SPOONER – While each runner for Grantsburg ran a personal-best time, each runner for Unity earned a top-20 finish.
The difference led the Unity boys cross country team to a win in Thursday’s Spooner Invitational while the Pirates had to settle for runner-up despite nabbing first in the individual results. The Eagles finished with 32 points for the team win with Grantsburg (45) in second and Ashland (67) in third, though Chase Doornink paced the field with a time of 18 minutes, 18.5 seconds.
Cullen Feist led Unity with a 3rd-place finish in 18:49.9 and his teammates were not far behind. Mason Brown (19:16.9) finished fifth while Caleb VosBenkowski (19:53.2) was eighth and Ethan Feist (20:18.7) was ninth to give the Eagles a quartet of top-10 finishers.
Nick Paulsen was close to putting all five of Unity’s scored runners in the top 10, placing 12th in 20:46.8.
Doornink had more than a 20-second cushion over runner-up Joseph Jensen (18:40.4) of Chetek-Weyerhauser and was joined in the top 10 by teammate Will Gerber, who was fourth in 18:51.1 for the Pirates. Brody Bongaarts (20:39.5) was 11th; Conner DeTienne (21:20.6) was 16th and Jordan Janes (21:31.2) was 18th for Grantsburg.
“Each athlete set a new personal record,” Grantsburg coach Lisa McKinley said. “It is amazing to watch as each earns that goal though hard work.”
Webster was unable to field a full team to garner a score, but did have a top-25 finisher. Edwin Janssen (21:54.5) was 24th overall; Brandon Petersen (30:09.2) was 65th; Tristan Maurer (33:563) was 67th and Jeff Janssen (36:42.2) was 69th.
Girls cross country
Grantsburg finished eighth in the team standings of the girls race with 83 points while Chetek-Weyerhauser topped the standings with 56. Cumberland (61) was second; Unity (66) was third and Webster (133) was sixth.
Alexis Slater led the Pirates with a 12th-place finish in 26:10.1 while her four teammates had close grouping just inside the top 25. Cassidy Troff (27:47.5) was 18th and followed by Tristin Kreuser-Peterson (27:58), Hope McKinley (28:04.6) and Savanna Trittelwitz (28:18.5)
Ashland’s Elena George won the event as the only runner with a time under 22 minutes, finishing in 21:42.
Webster got top-20 finishes from Jenna Gomulak (26:56.3) in 16th and Emily Doriott (27:06.7) in 19th. Grace McCool (32:26.3) was 42nd; Dahlia Dorn (35:39.6) was 47th and Arwen Gustafson (58:04.7) was 51st.