Pines runners Frankie Milanowski (No. 361) and Cooper Cox (No. 355) near the top of the hill halfway through the course at the Northland Pines Cross-Country Invitational held last week in Eagle River. Pines boys finished third overall. —Staff Photos By DOUG ETTEN
Pines runners Frankie Milanowski (No. 361) and Cooper Cox (No. 355) near the top of the hill halfway through the course at the Northland Pines Cross-Country Invitational held last week in Eagle River. Pines boys finished third overall. —Staff Photos By DOUG ETTEN
It’s been almost a month and the Northland Pines cross-country teams have been waiting for the health of some of their top runners to return.

With the Great Northern Conference race set Saturday in Rhinelander, it’s one more opportunity for head coach Josh Tilley to put together his best full lineup as they head into the final two full team meets of the season.

Hosting their annual invite last week, teams took to what was a relatively slower course across the Pines athletic complex and Eagle River Golf Course.

Tomahawk once more showed their strength on the boys side as they easily took the championship, scoring 28 points to better Butternut (59), Pines (74), Rhinelander (93), Hurley (103) and Crandon (180).

On the girls side it was Rhinelander taking the top spot with a team score of 36. They out-ran Hurley (61), Tomahawk (94), Northland Pines (95), Antigo (101) and Crandon (131).

Taking the top overall spot for the boys race was sophomore Drew Bolder of Tomahawk who crossed in 17:39.

Ben Tilley put together one of his better races of the season for Pines as he was the top finisher for the home squad, crossing the line in ninth place overall with a time of 19:03.

Max Lurvey finished just outside the top 10 as he crossed in 11th place overall in a time of 19:13. Sophomore Cooper Cox was 19th best as he finished in a time of 19:54.

Rounding out the scoring field for Pines was freshmen Frankie Milanowski (20:28) and Matt Szafranski (20:32) who finished in 24th and 25th place respectively.

In 41st place was Jake Aiello (21:49.8). Behind him was Sheldon Dumas in 44th (22:05), Jack Hayes in 58th (23:14), A.J. Corriher-Saric (23:31) in 61st, Tyler Barber (24:25) in 64th, Logan Marquardt (25:16) in 67th, Nick Petreikis (25:53) in 68th and Zander Lowery (28:29) in 73rd.

Hurley took the top two positions in the girls race with senior Mariah Sejbl taking the top spot in a time of 21:40. She was followed by teammate Mackenzie Backman who crossed in 22:11 for second best overall.

Leading the way for Pines was freshman Frankie Will (24:13) and sophomore Lily Young (24:14) who finished in 12th and 13th position, respectively. They were followed by teammates Sophia Lane (26:07) and Jillian Gleason (26:10) who were 28th and 29th best.

Natalie Fluegel crossed the line in 31st place in a time of 26:24. Behind her and rounding out the field for Pines was Meg Hayes (27:14) in 40th.

For the third consecutive race the Pines girls were without the services of senior Annalise Callaghan who Tilley said he was hopeful would make it back for Saturday’s conference race in Rhine­lander. Meet time Saturday is set for 10 a.m.