Cross-country: Patriots hope to build on success

Pequot Lakes' Carly Chaney completes drills during the Patriot cross-country team's practice on Monday, Aug. 31. Dan Determan / Echo Journal

The Pequot Lakes cross-country teams have begun the 2020 season with plenty of experienced runners and plenty of reasons to be excited. More than just about anything, however, they are just happy to be competing while other sports have to wait until spring.

“We are excited to be able to practice and compete this fall,” head coach Jeff Brever said. “We had a great first week of practice and everyone is healthy.”

The girls team is returning its top six runners from a 2019 team that won the section championship and finished eighth at state. The team is currently ranked fifth in the preseason polls, while individual runners Calia Chaney and Rian Zutter are ranked seventh and 12th, respectively. The other returning letterwinners for the girls are Elisa Flaws, Carly Chaney, Ella Peterson, Lilix Gustafson, Emma Flaws and Emma Bitzer.

The boys team - which finished fourth in the section last year - is returning six varsity runners, headlined by state qualifier Ethan Johnson. Other returning include Collin Yahn, Jesse Clausen, Dawsin Ackerman, Eli Laposky, Charlie Schiessl, Eli Hall.

Brever also expects big contributions from Autumn Hecker, Shane Crowley, Alex Morgan and Steve Maschoff.


“Both teams have put in a lot of effort over the summer months and are looking to improve,” Brever said. “With the new restrictions (no more than three teams per meet) and shortened season (seven regular-season meets instead of 10), we have been lucky enough to put together a competitive schedule that will challenge our athletes. The postseason is unknown at the moment, but the athletes are happy to be back together and out practicing.”

Melissa Chaney and Autumn Thull are assistant coaches.

Patriot runner Ethan Johnson completes an exercise to perfect running form on Monday, Aug. 31. Dan Determan / Echo Journal

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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