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DOWNS — The PBL Junior High boys’ and girls’ cross country teams both earned dual meet victories against Tri-Valley at Moraine View State Park on Thursday.
The girls’ team edged out the hosts by the score of 26-29, while the boys’ team beat the Vikings by a final tally of 24-31.
Liberty Jamison (13:30) and Jasmine Evans (13:59) both broke the 14-minute barrier for the first time this season, finishing in second and third place overall.
Head coach Mike Brehm used friendly competition among teammates as motivation as his pre-race strategy.
“The boys and girls run at the same time in this meet, so I challenged those two to run with our middle pack of boys,” Brehm said.
Evie Ellis (14:24) and Shannon Carlson (14:33) set personal-best times for PBL, filling in the third and fourth scoring spots for PBL.
They both compensated for the absence of Makenzie Schroeder, who missed the meet due to illness.
“Evie has done a fantastic job for us early in the season,” assistant coach Rob Pacey said. “It’s nice to have a sixth grader come in and push our veterans.”
Alicia Montenegro (15:54), Madi Goldman (15:58) and Emily Graves (16:02) also scored for PBL.
“Those three did a nice job of running together today,” Brehm said. “It’s time for them to make a bid for our top five.”
Also running for PBL were Vaughn (17:31), Deseray Spinelli (17:48), Aiyanna Ingram (17:53), Ezri Vesely (17:59), Katelyn Riffle (18:28), Clarissa Wieneke (18:36), Ashley Glover (18:37), Anna Quinn (18:38), Kate Snyder (18:45), Yuly Vega (18:54), Aubree Bruns (21:00), Alayna Miller (21:33), Sarah Jones (21:34) and Lilly Jones (21:37).
On the boys’ side, Matt Harper’s time of 11:34 was good enough for a two-second victory in the boys’ race.
“Matt looked very comfortable from the beginning,” Pacey said. “The heat got to him in our last two meets at home, but he ran a great race today.”
Kody Harrison (12:13), Josh Glover (12:16), Gavin Ogburn (12:51) and Justin Ptacek (13:06) all finished in the top ten in support of Harper’s individual victory.
Brehm said he believes that all four will be crucial to the Panthers’ chances for a state meet berth.
“We have to continue to close the gap as the season progresses,” Brehm said. “The stronger we are one through five by sectionals, the better.”
Other boys’ team runners for PBL included Alec St. Julien (13:46), Dylan Glad (13:58), Tanner Coe (14:03), Tommy Quinn (14:06), Nathan Harms (14:44), Levi Garrett (14:48), Aaron Santefort (14:50), Nick Harper (14:54), John Cantillion (15:14), Brady Barfield (15:42), Austin Sanders (15:45), Garrett Bachtold (16:03), Tyler Pilkington (16:35), Gunner Coe (16:42), Andrew Swanson (16:44), Keller Burk (17:33), Chase Cornett (17:34), Adam McMullin (17:48), Jacob Parrish (17:55), Alex Robidoux (18:17), Ben Jarboe (18:20), Danny Cantillion (18:34), Drew Riggleman (18:35), Ian Tate (18:48) and Clint Hopper (22:12).
On Tuesday, Sept. 4, PBL hosted a meet against Philo St. Thomas, Bourbonnais St. George, Rossville-Alvin and Gardner-South Wilmington.
The boys’ team took second place with a score of 50. St. George (16) won the meet while Rossville-Alvin (62) took third place. St. Thomas and GSW did not have enough runners to post a team score.
Harper led the Panthers with a time of 12:40, good enough for eighth place. Harrison finished ninth by running the two-mile race in 13:07.
Glover fell 28 seconds short of the top 10, finishing 11th with a time of 13:56.
Ptacek (14:42) and Glad (14:50) took 14th and 15th place, respectively, to complete PBL’s team score.
The Panthers took second place on the girls’ side as well with a team score of 38. St. George (21) won the meet while St. Thomas (77) claimed third place.
Jamison took third place with a time of 14:57, 32 seconds short of medalist honors.
Carlson fell eight seconds shy of the top five, running the race in 15:40 to take sixth place.
Schroeder took eighth place witha time of 17:16. Vaughn (17:29) and Ellis (18:00) took 10th and 11th place for PBL, respectively.
The Panthers' boys won a meet they hosted yesterday with a team score of 26. Tri-Valley (47), Rossville (75) and St. Matthew (78) took second, third and fourth place, respectively.
A day after his baseball team won a share of the Twin County Conference title, Cole Eshleman produced a second-place finish of 11:49.
Harper and Harrison took fourth and fifth place individually with times of 12:31 and 12:39, respectively.
Ptacek (13:45) finished in ninth place while Gavin Ogburn (13:49) took 11th place, one second short of the top 10.
The PBL girls finished second as a team with a score of 69, 10 points short of first-place Tri-Valley. St. Matthew (16) took third place.
Jamison was the Panthers' top runner with an eighth-place time of 14:24. Evans (15:08) and Carlson (15:11) took 14th and 15th place, respectively.
Ellis and Schroder (16:02) tied for 19th place to round up the team scoring for PBL.
On Thursday, the cross country team will travel to Lake of the Woods in Mahomet for a meet starting at 4 p.m.