The West Fargo track and field team has, for most of the spring, had a stranglehold on their competition.
They didn't lighten their grip at the East Region Indoor meet last week, either.
As they did in their previous "indoor" season meets - which were, for the first time, all outdoors - the Packers swept the field, taking home both girls and boys titles.
The meet, which was rescheduled outdoors to West Fargo High School thanks to an amazingly warm and dry spring, was a good Eastern Dakota Conference litmus test for the months ahead.
It was also telling of the strengths and weaknesses within the Packers' own program.
The West Fargo boys only had one victory in the meet thanks to their 3,200 relay team comprised of Griffin Sauvageau, Austin Albrecht, Jake Kroke and Darin Baltezore, which crossed the tape in 8 minutes, 24.57 seconds to beat out runner-up Fargo Davies by more than 12 seconds.
The win was critical; as the Packers went on to accumulate 145 points as a team to beat out the Eagles by 11 points. Grand Forks Red River rounded out the Top 3 with 120.5 points.
While they didn't have any more individual victories, West Fargo still had plenty of placers in the top spots.
Baltezore finished second in the 3,200-meter run, while Sauvageau placed third in the 1,600.
But it was Jordan Bishoff who proved himself the most versatile. The junior not only placed second in the 110 hurdles, but also took runner-up in the high jump and long jump, and placed third in the triple jump. Teammate Derek Dreher edged him by a quarter inch in the latter event for second place.
As for the West Fargo girls, they managed to flex their muscle in several areas en route to a 152-point victory. Davies took second with 129 points, while Red River placed third with 107.
Amanda Levin swept the sprints, taking first in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter races. All three times qualified her for state.
Christine Bruenjes also kept her competition at bay with strong wins in the long jump and triple jump. The defending state title holder bested 17 feet, 4 inches in the long, and nailed 36-8 in the triple.
West Fargo's other win came in the 800-meter relay. Nicole Heinen, Jaeden Metcalf, Courtney Suppa and Samantha Gooding combined for a 1:52.23 finish to edge the Roughriders by a quarter of a second.
The Packers nearly had another victory in the 400 relay, but Fargo Shanley got the win by the slimmest of margins: 0.02 seconds.
As West Fargo geared up for the official start to their outdoor season, a bit of irony postponed it. Tuesday's meet was canceled because of cold weather.
Therefore, barring any more cool conditions, the Packers will kick things off Friday with a 2 p.m. dual against Moorhead at Concordia College.
Baseball starts season flawless
Four games in, and the West Fargo baseball team already has four wins.
The streak started with their season opener last Tuesday, a doubleheader against visiting Grand Forks Central. Then on Friday, the Packers kept rolling with a pair of tight nonconference victories over Sioux Falls-O'Gorman in South Dakota.
Zach Steckler opened the season on the mound for the Packers, striking out 11 and allowing just 1 earned run through the first 4 innings en route to a 9-2 victory. Matt Barclay took over in the fifth inning to finish out the game.
Kory Wolden scored 2 runs off 2 hits and a run batted in to lead West Fargo at the plate. Luke Johnson had a pair of RBIs, and Brock Evenson added two doubles and an RBI.
The nightcap was an extension of the opener, as the Packers scored 2 runs in the first inning and 9 in the third before rolling to a 13-3 win.
The games were a bit more dramatic in South Dakota.
In the first game, the Packers scored two runs in the seventh inning to edge the Knights 8-7. They repeated the effort in the second game, scoring 2 runs in the ninth inning to break a 12-12 tie and win 14-13.
West Fargo was on the road Tuesday against Valley City (0-2 EDC, 0-6) but results were unavailable by press time. The Packers are scheduled to host Grand Forks Red River (2-0, 2-0) in a doubleheader Friday, beginning at 5 p.m.
Softball scores 47 runs in pair of wins over Central
Talk about offense; the West Fargo softball team has so much, they can barely contain it.
During their lone competition last week, the Packers racked up 47 runs in a doubleheader Tuesday on the road at Grand Forks Central (0-2, 0-2).
In the first game, Brittany Rheault picked up her second win of the season after pitching a five-inning no-hitter. The Packers scored 10 runs in the fourth inning before winning 17-0.
In the final game, Jolene Woodbury also got her second win of the year after allowing one run off four hits in another game shortened to just five innings. West Fargo scored 9 runs in the first inning alone, and rolled to a 30-1 win.
The Packers were scheduled to host Valley City (0-2, 2-1) on Tuesday, but results were not in by press time. On Friday, West Fargo hosts a two-day tournament, beginning with an opener against Bismarck at 6 p.m. On Saturday, the Packers play Minot at 12:30 p.m., and finally Bismarck Century at 4 p.m.
Sports start this week
While track and field, softball and baseball all have kicked off their seasons, there still are a handful of sports yet to hit the playing field.
For the most part, that ends this week.
The West Fargo girls soccer team played its home opener Tuesday night against Fargo South, results of which were unavailable when the Pioneer went to press.
They play again at 5 p.m. Thursday on the road against Devils Lake. Then Friday, the Packers head to Mandan for an East/West Crossover. At 2 p.m. they play the Braves, and at 5 p.m. they face Bismarck St. Mary Central.
The West Fargo girls tennis team was supposed to open its season Friday against Fargo Shanley, but the match was rescheduled to April 23. Instead, the Packers will now play their first game this coming Tuesday at 4 p.m. against Fargo South.
The only sport remaining, boys golf, also does not play until Tuesday. The Packers will head to Kings Walk Golf Course in Grand Forks for a 9 a.m. invitational.