Riders Hold Onto Fork Trophy
Red River keeps cross country trophy for another season
The Red River and Grand Forks Central football teams compete each season at the Cushman Classic for a trophy. Their soccer teams compete for the Cushman Cup.
The Grand Forks Central and Grand Forks Red River cross country teams compete for a giant wooden fork.
The Traveling Fork is awarded annually at the Grand Forks Invitational to the Grand Forks school with the lowest combined boys and girls score. For 19 consecutive years, the Fork resided in the trophy case at Grand Forks Central. Red River broke the streak last year, winning for the first time since its creation in 2000.
And the Fork isn’t going anywhere this season, either, as the Riders downed the Knights 182-272 on Saturday at Lincoln Park to keep the trophy for another year.
With the unique trophy on the line, a number of runners set career and season best times
“It’s just the time of year,” said Central coach Sean Allan. “We stress October as when we really want to run well. I think the training is just kind of leaning that way. They know it’s time to pick it up, so I was really proud of them today.”
Red River boys’ coach Richard Dafoe echoed his opposing coach, citing the timing of the season and the upcoming postseason.
“We’re getting to the end where we get faster all year long,” said Dafoe. “Also, it was a perfect morning. There was no wind, it was cool; the weather was a big contributing factor.”
Red River claimed the overall boys team title behind its best performance of the season, scoring 33 points. West Fargo Sheyenne, led by individual champion Jacob Knodle, finished second with 63 points. Central’s boys finished fourth with 139 points, with Quinn Roehl and Zach Martin as its top two runners.
The Riders placed five runners inside the top 10 and six in the top 15. The squad was led by junior Hunter McHenry, who placed third, followed by Dameon Zenawick in fifth, Broden Diederich in seventh, Ryan Prusak in eighth, and Jonah Dafoe in 10th.
The race started out faster than normal for Red River, but much to their coach’s surprise, their top five were all able to hold on and set season bests.
“I was a little worried that it was going to be too fast for a couple of guys and they would blow up and die,” Dafoe said. “Instead, they all ended up running really well with a bunch of PRs and fast times. Not planned, but exciting the way it turned out.”
With only one week before the conference championships, Diederich said that the success of Saturday’s meet helped the team build momentum toward the postseason.
“I think we all feel pretty confident,” Diederich said. “We all had very good races. We had a lot of PRs around the board. I think that now, we’re even more excited for where we’ll be at EDC.”
Fargo North won the girls title with 48 points. Central and Red River finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Central’s Claire Hynek was fourth individually while Red River was led by Campbell Dorsey, who finished 11th.