Aberdeen Central's Tanner Peltier won the boys’ individual race by a decided margin, but the team race was far less decided until the final points were tallied.
Just one point separated the champion cross country Golden Eagles from second-place Pierre at the Al Sahli/Bob Salmi Invitational Friday afternoon at Lee Park Golf Course.
Central put four runners in the top eight — led by Peltier's individual win — to edge Pierre 28-29 in the team standings. Peltier crossed the line at 17:30, well ahead of second-place Jebben Keyes of Pierre.
"I won this once before in JV and haven't won since, so this is pretty good," said Peltier of his win. "Jebben and I are sort of rivals. We're always trying to see who can do the best. (Head coach Greg) Murley just told me to run out quick and try to tire him out."
The strategy worked, as Keyes finished 29 seconds back of Peltier in the 5,000-meter event.
"We expect Tanner to be a top-five finisher every race. Big meet, little meet, no matter where we run — we expect him to be up there," said Murley. "He's running really well."
Central also had key contributions from Micah Reierson, Alex Tiede and Seth Moore, all of whom finished in the top eight.
"I thought Micah ran really well," said Murley. "I thought Alex and Seth had excellent races. Probably the best they've raced all year."
Similarly, the Central girls put their top four runners in the top six race finishers of the 4,000-meter race, but finished second in the team race to Pierre. Kaitlyn Volk led the first half of the race, finishing second to Pierre's Rachel Propst.
"I like to relax and get into the feel of it first," said Propst of her race strategy. Propst ran in second or third place during the early going, before moving into the lead midway through and eventually finishing with a 19-second margin of victory. "I thought about tucking into the wind, but it really wasn't that much of a factor. It was a pretty nice day to run."
"I thought we ran a lot better today than we did last week," said head coach Bill Martens. "I thought our race preparation was better today. We were race ready."
The pre-race preparation showed off in the efforts of Sydney Waterman, Hailey Holland and Madisyn Waage, who finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. The varsity race was a career first for Holland, a seventh-grader.
"I'm really proud of her effort," said Martens.
Teams: Pierre 28, Aberdeen Central 32, Mitchell 74, Webster 101, Huron (incomplete team).
Individuals Top 10: 1, Rachel Propst, P, 15:42; 2, Kaitlyn Volk, AC, 15:01; 3, Emily Mikkelsen, P, 16:13; 4, Sydney Waterman, AC, 16:15; 5, Hailey Holland, AC, 16:17; 6, Madisyn Waage, AC, 16:27; 7, Hannah Schaffer, P, 16:32; 8, Courtney Dowling, P, 16:36; 9, Aspen Iverson, P, 16:42; 10, Casidy Moon, H, 16:44.
Rest: Mary Krause, M, 16:51; Elisebeth Dickson, M, 16:52; Karlie Brown, M, 17:00; M. Fuchs, P, 17:06; McKenzie Volesky, W, 17:06; Brooke Malsom, AC, 17:12; Mariah Volesky, W, 17:15; Emma Ahlberg, AC, 17:24; Molly Hogg, AC, 17:35; Morgan Leiferman, P, 17:42; Sam Ullmann, P, 17:53; Kaelyn Kaul, M, 18:15; Allison Van Veen, AC, 18:18; Julie Knight, M, 18:25; Emily Wiley, W, 18:45; Morghan Waage, AC, 19:20; Karla Resendiz, M, 19:53; Hanna Leschisin, W, 22:50; Hannah Block, W, 22:50; Dylan Hanson, W, 22:51.
Teams: Aberdeen Central 28, Pierre 29, Webster 75.
Individuals Top 10: 1, Tanner Peltier, AC, 17:30; 2, Jebben Keyes, P, 17:59; 3, Micah Reierson, AC, 18:16; 4, Alex Tiede, AC, 18:42; 5, Porter Jones, P, 18:43; 6, Micha Howard, P, 18:45; 7, Seth McKinley, P, 19:10; 8, Seth Moore, AC, 19:22; 9, Ryan Mikkelsen, P, 19:30; 10, Joe Schueller, P, 19:31.
Rest: Jack Wollman, P, 19:44; Nick Mahowald, P, 20:05; Jonathan Fisk, AC, 20:26; Alex Leschisin, W, 20:44; Rob Wiley, W, 20:46; Ty Dunse, W, 21:35; Connor Fischer, W, 21:44; Jacob Hernandez, W, 22:34; Jayden Hortness, W, 24:10.
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