Nora Gremban can cross another top-tier race victory off her list after the Northland Pines junior blistered the new course at the Smiley Invitational this past Saturday, winning the Division 2 & 3 girls race in a time of 18:46.5.

The time for Gremban may not have been her best-ever on a 5,000-meter course, but it was a nearly a minute and a half faster than the next closest competitor as she bested junior Sophia Bablitch of Rosholt who crossed in second place in a time of 20:13.7.

“Nora was remarkable,” said her coach Amy Gremban. “She led from the start and ran with determination, making it look almost effortless.”

Gremban’s winning time on the day was the fastest of any girl in any division, and was a full 20 seconds faster than Hope Dragseth of De Pere who won the girls Division 1 race in a time of 19:06.4.

“It takes such motivation and self-drive to race like she does, all by herself, and continue to set new goals,” said her coach. “I think I’m most impressed by how she just takes her success so humbly.”

As a team, Pines (339) finished in 14th place out of 18 teams in Divisions 2 & 3. Kiel (76) won the girls team title followed by West Salem (100), Little Chute (149), Tomahawk (175) and Amherst (183).

Following Gremban was teammate Emma Thoma who finished in 94th place for the Pines girls. She was closely trailed by Sloan Snedden (96th) and Emma Weber (97th).

“Emma (Thoma) has really started to have some great success,” said Gremban. “Sloan and Emma (Weber) really pushed themselves and I’m proud of their super-positive attitudes.”

Also for the Eagles was Abby Congleton who finished 103rd overall. Taylor Maillette crossed in 107th place followed by Olivia Eliason (116th) and Samantha Krueger (133rd).

On the boys side, Kaemyn Heritage led the team with a time of 17:56.9 which was 18th best. He was followed by Jason Linn in 23rd place in a time of 18:09.

“Both of them set personal records and ran solid, smart races,” said Gremban. “They stayed in the mix of runners and kept making their moves to inch up on the guys in front of them. They never lost sight of their goals and really pushed themselves.”

Nic Fluegel finished in 98th place in a time of 20:56.3. He was followed by Mac Williams (21:18.8) in 108th place, Jonathon Miller (21:51.0) in 129th and Matt Milanowski (22:52.9) who was in 143rd place.

“Jonathon and Matt have been giving 100% effort in practice, and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said Gremban.

Shorewood won the boys team title with 71 points followed by West Salem (83), Pacelli (99), Kiel (125) and Little Chute (185). Pines finished 14th with 347 points. A total of 23 teams took part in the Division 2 & 3 event.

Next up for the Northland Pines cross-country teams will be an invite at Three Lakes this Thursday. Some runners will then take part in the Roy Griak Invitational hosted by University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Friday.