin Albrecht was less than two seconds behind in sixth.

The West Fargo girls clocked a back-to-back-to-back-to-back finish in their race. Jen Dufner edged teammate Christine Baltezore by 11 seconds for third place. Baltezore finished fourth, just ahead of fellow Packers Suzy Dullum in fifth and Brooke Grooters in sixth.

The Packers will have a few days to prepare for their postseason, as this weekend's East Region meet begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at Edgewood Golf Course in Fargo. West Fargo is hoping to improve on last year's finish, in which the girls placed second overall and boys took fourth.

Girls swimming and diving struts stuff out west

The Packers girls swimming and diving team hit the road last week to test the waters against their Western Dakota Association counterparts.

The results should give them a bit more confidence in their abilities as the postseason approaches.

On Friday, they competed in the Mandan Dual Meet, and took first in every category except for diving and the 500 freestyle to beat the Braves 115-71.

The Packers then competed in the Mandan Invitational on Saturday, which boasted WDA teams as well as Gillette Campbell County High School from Wyoming. The results were incredibly close, as Gillette edged West Fargo by just half a point to win with a team total of 441.5.

The Packers are hosting an invitational Saturday at LE Berger Pool. Fargo Shanley, Wahpeton, Fargo South and Fargo North will all take part. Diving competition begins at 9 a.m. with swimming at noon.

Quick hits

• Boys soccer: The Packers went 2-1 last week, and currently are second place in the EDC at 11-5-0 overall. They head to South on Thursday for a 7 p.m. game.

• Volleyball: West Fargo is 7-12 on the season after winning a game and dropping another last week. They are attending the Fargo North Invitational this weekend, with a 4 p.m. start Friday and 9 a.m. start Saturday.

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