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Tradition has Bruins aiming high

The past is part of what drives the Fargo South boys cross country team's present. Having dominated North Dakota competition the last two seasons, the past helps the No. 1-ranked Bruins maintain their edge. "I think a lot of it is our tradition,"...

The past is part of what drives the Fargo South boys cross country team's present.

Having dominated North Dakota competition the last two seasons, the past helps the No. 1-ranked Bruins maintain their edge.

"I think a lot of it is our tradition," said South head coach Rod Hardie. "We have had a good tradition in cross country and track and we want to keep that going."

Defending Eastern Dakota Conference and Class A state champion South can add to that tradition Saturday at the EDC meet in Wahpeton.

Hardie said he wants the conference meet to serve as a foundation for a strong performance at the state meet, scheduled for Oct. 25 in Dickinson.

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"We want to get up for it because it's our conference meet, but we don't want to get up for it too high so we can't mentally recover for state," Hardie said.

A talented group of seniors leads the Bruins. Severyn Claymore, Chad Backsen, Joe Sepe (who may not run at conference with a hip injury) and Robert Ihry are ranked in the top 10 Class A boys runners. Julian Lovelace and Bill Anderson have been solid contributors.

Grant Mehring, a junior, also has performed in that top grouping.

Hardie said the team's goal is to have as many as nine runners earn all-conference honors, which means placing in the top 20 at the EDC meet. Sophomores Paul Weisgarber and Adam Campbell are runners who are on the bubble as far as placing in the top 20.

"Some of are younger kids are excited about that," Hardie said.

South has been ranked as high as No. 11 in the country this season in the Nike/Footlocker national poll.

Note and quotes

Lisbon junior Brandon Huether was ranked No. 1 in the latest Class B boys cross country poll. Huether has won two of the nine events he has competed in this fall, running against Class A competition at many meets. "He loves to run so he never gets out of shape," said Lisbon coach Phil Martin. "He has speed as well as endurance and he's an extremely hard worker." ... The Fargo Invitational volleyball tournament is scheduled for Friday and Saturday with matches being played at both North and South high schools. The tournament may prove to be a Class A state tournament preview with 18 of the state's 19 Class A teams in action. Pool play starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Tournament play starts at 9 a.m. Saturday. The championship match for the Gold tournament is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at North. ... West Fargo senior wide receiver Kyle Balster is seven yards away from the school's record for receiving yards in a career. Balster has 1,120 yards entering Friday's game against Wahpeton. Caleb Johnson (1997-99), now a receiver at the University of North Dakota, has the standard with 1,127 yards.

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Readers can reach Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513 or epeterson@forumcomm.com

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