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Cross Country: Patriot boys 2nd at Milaca Mega Meet

Pequot Lakes' Tony Fitzer placed seventh at the Milaca Mega Meet as the Patriots boys finished second behind Minnehaha Academy among 22 teams competing in a Class AA division on Saturday, Sept. 26.

"Tony continues to be a force," said Pequot Lakes coach Jeff Brever. "He ran a personal best of 17:13. Reid Pierzinski came in 12th for us with another personal best, which was just 11 seconds behind Tony. Reid is experimenting with starts and continues to close the gap on Tony."

The first-place Redhawks compiled 90 points while the Patriots, who are ranked sixth in Class A this week, had 107.

"The success that the boys are having is not a surprise to me or them," Brever said. "We knew we had a strong team with lots of potential coming into the season. The athletes this year have put in a lot of hard work and continue to do so. What I am really surprised about is our depth. We have seventh- and eighth-grade boys that are performing very well and have the possibility of competing for a varsity spot."

In the girls' race, the Patriots finished 15th overall while Lac qui Parle Valley won the title in the 20-team event also for Class AA programs. Grace McGuire was 18th in 21:06.20 to pace Pequot Lakes.

"Grace had a solid performance running in one of the biggest meets in the world," Brever said. "I told the girls not to start out to fast and they took that to heart. We had a very slow start and really had to claw our way back. We lost a lot of time and places in doing so.

"The girls still ran a competitive race. but it was a great learning curve. I am still happy with how the girls competed. We are young and I hope we can continue to learn and improve each meet."

Boys' team scores (22 teams): 1. Minnehaha Academy 90; 2. Pequot Lakes 107; 3. LQPV-DB 150; 4. Jordan 166; 5. GNK 174; 6. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 188; 7. Moose Lake 194; 8. Fairmont and Benson-KMS 252; 10. St. Cloud Cathedral 261; 11. New London-Spicer 310; 12. Martin County West 317; 13. Proctor 339; 14. Pine City 341; 15. Virginia 355; 16. Cook County-Two Harbors 383; 17. Holy Family Catholic 388; 18. Foley 421; 19. Melrose 444; 20. Watertown-Mayer 480; 21. Canby-Minneota 481; 22. Milaca 508.

Individual winner: Jake Paron (Cook County) 16:38.09

Pequot Lakes results: 7-Tony Fitzer 17:13.54, 12-Reid Pierzinski 17:24.79, 26-Jacob Tschida 18:06.53, 28-Marty Fitzer 18:07.95, 37-Cody Huss 18:23.79, 46-Levi Palmer 18:35.48, 85-Cam Boller 19:33.54

Girls' team scores (20 teams): 1. LQPV-DB 121; 2. Holy Family Catholic and Fairmont 124; 4. Minnehaha Academy 138; 5. South Ridge 166; 6. Pine City 173; 7. Mora 202; 8. Proctor 235; 9. Canby-Minneota 251; 10. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 270; 11. GNK and Jordan 280; 13. Cook County-Two Harbors 291; 14. Martin County West 310; 15. Pequot Lakes 330; 16. Moose Lake 373; 17. Watertown-Mayer 438; 18. SM/SENUC 477; 19. Benson-KMS 529; 20. Virginia 563.

Individual winner: Anna Donnay (Eden Valley-Watkins) 18:09.93

Pequot Lakes results: 18-Grace McGuire 21:06.20, 60-Kirsten Skog 22:25.06, 75-Kenzie Nelson 23:17.00, 101-Eloise Gitchell 24:34.81, 112-Rachel Friberg 25:11.41

Tiger boys win at Madden's

Luke Downie crossed the finish line first leading the Pine River-Backus Tigers boys team to victory in the Pillager Invite at Madden's Pine Beach Golf Course Thursday.

"Luke is a great kid, who has worked hard over the summer," said PR-B coach Gregg Ehlert. "It was his first win, and he was pretty excited. If Luke can stay healthy in the next few weeks, the sky's the limit for this kid.".

Konrad Bueckers was second and Josh Sechser third for the Tigers, who placed six runners in the top 10.

"It has been a while," Ehlert of the last time PR-B has won a boys' race. "The boys had a great meet. They are getting better each week. They're working hard, they just need to stay healthy."

The first-place Pillager girls had five runners crack the top 10. PR-B's Sydney Lodge was second overall in 24:29.

Boys team scores: 1-Pine River-Backus 19, 2-Pillager 62, 3-New York Mills inc.

