The Northland Pines boys and girls cross-country teams divided and conquered last week as some early-season injuries hampered full team efforts, though individually the Eagles saw some standout performances once again.

Starting in Stevens Point this past Saturday, Pines was able to get one of their first big-meet experiences under their belt as they took part in the SPASH Invite held at Standing Rock Park.

Overall 19 teams toed the line with 126 varsity boys and 121 varsity girls racing in separate events.

Nora Gremban continued to impress as she kept her winning streak perfect, encompassing the course in a time of 19:31 which was good for a championship on the girls’ side.

“She had two runners with her for the first 800-meters until she broke away and never looked back,” coach Amy Gremban said. “She had an outstanding race, dominating the competition. She just always looks so strong and composed and keeps a level head even running all alone.”

Gremban said her top runner was looking forward to this meet, taking some time off from competing early in the week to concentrate on the SPASH race.

“It paid off, and she ran exceptionally well,” coach Gremban said.

Other notable performances on the girls’ side were from Samantha Krueger, who Gremban said “always pushes herself so hard.

“She never gives up and her positive energy really helps the entire team.”

Krueger posted a time of 32:33 which was a new personal record.

“I know that this is just going to continue to improve as the season progresses,” Gremban said.

Frankie Will had a good run also for Pines as she crossed in a time of 24:23, which was good for 75th place overall. Behind her in 87th place was Emma Weber with a time of 24:52. 

In 92nd was Malia Remme in a time of 25:34 followed by Olivia Eliason in 113th place in a time of 29:14.

On the boys’ side, Frankie Milanowski ran his first race of the season as he came back to the lineup after injury.

“He ran in the JV race and was able to run a 19:54, which was a terrific first race,” Gremban said. “The best part was he did not have any pain, and I am looking forward to seeing what he can do now that he is healthy again.”

Also notable on the boys’ side was a season-best time posted by Logan Marquardt, who with a pace of 20:27, was 72nd best on the field.

“It was a fantastic race for Logan all around,” Gremban said.

Jason Linn paced the team on the afternoon, finishing just ahead of Marquardt in 60th position in a time of 19:43.

Sam Gremban, who worked into the lineup after coming off an illness during the week, paced a time of 20:28, which was 73rd fastest overall.

In 77th place overall was Kaemyn Heritage with a time of 20:38. Next was Mac Williams in 87th place in a time of 21:04, a new personal best race time for him. Right behind was Nic Fluegel in 94th place with a time of 21:29. Rounding out the field was Eddie Falcetta with a 115th place time of 23:47.

“These boys work so hard in practice,” Gremban said. “I am so happy their hard work is paying off. Jason Linn ran an outstanding race, also. He is really learning how to race and what his strategies are.  It’s great to see him having success.  

“We are really hoping to build on these excellent races and continue to be healthy now to see what this team is truly capable of on both the girls’ and the boys’ side.”

The team will next head to the Smiley Invitational this coming Saturday.

Ted Voigt Invite

Last Thursday a number of Pines runners took part in the Ted Voigt Invite hosted by Lakeland at the Minocqua Winter Park complex.

“Overall, the Lakeland meet was a good meet,” Gremban said. “It was nice to get a chance to run at the course that we will have our GNC Conference meet at later in October. We are battling some illness and injuries still, so a good portion of the team did not run.”

On the boys’ side it was a 10th place time of 19:53 from Heritage which led the way for Pines. He was followed in 13th place by Linn in a time of 20:17. After him it was Marquardt in 16th place with a time of 20:59, Williams in 19th place in a time of 21:35, Fluegel in 22nd place in a time of 22:13 and Falcetta in 28th place in a time of 23:13.

On the girls’ side it was Will who paced the Pines girls with a time of 24:17, good for 17th place, just ahead of Weber, who was 19th in a time of 24:23, finishing strong.

Remme was 25th in a time of 26:23 while in 37th place it was Eliason in 29:55 and Krueger in 41st place in a time of 33:54.