One of our Central Parents made this awesome video of our team! Thank you!!
For me, as a senior, State was a very bittersweet day. I never realized how sad I would be at the end of my last official Cross Country race. When I first joined as an 8th grader, I still thought Cross Country literally meant running across the country. But I joined nonetheless on that first day of June and have never stopped loving it every second after.
Cross Country has changed my life. And definitely for the better. I have made so many friends, discovered new things about myself, and accumulated a whole new family. Never in a million years would I have thought a team would become so much more.
The state meet, like I said earlier, was bittersweet. The team did very well! Three GFC girls got All-State honors, Karly: 1st place, Alexis: 7th place, and Mandy: 12th place. This is the most amount of girls we've had on the State podium ever since I've been running for Central. We also got 2nd as a team, and I could not be prouder of my girls! We went out and did what we were supposed to do. We ran our hearts out. I'm glad to have been apart of a team that works so hard for something they love. I will miss them all. This will forever be apart of my life.
Rachel Cox - Senior Captain
The state meet is my favorite and least favorite day of the year. It's my favorite because all the hard work most of us have been putting in since June has been for this day. It's my least favorite because it means that the official season is over. And it marks the beginning on the most boring period of the year. The time between Cross country and Track.
The state meet in Minot was a huge success for the team. The weather was perfect it was about 58 degrees with little wind. There was a lot of PR's. The trademark icon of the Minot meet is a ginormous hill that the boys have to conquer twice in the meet and the girls once. Three weeks ago when we came to the Minot course for the pre-state race the hill was the most feared thing that we talked about. I remember when I ran it a few weeks ago, after the first time I ran it I spent the entire rest of the race dreading running up it the second time. This time when we ran it at the state race the hill seemed to barely phase me. I think it defiantly helped us that we already ran on the same course earlier in the year
There is no greater feeling then the rush of excitement you get standing on the line with all the faster runners in the state looking right and left, wondering were you size up against the hundreds of runners on the line. The gun goes off and the battle begins. The greatest battle of the year, fighting against everyone who in their peak of fitness. The feeling of being on that battlefield is a feeling that I wish every human could experience because of the utter intensity.
I was impressed with the way all of our boys ran and I have high goals for us next year. Of the boys running in our top 10 only one of them is graduating. We were really close to a top 5 finish this year and I think if all of the returning boys work hard we can get a top 5 finish next year. I can't wait until next season!
Leif Larsen - Jr Captain
It was a beautiful 60 degree October day and the Central Boy's and Girl's came to Minot to run. Sixteen of the seventeen runners that competed in the Pre-state meet in Minot two weeks ago ran faster at the State Meet on the same course. That is better than any coach could hope for, our team went out and COMPETED!!
The day started with the girls team, who have spent most of the season ranked either 2nd or 1st in the coaches poll, running first at 2:15 pm. Sophomore Karly Ackley, ranked #2 individually, took the lead about 600 meters into the race and never gave it up. Karly crossed the 4k finish line in 13:57 to hold off a hard charging Bismarck runner to win the individual state title! She is the first Central Girl Cross Country runner to win a individual state title. Eighth graders Alexis Roehl and Mandy Williamson showed that Central's future is going to be exciting with their all-state finishes of 7th and 12th respectively. Junior Grace Roehl finished aggressively to earn 27th, followed by freshman Rachel Torrey in 33rd place to give the girls a total of 80 points, earning them a 2nd place finish over all, behind Bismarck Century's 65 points. Our lone Senior runner Rachel Cox finished her career with her highest state finish of 36th place. Other Central girl finishers were Junior Maggie (Maxi) Powell 105th, eight graders Lexi Spinetta 106th, Aislinn Hunter 108th, and seventh grader Megan Peck 116th.
