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ST. JOSEPH — The Paxton-Buckley-Loda Junior High School cross country team competed in the St. Joseph Invite on Friday, Sept. 27.

In the seventh- and eighth-grade girls race, the Panthers used a 50-second split to place five girls in the top 20 overall. Winning medals were Mackenzie Swan (ninth), Sydney Pickens (14th), Jordyn Goss (16th), Tanner Graham (17th) and Josephine Royer (19th).

“We did a nice job of working our way up in the second mile,” said head coach Rob Pacey. “The girls have really improved their pack running skills over the last few weeks, which will be key for us at the sectional meet.”

The efforts of Goss (14:35) and Pickens (14:22) received praise from Pacey.

“Jordyn really set the tone in the first mile,” Pacey said. “It was probably a bit too quick and she paid for it in the end, but it really helped her teammates. Sydney picked up where Jordyn left off and really accelerated over the last half mile.”

The girls team will look to close the gap over the next two weeks against sectional opponent St. Joseph, who placed 15th at the state meet last year and put four girls in the top six places overall on Friday.

Jordan Davis (14:42) and Regan Cardenas (16:00) both ran personal bests to finish in ninth and 20th, respectively, in the sixth-grade girls race. Just missing out on a medal was teammate Joie Gallagher, who finished in 21st place in 16:05.

Lily Beckman took over a minute off of her previous best to come home in 31st place for the Panthers. PBL also had two sixth-grade boys crack the Top 40 overall — Brendan Whitaker (38th) and Zane Latimer (40th).

“We’ve been waiting for that kind of race from Brendan all year long. He put in a great effort today,” said Pacey.

Medalists for PBL in the seventh- and eighth-grade boys race were Isaiah Busby (14th) and Nicolas Varon (15th).

“They did an awesome job of working together,” Pacey said. “With the boys and girls racing together, it was extremely crowded and not an ideal starting box, but they fought their way through it.”

The rest of PBL’s scoring five placed in the Top 50 overall, with Nick Henderson (32nd), Landyn Buhrmaster (42nd) and Xander Campbell (48th) leading the way.

“All three of those guys are first-year cross country runners,” Pacey said. “They have done a fantastic job of learning how to race. They continue to improve each week and we’re excited to see what they can do at the sectional meet.”

The Panthers will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 5, at Monticello. PBL will host its annual invitational on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 4 p.m. and the IESA Sectional on Saturday October 12 at 10 a.m.

JUNIOR HIGH

ST. JOSEPH INVITE

7th-8th grade girls

1. Savanna Franzen (STJ) 12:30.5; 2. Helene Jones (STJ) 13:04.8; 3. Shannon Monahan (STM) 13:13; 4. Emily Decker (STM) 13:22.4; 5. Madison Clampitt (STJ) 13:25.7; 6. Chloe Burkhalter (STJ) 13:26.6; 7. Ashley Wells (STM) 13:44; 8. Noelle Hunt (STM) 13:50.8; 9. Mackenzie Swan (PBL) 13:54.7; 10. Ellennah Hedgecock (Rossville) 14:13.3.

Other PBL results — 14. Sydney Pickens, 14:22.6; 16. Jordyn Goss, 14:35; 17. Tanner Graham, 14:37.3; 19. Josephine Royer, 14:44.6; 40. Bailey Luebchow, 16:35.1; 42. Brooke Kleinert, 16:50.6; 48. Megson Elizabeth, 18:31.2; 49. Bren Henry, 18:33.9.

7th-8th grade boys

1. Jay Saunders (STM) 11:41; 2. Carson Maroon (STJ) 11:43; 3. Holden Brazelton (STJ) 11:55.8; 4. Spencer Wilson (STJ) 12:05.3; 6. Kendrick Johnson (STJ) 12:14.2; 7. Jakob Riley (HC) 12:21.2; 8. Alex Steffen (STM) 12:22.3; 9. Rowen Musselman (STJ) 12:27.8; 10. Lukas Shadwick (VG) 12:32.5.

PBL results — 14. Isaiah Busby, 12:45.6; 15. Nicolas Varon, 12:50.8; 32. Nick Henderson, 13:49; 42. Landyn Buhrmaster, 14:12.1; 48. Xander Campbell, 14:34.2; 84. A.J. Anderson, 18:38.5.

5th-6th grade girls

1. Jaci Kellenberger (STJ) 13:40.3; 2. Katherine Miller (STM) 14:06.1; 3. Annika Drasgow (STM) 14:06.7; 4. Josie Potter (St. John) 14:21; 5. Ava Barrett (Mayo) 14:24.8; 6. Reesey Lebeane (Bismarck) 14:25.8; 7. Farah Scott (Holy Cross) 14:28.3; 8. Claire Kluesner (STM) 14:33; 9. Jordan Davis (PBL) 14:42; 10. Leah Phipps (Chrisman) 14:44.3.

Other PBL results — 20. Regan Cardenas, 16:00.7; 21. Joie Gallagher, 16:05.1; 31. Lily Beckman, 17:46; 39. Nicole York, 19:21.3; 42. Eriel Eichner, 19:47.2; 43. Lily Young, 21:35.4.

5th-6th grade boys

1. Case Colvin (Mayo) 12:12.9; 2. Zach Harper (STJ) 12:13; 3. Lance Retz (STJ) 12:56.3; 4. Finn Miller (STJ) 13:04.7; 5. Ty Hunt (STM) 13:17.6; 6. Raph Moukeke (STM) 13:21.2; 7. Jackson Gilles (VG) 13:28; 8. Utah Thomas (Bismarck) 13:29.5; 9. Quinn Stahl (STJ) 13:41.3; 10. Wyatt Kirby (STM) 13:49.1.

PBL results – 38. Brendon Whitaker, 16:06.9; 40. Zane Latimer, 16:16.