A new achievement: how two brothers propelled Devils Lake cross country
DEVILS LAKE – Although the 2021-22 cross country season has come and gone for the Devils Lake Firebirds, the high from the team’s recent success during the North Dakota State Championships has yet to wear off.
Explaining this to Brady and Tyler Goss, however, would be blatantly obvious.
From the perspective of the two brothers (and more specifically, twins), it has always been about remaining competitive, especially in each brother driving the other toward success.
This success took a more illustrious shape on Oct. 23 when, out of more than 175 runners, both juniors finished inside the top 20 during the Men’s 5,000 Meters Class A event.
However, this was only the tip of the iceberg as the pair additionally gave their program an honor it had not seen in more than a decade of action.
With Brady and Tyler’s 15th-place (16:29.02) and 17th-place finish (16:31.36), respectively, the pair officially made All-State. The All-State achievement for a runner (or, in this case, runners) is a first for the program since 2009.
“I am extremely proud to get All-State,” Brady said. “I am thankful to all of my coaches, parents and teammates for pushing me all year. It really paid off in the long run.”
“I think it is pretty cool,” Tyler said. “I think it has been 11, 12 years now? It has been a long time, and I am super proud. I had so many people pushing me and helping me during the race as well, so that is cool.”
Teammates and opposing runners were not the only attributing factors to the pair’s drive to get better. Even when they are not running, Tyler and Brady have driven themselves to succeed at the highest level possible. The pair’s bond has translated into an inseparable passion for striving toward the best possible outcome.
“Just being brothers, we are super competitive against each other anyway,” Tyler said. “We were right around each other the entire race, and having that twin or brother being right next to you makes you push so much harder.”
Devils Lake cross country head coach Nick Kavli has been at the forefront of watching the twins improve on a week-to-week basis. Even still, Kavli had only one takeaway about the pair. And it was a simple one.
They always stood out.
“They did not have one standout race,” Kavli said. “Every race was a standout. It played through to the end of the year, and I think that goes to show they are runners. They are solid runners, and they are going to continue to meet their goals with running and continue to work hard and achieve that as runners.”
Brady and Tyler have contributed more than a couple of awards to the program. After all, they have helped propel the program into a renaissance of sorts.
To Kavli, this renaissance has given the program a new image that emphasizes hard work and encouragement.
“What it shows is that it gives everybody around them the idea that we are capable of doing that as a program and capable of achieving that,” Kavli said. “I have been the coach for six years now, but I would say in years past we would start by celebrating getting All-EDC. For the last five to six years now, we have had multiple athletes starting to achieve that All-EDC ranking year after year. It becomes ’a who is going to get it from our team this year’ expectation and something that happens regularly.”
Even with the offseason in full swing, the thought of the next cross-country meet is always on the mind. Although a productive season has come to a close, the gears are always turning in preparation for the next campaign.
To the brothers, the goal moving forward is evident.
The goal? To continue to push for better finishes.
“We will give it all we have, all summer long, all the way through the cross country season and see what we can do,” Brady said.