Both the Patriot girls and boys cross country teams earned individual first-place finishes and team first-place finishes at the Patriots' invitational Thursday, Sept. 6.
Seventh-grader Calia Chaney earned the top spot in the girls' race - just her second career varsity race - finishing in 21 minutes, 20 seconds.
"Calia made a surge with 800 meters left to pull away from (UNC's Annika) Aho and then finished with a strong kick," coach Jeff Brever said. "To see a seventh-grader whose determination, willingness to learn and expectation of getting better everyday at practice is a rarity."
Chaney was followed by Elisa Flaws and Rian Zutter, who finished third and fourth, respectively. Carly Chaney finished fifth with a time of 22:52.
The Patriot boys secured the top eight spots in their race, led by Max Johnston's 19-minute, first-place finish.
"Max looks to improve his best time from last year and will be contending for the number one spot on the team," Brever said.
Johnston was immediately followed by Jesse Clausen (19:06), Ethan Johnson (19:11), Connor Haberman (19:14), Russell Pierzinski (19:49), Brooks Anderson (19:52), Sam Person (19:53) and Eli Laposky (20:23).
"Sam Person and Russell Pierzinski are continuing to be the leaders of the team," Brever said. "They are veterans in our program and are leading the younger athletes in the right direction."
Louis Bueckers was the top finisher for the Pine River-Backus Tigers with a time of 22:39. He was followed by Marcus Lukanen (22:48) and Kade Schneider (23:41).
With just three runners competing, the PR-B girls ran in the junior high 3200-meter race. Finishing first for the Tigers was Mara Adams with a time of 14:44, followed by Anna Sechser (16:24) and Lauren Penkhus (17:13).
Team scores: 1-Pequot Lakes 15, 2-United North Central 52, 3-Pine River-Backus 78, 4-Pillager 104
Individual winner: Max Johnson (PL) 19:00
Pequot Lakes results: 1-Max Johnston 19:00, 2-Jesse Clausen 19:06, 3-Ethan Johnson 19:11, 4-Connor Haberman 19:14, 5-Russell Pierzinski 19:49
Pillager results: 19-Garrett Olson, 24-Dray Turner, 25-Ezra Notch, 32-Brenden Brichacek, 33-Gabe Grimsley
Pine River-Backus results: Louis Bueckers 22:39, Marcus Lukanen 22:48, Kade Schneider 23:41, Tyler Peterson 23:51, Caleb Travis 24:41, Keenan Dahl 25:31, Austin Beavers 26:33
Team scores: 1-Pequot Lakes 20, 2-United North Central 36, 3-Pillager 75
Individual winner: Kaleia Chaney (PL) 21:20
Pequot Lakes results: 1-Kaleia Chaney 21:20, 3-Ellie Flaws 22:39, 4-Rian Zutter 22:44, 5-Carly Chaney 22:52, 7-Nicole Young 24:14
Pillager results: 10-Allie Watson 27:44, 14-Rachel Sheehan 29:15, 15-Ziya Pulak 30:03, 17-Ally Smith 30:31