The boys entered the state meet with a single goal, to get their young team with only one senior runner, on the podium. This year we brought a team that only had three previous state meet participants. A top five finish was a lofty goal, especially since they placed 5th at the EDC meet just two weeks earlier. The boys lined up and easily ran their best team race of the season, and placed 6th place overall with 207 points, just 14 points behind Minot's 5th place finish of 193 points. Junior Leif Larsen battled side aches to achieve his all state honors with a 7th place finish. Junior David Hettich used his strong aggressive start to also earn all state honors with 17th place. Senior Shay Doward made his last race count by PRing and placing 40th, 85 places higher than last years state meet. The rest of the boys were first time state runners and did a great job of competing on such a big stage. Sophomore Richie Osborn had a great first state meet placing 47th, followed by another Sophomore Zach Nelson finished 96th,, Eight grader Cole Oen 141st, Sophomore Cedric Reese 144th, Juniors Ryan Keogh 149th, Darian Colgrove 159th, and Eighth grader Chris Demuth 162nd.
Below is the link to the Grand Forks Story about Karly Ackley
The North Dakota Cross Country State meet is my favorite sporting event of the year. I have been part of it as a runner and coach for the last 34 years. I still get those butterfly's and rush of excitement every time, like it was my first time. Cross Country is such a pure sport, no artificial surface, no equipment, just a group of ten runners looking to see if they can run over grass, hills, in any weather, to see which team is faster. Please notice I mentioned ten runners, not an individual. There is a individual champion, and Central has been fortunate to have several of boys win that title. But to us the team is the most important, how that group succeeds is most important. That is what we train for, talk about, and set as a goal, "how well can our team do?". An individual champion is great and a very special accomplishment, but to me the best part is that they provided their team with a single point, and that is the best any teammate can do, to help their team win.
We (Central), has had our share of success at the state meet. Sometimes the best accomplishments are done by teams that don't necessarily win a team title, sometimes it was a greater challenge for a team to earn that 3rd or 5th place trophy. They have reached past what many thought was possible. We have also had our share of heartbreak, teams losing a state title by one point, teams not placing in the top 5 when that was a goal. Sometimes those loses make you wonder why you trained so hard, sacrificed your free time to train, ate correctly, or go to bed early. And the answer is that you want to compete, you want to be part of a team, that moves past just being a team but forms its own special family. And with that family you that you want to see how good that team can be. Many people are willing to say they can do something, but few are willing to actually put the effort in and try. Failing is scary, but not trying, not seeing what you are capable of should be a greater fear.
Many people will not join because they are scared of failing, and yes falling short of your goals can be disappointing, But not trying, not seeing what you are capable of, not challenging yourself should be a greater fear. Our team has over come that fear, has set high goals, and expects a lot of themselves and they depend on their teammates to do their best.
That TEAM goal, lining up with them and seeing if they can accomplish a goal that they set together, trained for together, and sacrificed in a race over a simple grass course, that is why we do it, that is our challenge and this coming Saturday Central will line up and compete together.
This week was an exciting yet sad one for our knights. The good thing is that we had a very successful week at practice as well as a very successful EDC meet on Saturday. But the sad thing is that for most of our runners this was their last meet of the season. First of all I loved to see all of the hard work everyone put in this past week. We got to do one of our speed workout on the track this week and this was fun to be able to see everyone at all times putting in the hard work. Even for those that knew they would not be going to state they all still put in everything they had. This definitely paid off because several of the girls Autumn C, Erin P, Lauryn S, and Emily K just to name a few, all had very nice PR's even with the 100 mile an hour winds at the meet on Saturday!!! I love to be able to see so many girls finish off the season strong.
Our varsity girls also had good races with 6 girls placing in the top 15 and all of them earning all conference honors. Special congrats should go out to Mandy W, for earning her first ever all conference award and to Karly A, for defending her individual first place EDC title. These great placings lead our team to a first place trophy as we defended our EDC title. Also within the varsity we had several PR's from some of our younger runners, which again is very exciting to see with all of the strong winds. I'm not sure if many of the parents realize this, but in the very end of the race, the last stretch to the finish, was directly into the wind. Literally, you turn the corner to the finish and bam! The wind just hits you like a wall!! But even our smallest of girls were strong enough to finish the race without being blown away, so congrats to all of our girls (and boys) for running "through the wall."
