Devils Lake enters season with a seasoned mix of veterans and youth.
For Devils Lake cross country coach Nick Kavli, there is a buzz in the air.
"I'm excitement about the 2019 cross country season," Kavli wrote via email. "We have about 40 runners out but still have a fairly young team being led by some veterans."
On the boys side for the Firebirds, all five of their top runners are back, led by all-Eastern Dakota Conference runner Brady Goss. Goss, a rising freshman, finished 20th at the meet held in Grand Forks, crossing the finish in 17 minutes, 41.6 seconds. Gabriel Houle was the next highest finisher for the Firebirds as the rising junior finished 47th (18:32.5) and Brady's brother, Tyler, crossed the finish in 18:39.7 for 54th.
Rising senior Jess Mertens will be leading the girls team that finished eighth in the EDC meet a season ago and returns four of the top five runners. Mertens' time of 21:08 earned her a 31st finish while junior Ramsey Brown was 35th (21:17.1).
The Firebirds, whose season begins Saturday, Aug. 24, at the "Orr"ignial Invitational in Jamestown, will host their annual meet on Saturday, Sept. 14 at Graham's Island.