October 31, 2008

Grinnells finish at the top; Eagles continue cross country dynasty

Grinnells finish at the top; Eagles continue cross country dynasty


North Dakota’s state cross country meet Oct. 25 in Jamestown was a story book finish for a couple of high school seniors from New Town.

Justin and Jeremy Grinnell finished first and second in their division, both were named to the All-State team, their coach Brian Anderson, was named Coach of the Year in Class B and it was the fifth consecutive year that New Town has claimed a state title.

"It was a good way to end it," said Justin Grinnell, whose 16:33.57 time was enough to take the title. "It was what we were hoping for and it was about the best we could have asked for."

The Grinnells who have run neck and neck all season with Jeremy usually winning the race, pushed across the line with only Justin Many Ribs as a legitimate contender to unseat either of them. Many Ribs, from neighboring Parshall, finished third, a scant four seconds behind Jeremy.

Jeremy said he and his brother were confident in their race and knew they would do well despite a strong wind blowing out of the west-northwest all day.

Justin said the wind was a factor and although it didn’t change the game plan, it had an effect on the runners.

"Yeah, it was a big factor," Justin said. "It was like hitting a brick wall sometimes."

Anderson, who praised the Grinnells for their effort, talked about the teamwork among his group and added that assistant coach Damon Brady has been instrumental in getting the kids in their best form since Brady was a runner himself in the 1980s.

"The boys capped off a great season as they started as the No. 1 team in the polls and stayed there," Anderson said. "They won seven of the 11 meets we competed in with their fourth straight West Region title and their fifth straight state title. We had great performances from all the runners. Our young runners improved a great deal and they turned in excellent performances."

Two of those boys, beyond the Grinnells, performed like state competitors in their own right. Alex Baker, a sophomore, finished eighth overall, while David Dobbs, a junior, was 12th. Both earned All-State honors for their effort.

The New Town girls were the surprise team, at least among the media covering the event. Many sports reporters predicted the Eagles to finish third or fourth.

The Weather Network