Saturday was a very good experience for all of our girls. We have so much potential coming up from the younger runners and Saturday I was very proud to watch our girls, push through the wind, the struggle and the pain of the race. With only 3 seniors this year we will be bringing back almost this same team again next year. So I am very excited to see how our younger girls will grow into great runners. So for those not going to state, I loved every minute I had with you, and I hope to see you all back next year!! For those going to state, it doesn't stop here. We need to keep pushing in order to achieve our goals we set this summer. Keep up the good work ladies!!!
Grace Roehl, Junior captain
Well, it looks like the season is all wrapped up for a good chunk of the team. The Future Five shirts are going to be given to their final owners, and a lot of the team members will be on their way. It's been a fantastic season, and I've loved running with all of them.The last week before EDC was a light, relaxed, taper week. Mileage was down for almost everybody, and speed workouts were easy-peasy. I think this week has been one of the weeks that really made our team a team. One of the highlights of the week was Friday. I made this awesome plan to get the entire team to scream out my daily "MAGGIE! CONVERSATIONS TO ZERO," but I was countered by Leif and Shay. I was running around telling everyone to participate in my plan, but Leif and Shay were right on my tail, making sure my plan was changed. I was caught completely unaware when I counted down and was greeted with the entire team screaming out "DAVID! CONVERSATIONS TO ZERO!"
The meet itself was an interesting one. None of the team had ever ran on the course. The track was fairly confusing. The biggest surprise was the wind. Running with another person to block wind was crucial.
A couple meet standouts were Shay and Richie. The two runners have been training together all season, and are arguably the hardest workers on the team. They ran together the entire race and finished with a sprint off, passing a Fargo North guy in the last stretch. They really cut it close. Richie finished 19th, and Shay finished 20th. The meet results say that they were over a second apart, but that is not correct. Richie himself said they were so close, he couldn't even tell who won. Shay, Richie, Leif, and I added up to be 4 runners achieving All-Conference honors.
Our girls team had a fantastic day. They took the individual and team victories. They had a whopping 6 runners in the top 20, and a 7th runner (Maggie Powell) just over 30 seconds away.
Before I finish typing, I'd like to mention that I did lose a bet. Leif and I made a bet on who would win out of our two newest recruits. Daniel Npemde and Dylan Murphy both had very late starts to their seasons. Leif thought that Daniel, a recent immigrant from Cameroon would beat Dylan, a sophomore JROTC member. I thought differently. I lost the bet. I have to do some advertising for Asics shoes. Yuck. Saucony is so much better....
-David Hettich, Junior Captain
The EDC course at Ponderosa golf course was battered by 30mph winds which gusted up to 39mph. Add to that lead vehicle going the wrong way on both varsity races to add additional distance, it was a tough day for the Central runners to PR. But Several runners went out and did just that, and even more exciting the Central girls went out and defended their EDC championship! The girls started out patient and moved up through the race. At the finish Karly Ackley captured her second EDC title, followed by Alexis Roehl (3rd), Mandy Williamson (7th), Rachel Torrey (11th), Rachel Cox (13th) and Grace Roehl (15th), who all received all conference honors for finishing in the top 20. The girls scored 35 points to hold off Fargo Davies 61 points and Sheyenne 64 points to win another EDC title. Several girls had PR's: Alexis Spinetta, Megan Peck,, Aislinn Hunter, Alexia Scott, Jordyn Thomas, Erin Peck, Lauryn Spinetta, Emily Killichowsi, and Autumn Charette.
The Boys varsity continues to improve and ran their best team race of the season at EDC, by tying West Fargo for 4th with 102 points, but losing in the tie breaker to finish 5th. The boys were only four points out of 3rd and hopefully the improvement will continue into the state meet in two weeks. David Hettich lead the boys, for the first time, into the chute with a 4th place finish, followed by Leif Larsen's 6th finish. Richie Osborn and Shay Dorward ran together and also earned their all-conference honors with 19th and 20th place finishes respectively. Zach Nelson, Central 5th runner, continued his amazing improvement by placing 70 places higher than last years EDC race in 53rd. I'm extremely proud of the boys team, their improvement this year has been shadowed by the girls special year, but it their improvement from Hillsboro to EDC should be celebrated!!
