Metro high school boys cross country preview capsules
Coach: Mike Anderson (20th season)
Last year's finish: Sixth at section meet
Who's gone: Dan Wilson.
Key returners: Cade Dawson, Jr.; Alec Gulseth, Jr.; Gabe Graza, Jr.; Josh Ness, Jr.; Chandler Gray, Fr.
Coach's comments: "Cade Dawson is the leader of the Rebel cross country team with a top finish of 16th place two years ago the 2016 Section 8A championship meet. Two other juniors, Alec Gulseth and Gabe Graza, look to start out just behind Dawson. Additionally, freshman Jacob Finseth will join the cross country squad, after competing in the Minnesota track and field meet the past two seasons. Other newcomers, such as Peyton Schwehr, will help round out the Rebel lineup. The rest of the D-G-F harriers are young, talented, but inexperienced, and through time, will add some depth as the season goes on."
Coach: Jeremy Blake (ninth season)
Last year's finish: Third place at section meet, Zach Johnson and Dawson Strom qualified for state
Who's gone: Andrew Franklin, Austin Gruenberg, Noah Melton and Hunter Wollschlager
Key returners: Sam Gebhart, Sr.; Zach Johnson, Sr.; Jacob Kunka, Sr.; Billy O'Connor, Sr.; Dawson Strom, Sr.; Isaac Wicklund, Sr.; Granton Schneider, Jr.; Elijah Harvala, So.; Ives Hilgers, So.; Evan Myran, So.
Coach's comments: "After a season in which improvements were made and experience gained, a large contingent of returning boys certainly understand the opportunity that lies ahead. One of the deepest Spud teams in recent memory, a combination of an experienced and talented senior class, lled by Zach Johnson and Dawson Strom, with ambitious and dedicated underclassmen, including sophomores Elijah Harvala and Evan Myran, promises to provide a great deal of excitement.
Coach: Jason Holland (12th season)
Last year's finish: Second at Eastern Dakota Conference meet, seventh at state
Who's gone: Austin Linn, Andrew Lundstrom, Jacob Zetocha and Andrew Christopher
Key returners: Parker Wieland, Sr.; Jack Boub, Sr.; Andrew Selensky, Sr.; Charley Graf, Sr.; Jake Graf, Sr.; Caden O'Connor, Sr.; Adrian Contreras, Sr.; Hunter Barth, Sr.; Jack Gothberg, Sr.; Koate Deebom, Jr.; Aaron Ochsner, Jr.; Ethan Sullivan, Jr.; Jack Robertson, So.; Sam Lucht, So.; Liam Steidl, So.; Regan Bosch, Fr.; Carter Berney, Fr.
Coach's comments: "We have a strong senior class of competitors. We would like to see our underclassmen learn from them and to understand what it takes to continually strive to get better each day. Above all, our leaders will need to instill work ethic and a positive team culture, so that tradition can be handed down. I am really excited to see this group grow together during the season."
Coach: Gary Mailloux (44th season)
Last year's finish: Third at Eastern Dakota Conference meet, fifth at state
Who's gone: Andrew Niehaus, Togbeh Peter and Isaiah Skiple
Key returners: Alex Luz, Sr.; Bridger Scraper, Sr.; Mason Bjorlie, Sr.; Mason Engler, Sr.; Philip Dowdell, Jr.; Caleb Yokom, So.
Coach's comments: "The core group of runners for this squad has been patiently preparing themselves for the last two or three years for the opportunity this season provides. Spartan cross country has become a consistently successful program in recent years and now these runners can make their mark and contributions to the legacy. A general goal for the team at large will be to have all runners making performance progress through the season and to remain healthy."
Fargo Shanley-Oak Grove
Coach: Chris Foerster (11th season)
Last year's finish: Fifth at region meet, ninth at state
Who's gone: Cole Mathison, Logan Seger and Gus Ries
Key returners: Tommy Conmy, Sr.; Ben Asheim, Jr.; Gavin Sunderland, Jr.; Taylor DeVine, Sr.; Zach McCormick, Jr.; Conner Asche, So.; Andrew Hultin, Fr.
Coach's comments: "The boys will return eight athletes that competed in last year's state meet. Though they suffered two key losses in Mathison and Seger, the remaining core is strong and includes all-conference runners Gavin Sunderland and Ben Asheim. The boys top group is a very solid and tight pack, both in training and in races, and they are determined to build on last year's big performances. It has been fun to watch this group progress together over the years, as they really push each other day in and day out. There are several more boys that will challenge to round out the team's top five."
Coach: Dustin Swanson (fourth season)
Who's gone: Muqsuin Hussein and Duy Le
Key returners: Abdi Mohamed, Jr.; Michael Brunner, So.; Dalton Booth, Sr.; Abram Anderson, Fr.; Malcolm Strand, Sr.
Coach's comments: "We will be a young team with a lot of hard working athletes coming up. I expect us to improve a great deal as the season progresses."
Coach: Brad Amundson (fourth season)
Last year's finish: 16th state state
Who's gone: Adam Dufner and Brandon Huseby
Key returners: Jace Dullum, Sr.; Braxton Bruer, Sr.; Aiden Biwer, Jr.
Coach's comments: "The goal is to have our best meet at the end of the season. We're looking to have the best performance we've had as a guy's team in five years. We've got a good group of seniors that can help us out with that."
West Fargo Sheyenne
Coach: Troy Thorson (first season)
Last year's finish: Seventh place at Eastern Dakota Conference meet, 13th at state
Who's gone: Jakob Sailer, Leo Smith and Nate Rohrer.
Key returners: Troy Mullenberg, Sr.; Seth Benson, Sr.; Ben Kensok, Sr.; Adam Roy, Sr.; Jacob Knodel, So.
Coach's comments: "We need to take steps this season to become more competitive. After a more consistent summer of training, the guys are ready to make a jump this season. We look to improve on our performances at EDC and state from last season. Again, we are looking for our younger runners to have a big impact on our team by the end of the season."