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Track and field: Boys flying high after first-place finish

West Fargo's Chaz Gunderson competes in the long jump jump during the East Region track and field meet at West Fargo High School on Saturday. Carrie Snyder / Forum Communications Co.

For the second consecutive season, the West Fargo boys track and field team hoisted the East Region trophy.

And for the first time in a while, the Packers girls were bested from the Top 3.

With Top-8 placers in every event save three, the West Fargo boys garnered 213 points for a commanding win Saturday at West Fargo High School. Second-place Grand Forks Red River was nearly 50 points behind.

The Packers were spurred to victory by having Top-3 placers in 13 events, which included seven first-place finishes.

Junior Shane Siverson was a big part of the team's sprint success after taking first in both the 100- and 200-meter runs, while also setting meet and school records. His 100-meter time of 10.74 topped the West Fargo High School record time of 10.94. In the 200 meters, Siverson grabbed first with a school- and meet-record time of 22.14.

Teammate Chaz Gunderson was nearly a half-second behind Siverson in the 100, but still managed to grab second place for the 1-2 finish. He also placed fourth in the 200 with a time of 22.94, and ran a leg with the winning 800-meter relay team. Siverson, Shane Hillen, and Alex Spacek rounded out the quad that finished in 1:29.54.

In fact, the relays were a big reason for West Fargo's success, as the team nearly swept the events, except for a second-place finish in the 400 relay.

In the 3,200 meters, West Fargo hoarded the podium by placing four in the Top 8. Senior Josh Hanson finished highest at second in 9:52.51.

The Packers weren't quite as prolific in field events, but they still had their highlights. Nicholas Williams' jump of 45-5¾ put him in a solid first place in triple jump. In the long jump, freshman Daniel Asa leaped 20-11½ for first, while teammate Jaime Heinen-Lugert was second with 20-9¼.

While the boys had a banner turnout, the West Fargo girls team was missing some of its punch, namely in the form of Amanda Levin. Coach Darin McKinnon said Levin missed out on the East Region tournament because of an injury. She already qualified for state in the 100, 200 and 400, however.

Without their top sprinter, the Packers were hit hard in running and relays events. Except for a first-place time of 9:45.98 in the 3,200 relay by Alissa Mears, Keana Karnopp, Christine Baltezore and Brooke Grooters, West Fargo finished no higher than fifth.

Jill Gustafson was a bright spot, however, as the senior took second in the 100 hurdles in 15.84.

The field events were a different story. Gustafson tied for second in the high jump after clearing 4-foot-11, and also took third place in the triple jump. Teammate Christina Bruenjes finished first in the triple jump with a leap of 36-7, and also took second in the long jump.

The Packers other top field finish came from Cherae Reeves, who chucked the shot put 41-10 ½ for second place.

With the conference meet out of the way, all that remains is the state tournament, which runs Friday and Saturday at the Bismarck Community Bowl. West Fargo will be attempting to best last year's results, which ended in both girls and boys teams finishing third overall.

The two-day event will begin Friday at 9:30 a.m. with the Parade of Athletes. Competition will begin at 10:30 a.m.  On Saturday, the meet will begin with field events at 9 a.m., and track events at 11:00 a.m.

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