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PAXTON -- On Saturday, Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School's cross country team will participate in its first big meet of the season at the Saber Corn Classic in Champaign.
 
Three days prior, PBL hosted a four-team workout of sorts via its preseason invite, in which teams of two ran a 6-mile medley, with each runner taking turns running one mile.
 
"We use this for our workout. We had our guys and girls dialed back based on training phases," PBL head coach Dustin Franckey said. "I let them go a little bit on their final leg if they were good and able-bodied, but we're shooting for Saturday – to have a good showing there. It's workout Wednesday, so we got our workout in."
 
The Panthers had eight freshmen running for them in their high school debut, including Ryder James, who -- along with senior teammate Jordan Giese -- finished second overall in the boys' race with a time of 34:22. 
 
Lorena Arnett, another freshman, teamed up with senior Evie Ellis to finish first in the girls' race with a time of 44:49. 
 
Senior Alec St. Julien and junior Nik Schnabel finished third in the boys' race with a time of 35:03. Senior Erik Reck and junior Trevor Morse placed fourth with a time of 35:53.
 
Freshmen Jesse Barfield and Keagan Busboom finished seventh with a time of 36:50 while sophomores Ashton Goss/Paul Cleary placed eighth with a time of 37:35.
 
Freshman Daniel Busby and senior Tim Hewerdine finished 11th with a time of 39:18. Sophomore Liam McMullin and freshman Cameron Grohler placed 17th with a time of 47:32 and freshman Zach Lundquist/sophomore Jarrett Hazelwood/sophomore Seth Wolken finished 18th with a time of 51:13.
 
Freshman Madeline Royer and senior Alyssa Hofer finished second in the girls' race with a time of 47 minutes while junior Gracie Smith and sophomore Olivia Wilson placed third with a time of 49:40.
 
Sophomores Reese San Diego and Yami Domingo finished eighth with a time of 1:04:11.
 
"I think everyone did well tonight," Franckey said. "We had a few folks come through after one or two of their miles and say, 'This is sore,' and whatnot. We assessed situations and pulled people when we needed to and gave them stuff to do. It's good. We haven't have anybody injured really bad, which is always good."
 
Iroquois West's Connor Price/Max Grant finished first overall for the boys' team with a time of 34:06 while Cornerstone's Austin Sorenson/Ernie Waterson placed fifth with a time of 36:28 and Chrisman's Eli Johnson/Scott Coombs finished sixth with a time of 36:32.
 
On the girls' side, Iroquois West' Maggie Thorne/Chelsea Medina finished fourth with a time of 52:02.
 
"We had a good showing today," Franckey said. "This is more people than we've ever had, which is good. Their numbers are growing, which I like to see. It's becoming more competitive, which is always good."
 
PBL PRESEASON INVITE
At Paxton
BOYS OVERALL
1. Conner Price/Max Grant (IW) 34:06; 2. Ryder James/Jordan Giese (PBL) 34:22; 3. Alec St. Julien/Nik Schnabel (PBL) 35:03; 4. Erik Reck/Trevor Morse (PBL) 35:53; 5. Austin Sorenson/Ernie Waterson (Cornerstone) 36:28; 6. Eli Johnson/Scott Coombs (Chrisman) 36:32; 7. Jesse Barfield/Keagan Busboom (PBL) 36:50; 8. Ashton Goss/Paul Cleary (PBL) 37:35; 9. Lucas Alvarez/Jacob Kuipers (IW) 37:54; 10. Timanol Salzar/Ryan Ritzma (IW) 38:54; 11. Daniel Busby/Tim Hewerdine (PBL) 39:18; 12. Quinci Snedeker/Kyle Taylor (Chrisman) 41:14; 13. Blake Barna/Parker Brown (Chrisman) 41:41; 14. Andrew Schutte/Ty Panky (IW) 42:19; 15. John Phipps/William Erickson (Chrisman) 43:47; 16. Mac McTaggart/Tony Espinosa (IW) 46:55; 17. Liam McMullin/Cameron Grohler (PBL) 47:32; 18. Zach Lundquist/Jarrett Hazelwood/Seth Wolken (PBL) 51:13.
GIRLS OVERALL
1. Evie Ellis/Lorena Arnett (PBL) 44:49; 2. Maddie Royer/Alyssa Hofer (PBL) 47:00; 3. Gracie Smith/Olivia Wilson (PBL) 49:40; 4. Maggie Thorne/Chelsea Medina (IW) 52:02; 5. Autumn Melgoza/Ashton Miller (IW) 52:33; 6. Serenity Campbell (Chrisman) 54:33; 7. Adriana Schroeder/Meg Scott (IW/Chrisman) 57:18; 8. Reese San Diego/Yami Domingo (PBL) 1:04:11.