Ty's Take: Packers take fourth, seventh at state cross country meet
After a whirlwind season that saw the West Fargo cross country team finish across the spectrum at various meets, it was anyone's guess as to how they would fare at the state meet last Saturday in Jamestown.
Compared with last year's results, it would seem one end slipped while the other improved.
The boys team finished fourth overall with 158 points, gaining five positions from their 2009 placing. Bismarck took the overall title with 53 points, and also claimed the individual championship via Jake Leingang's top finish of 16 minutes, 3.3 seconds.
The West Fargo boys put three runners inside the Top 40. Nate Peterson even cracked the Top 10 with a fifth-place time of 16:54.3. The senior easily was the Packers' top male runner all season, having also been named to the All-Conference team after placing fifth in the East Region meet on Oct. 9, and leading his team to a fourth-place finish. It was the third straight year that Peterson earned All-EDC honors.
Coming in at the 25th spot was sophomore Darin Baltezore, who finished with a time of 17:36.5. Rounding out West Fargo's top placers was another All-EDC runner in Austin Albrecht, who was 38th after crossing the line at 17:56.1.
While the boys saw their side improve, the girls dropped a few pegs.
The Packers girls team was seventh overall with 211 points; a slight setback compared to last year's third-place finish. Fargo Davies took the overall team title, and also brought home the individual title via Tarin Lachowitzer's first-place finish of 14:43.3.
Leading the Packers were a couple of two-time All-State veterans. Sophomore Jessica Rosenau finished 16th with a time of 15:43.1, while Christine Baltezore, also a sophomore, was a few spots back in 21st after running a 15:54.8.
Though both the girls and boys Packers teams wobbled a bit this season, there's no doubt next year's team should be strong yet. This year could be considered somewhat of a growing season, as absences from veterans such as Alissa Mears, Ellie Grooters, Spencer Uetz and Jamison Gehrig made significant impact.
Still, besides Peterson leaving from graduation, most of West Fargo's top runners should be back for the 2011 season, meaning there's no reason fans won't see an improvement from this year, especially considering young and talented runners such as Brooke Grooters, the Baltezores, Albrecht, Rosenau and more have plenty of years left under their belts.
Boys soccer: Three Packers make All-State team
The West Fargo boys soccer team took home a state championship title for the first time in school history last weekend.
It's interesting, then, that just three of their players were named to the All-State team.
Of those, senior keeper Braden Schmid was the lone Packer to earn first team honors.
Schmid was on fire at the state tournament, only letting in four goals while stopping 20 shots. In fact, he was one of the big reasons West Fargo took home its title at all, after having to sweat it out until the 98th minute of double overtime in the championship match against Bismarck Century.
Seniors Austin Dillard and Jade Johnson were named to the All-State second team.
The forward Dillard was an offensive staple for the Packers all season, and scored the championship-winning goal in the state title match. He also racked up two assists during the tournament.
Johnson was another West Fargo scoring threat. The midfielder proved that in Jamestown with an assist and three goals, including the game-tying score against Century in the title game.
Schmid, Dillard and Johnson also earned All-Conference honors, and were the only Packers to do so this season. West Fargo finished the year 13-5-3 overall, and 7-4-1 in the EDC, including a third-place finish during the conference tournament.