Individual winner: Luke Downie (PRB) 19:21

PR-Backus results: 2-Konrad Bueckers 19:43, 3-Josh Sechser 20:51, 6-Torry Hirschey 21:16, 7-Troy Fetter 21:31, 9-Luke Sechser 22:02,9, 11-Peter Koering 23:00

Pillager results: 8-Brennen Bordwell 21:49, 12-Jared Eng 23:07, 13-Zeke Gilbertson 23:08, 14-Zack Gilbertson 23:12, 15-Anthony Jansen 23:22, 16-Jack Turner 30:08

Girls team scores: 1-Pillager 38, PRB inc. NYM inc.

Individual winner: Sharnea Witt (NYM) 23:15

PR-Backus results: 2-Sydney Lodge 24:29, 4-Shayna Moore 26:17, 7-Brianna Adkins 29:16

Pillager results: 5-Heather Joslin 27:22, 6-Emily Kautz 28:22, 8-Daeja Nylund 30:23, 9-Vanessa Peterson 30:35, 10-Lacie Hines 35:27, 11-Ally Smith 37:42

Patriots win at Bagley

Tony Fitzer placed third for the Pequot Lakes Patriot boys team which won for the third time in four meets on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at the Bagley Invitational. Fitzer's time of 17:13 was 14 seconds behind the lead runner. Teammate Reid Pierzinski also cracked the top 10 finishing sixth.

"Winning the boys' title at Bagley was a big boost of confidence," Brever said. "Almost every team in our section was at Bagley, and all of our boys turned in a solid performance. Tony (Fitzer) ran a strong race with a personal best of 17:13, and he continues to improve and should soon break 17 minutes. Reid (Pierzinski) also ran his personal best, and closed to within 15 seconds of Tony.

"Cody Huss turned in one of his best times of the year and is looking to break 18 minutes. Marty Fitzer cut a minute off his section time from last year, and continues to improve every practice. Sam Person ran his first varsity meet and came in 46th place with a time of 19:04."

Grace McGuire was ninth in 20:37, while teammate Jannah Hall was 11th in 20:40 for the fourth-place Patriot girls.

"Grace did well, and Jannah ran an exceptional race with a personal best while cutting 50 seconds off her previous race," Brever said. "Kristin Skog's first race back from some health issues ran a 22:11. Kristin missed a few weeks of practice, and was disappointed in her time and place, but will regain her strength in the coming weeks."

Brever added that eighth grader Cassidy Chaney ran her first varsity meet and was fifth for the Patriots in 23:23. "This meet was a great indication of where we sit as a team in our section," he said. "Park Rapids is ranked eighth in the state and took third. We have a strong section this year and many of the teams are really young. We have another month of hard work to improve and try to close the gap on the elite teams in our section."

Luke Downie paced the Pine River-Backus boys placing 19th while Sidney Lodge was 37th for the Tiger girls.

Boys team scores: 1-Pequot Lakes 67, 2-Roseau 112, 3-Staples-Motley 121, 4-Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 135, 5-Wadena-Deer Creek 173, 6-Bemidji 175, 7-Pelican Rapids 192, 8-Hawley 206, 9-United North Central 217, 10-Thief River Falls 221, 11-Park Rapids 227, 12-International Falls 272, 13-Pine River-Backus 274, 14-Warroad 292, 15-Lake of Woods 393, inc-Crosby-Ironton

Individual winner: Dan Wilson (DGF) 16:59

Pequot Lakes results: 3-Tony Fitzer 17:13, 6-Reid Pierzinski 17:28, 18-Cody Huss 18:09, 22-Marty Fitzer 18:18, 24-Levi Palmer 18:27, 36-Cam Boller 18:52; 46-Sam Person 19:04

Pine River-Backus results: 19-Luke Downie 18:12, 58-Konrad Bueckers 19:26. 61-Torry Hirschey 19:32, 85-Luke Sechser 20:14, 91-Nick Akerman 20:20, 94-Kyle Tschida 20:35, 95-Troy Fetter 20:40

Girls team scores: 1-United North Central 70, 2-East Grand Forks 86, 3-Park Rapids 80, 4-Pequot Lakes 124, 5-Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 147, 6-Thief River Falls 163, 7-Warroad 165, 8-Roseau 176, 9-Staples-Motley 195, 10-Wadena-Deer Creek 221, 11-Crosby-Ironton 264, 12-Hawley 313, 13-West Marshal 340, inc-Pine River-Backus, International Falls

Individual winner: Lexi Erickson (IF) 19:20

Pequot Lakes results: 9-Grace McGuire 20:37, 11-Jannah Hall 20:40, 34-Kristin Skog 22:11, 44-Kenzie Nelson 22:57, 55-Cassidy Chaney 23:23

Pine River-Backus results: 37-Sidney Lodge 22:13, 83-Cheyenne Swenson 25:10, 98-Brianna Adkins 27:19, 100-Laura Oates 28:03

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