Several boys turned in PR performances: Darian Colgrove, Houston Morin, Gus Tandberg, Kohlton Peterson, Evan Welsh, Brenden Swanson, Daniel Mpemde, Aaron Waterman and Four Cedars Standing.
This is one of our BIG WEEKS! It is the Eastern Dakota Conference (EDC) Cross Country Championships this Saturday, at the Ponderosa Golf Course in Fargo. For our cross country rookies, the state of North Dakota (for Class A) is split up into two divisions: Western Dakota Conference (WDA) and the EDC. Both conferences will have their championships this weekend. There are also several awards given out this meet: All-Conference Runners (top 20 finishers in each race), Senior athlete of the year (boys & girls), and Coach of the year (both boys team & girls team).
Our older runners set goals for this meet as far back as June, or for some I'm sure they set their goals immediately after last years EDC meet in Grand Forks. Our girls are defending EDC champions and the boys are runner- ups. We are looking to repeat in those positions this year. This meet is always so much fun, the nerves increase and the competition level also steps up.
Personally I love the bigger meets, where there is more at stake, the chance to be conference champions and earn those All-Conference honors. It is also exciting to see who can put the pressure aside and just run. That is what we stress, just have fun and race, the places and the team placing will take care of itself. Using this simple blue print Central Cross Country has been very successful at the EDC Championships. This week I wrote on our workout board some "Knight's EDC Championship History", and wrote a simple question for them "What will YOU add to GFCXC history?"
I have confidence in this team, all year they have handled the big expectations that they and others have placed on them. Our older runners are ready to perform and the younger ones are excited to learn and hopefully start making their goals for their future EDC Meets.
Hello Knights parents and cross country runners, Oct 10th, 2014
The members of our team have an opportunity to run in one more race after the ND State Meet. On Sunday, Nov 9, those who choose to participate will be traveling to the Nike Heartland Regional Meet (NXN) in Sioux Falls, SD. This race is sponsored by Nike, and the top two teams from each championship race advance. The top five individuals not on advancing teams also go on to Portland, Oregon, for the National Championship race. The Heartland region is made up of the following states: IA - KS - MN - NE - ND - SD - WI. The meet does consist of many different divisions.
Everyone on our team is eligible to participate in the NXN meet. For those wanting to run in this event, we will continue to practice after the state meet at our regular time of 4 pm, from Central High School. Anyone attending is expected to keep practicing like it’s our regular season.
This is not a school-sponsored event. We will be running under the club name of Knights XC, and traveling to this meet does require the costs to be shouldered by each person attending. I will register those that want to attend (because the teams must register together). The registration deadline is October 29. After that date I will have to charge you for those costs, even if you decide not to attend. We will be traveling with Red River’s team to this event but will be running under separate club names.
$30 Registration fee
$25 hotel room fee
$$ money for about 3 meals and souvenirs
In previous years athletes had to get rides to the meet with their parents or find a ride with another family heading down to the meet. This year RR and GFC are looking at hiring a charter bus to take us to Sioux Falls. The bus would hold 53 people and it would be first come first serve between us and RR people. We would make the bus open to parents too. The cost would be $55 per seat. We will need to know very soon if this is something people would be interested in doing in order to reserve the bus. It would be a great way to travel as a group.
If either of our boys or girls teams qualify for the championship division, we will be allowed to run seven athletes in those races. Anyone after the seventh runner will run in the open division. Those runners that have traveled to this meet in the past have found it to be a great way to finish the season.
One of my favorite things about attending a meet like this is the chance for our runners to see so many great athletes from other states, and realize just how much they can still push themselves to improve. It is a great incentive for them to train through the winter.
I would like to know by the end of this week, Friday Oct 10th, who is interested in attending, who would ride the bus, or would be going with parents. I need to start looking at hotels and wither there is enough interest in hiring a charter bus.
The meet after Milaca is usually a rough one for Central. We are still floating on that high from the hundreds of runners in our races and thousands of fans cheering for us as we run. But this was a surprise-filled meet, in a good way! Especially in the varsity races.
The girls ran strong. There was a lot of pressure on us, trying to perfect score so no one would have to wear pigtails on Monday, but unfortunately we were a couple points short. Although we didn't get what we originally wanted, we all ran better first and second miles than at Milaca, which is very uncommon at this meet. It was also a lot of girls' first 4k of the season and I was very impressed with how well Lexi Spinetta, Aislinn Hunter, and Megan Peck did! They got up in the top 10 in their first Varsity races of the year, and for some of them, their life!
The boys' Varsity race was equally as exciting! Leif won for the 5th time this year, which is super exciting, but I honestly thought the finishes of David and Richie were some of the most exciting of the day! David was in 2nd for a lot of the race, but sometime during the middle, Ty Boucher, a Red River runner, had passed him. Knowing this could be his chance to get back on the polls, David kicked it into high gear and passed him right before the final hill, but Ty was close behind. On the final 100 meter stretch, David was passed, but he didn't give up for one second. He sprinted harder than I've ever seen him go before, and passed Ty last second and got his amazing 2nd place finish with an equally amazing finish. Richie may not have gotten 2nd, but he came and he raced an amazing race. He, too, was just meters behind one of our fellow Red River friends/rivals. Knowing this would be a
crucial point opportunity, Richie performed one of his famous sprints to pass the runner and help lower our score! Shay, running his first race of the season, came in 4th for our team and started out his season with a nice PR. Zach Nelson also PR'd nicely to make our whole top 5 at 19:00 minutes or under!
Overall, I was impressed by our EGF meet results and hope this is a great step forward to our state meet coming up!
Rachel Cox - Senior Captain
Sorry everyone for making the blog so late! I'm pretty sure it was Leif's turn, but he had a busy schedule, so I'm going to take over this week! This week, we had the East Grand Forks Invitational. Although its not a particularly fast course, it is a great meet because our runners get a chance to run in front of their family and friends. Its even better because the meet is small, so our runners who maybe don't always place top 20 get to place up there in front of Grand Forks.
The meet was great this year! A lot of our boys stepped up and ran a varsity 5k. This allowed a lot of them to establish a place in our team's top 10. Being in the top 10 is a big deal because the top 10 runners get to run at state. Our upper boys also had some pretty solid races. Our boys were able to take places 1 (Leif), 2 (Me), 6 (Richie), 14 (Shay), and 16 (Zach). Every one of these guys (except Leif) placed higher than usual. I'm really surprised Red River beat us, even if it was only by 7 points.
This meets particular "stand outs" were Shay Doward and Zach Nelson. This meet was Shay's first meet of the season. There's been a lot of pressure on him, since he is expected to be either the number 3 or number 4 runner. At EGF, Shay was our number 4 guy. His time was a little slow compared to what we expected. I talked to Shay, and he believes he has more potential than what was shown at EGF. The course's slow-ish design and Shay's cold probably played into that. I really think that he will surprise EVERYONE at EDC and State. The other guy that stood out to me was Zach Nelson. Zach's been working hard all season, and his been a solid number 4 runner up until EGF with Shay showing up. If you talk to Zach, you can tell he is an xc runner. He loves the sport (or he is a really good actor). Thursday's meet was Zachs first time placing top 20 in a Varsity meet. Before the race, I was talking to him, and he said that his goal in the race was to place top 20. He reached his goal with about 21 seconds to spare. It's really awesome to see a guy place top 20 for the first time.
The girls made a bet with Coach Allan. If they perfect scored the meet, Coach would paint his nails. If the girls did not perfect score, every one of them had to wear pigtails the next day! That was certainly a sight to see! I guess they can't be too disappointed, though. They did win the meet. I know Karly already gets a ton of recognition, but I'd like to emphasize just how far ahead she was at this meet. Karly placed first with a 14:45. The next runner (Alexis Roehl) ran a 15:45. Karly was an entire minute ahead of the rest of the race!
As you can see, Central has had another successful meet. The season's finishing up quickly! In less than two weeks, EDC will be here!
David Hettich - Jr Captain
Various people will write about what is happening with the teams. Coach Allan and captains will be regular contributors. Alumni and parents are also welcome to submit entries.