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Cross Country: Miller finishes third, Warrior girls second via tiebreaker

PIERZ--Brainerd's Meritt Miller finished third and helped the Warrior girls team to a runner-up finish in the Rey Zimney Pierz Pioneers Invite at the Pierz Golf Course Monday.

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PIERZ-Brainerd's Meritt Miller finished third and helped the Warrior girls team to a runner-up finish in the Rey Zimney Pierz Pioneers Invite at the Pierz Golf Course Monday.

Miller finished in 19:55.74, teammate Emily Rugloski was sixth and Ali Crochet 13th to round out the Warriors' top three.

Brainerd actually tied Annandale for the girls title but the Cardinals won via tiebreaker when the Warriors didn't field a sixth runner.

"Like in Little Falls, the girls ran very well," Warriors coach Dave Herath said, "but they're running tired right now and you can tell. They usually have a little bit of a quicker step. They've been working so hard not only running but in the weight room.

"Annandale was the state runner-up in Class A. There was some very good competition, a lot of teams there. Meritt broke 20 minutes for the first time this year so that was nice. I thought Ali who was our third runner had a nice race as well."

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In the boys meet, Brainerd's Matt Cherne finished fourth at 17:19.03 and Pierz's Jake Andres was eighth. The Warrior boys finished third and Pierz was 11th.

"We held Matt out last Thursday with a tight hamstring so it was fun to have him back and he responded with a nice race," Herath said. "I think that was a personal best for him.

"With the boys we talked about experimenting a little bit. Some of them we experimented with going out faster the first mile. We learned some things from that. For some, it went well, for some, not so well. It's a smart group of young men. We're just trying to figure out what's the best way for each of them to race.

"Mora is the defending Class A champion and St. Cloud Cathedral is a perennial state team. We were right there with some very good competition."

Boys results

Team scores (16 teams): 1-Mora 27, 2-St Cloud Cathedral 89, 3-Brainerd 100, 4-Annandale 132, 5-Milaca, 11-Pierz 289

Individual winner: Alec Sanbeck (Mora) 16:31.29

Brainerd results: 4-Matt Cherne 17:19.03, 16-David Kelm 18:00.00, 24-Max Osborne 18:29.08, 27-Travis Goeden 18:33.06, 31-Zach Herrlich 18:42.06, 36-Evan Storbakken 18:55.47, 47-Garret Goeden 19:18.01

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Pierz results: 8-Jake Andres 17:45.40, 38-Cole Andres 18:56.88, 70-Jaden Hennen 20:20.15, 75-Alex Gottwalt 20:46.72, 108-Charles Pekar 29:54.06

Girls results

Team scores (12 teams): 1-Annandale 57, 2-Brainerd 57, 3-Mora 71, 4-EV-W-K 99, 5-Maple Lake 113, Pierz inc.

Individual winner: Anna Donnay (EVWK) 18:49.38

Brainerd results: 3-Meritt Miller 19:55.74, 6-Emily Rugloski 20:42.82, 13-Ali Crochet 21:04.15, 15-Grace Erholtz 21:14.67, 20-Molly Selisker 21:37.61

Pierz results: 51-Sam Winscher 23:10.82, 59-Brenna Andres 23:48.36, 69-Grace Gottwalt 25:17.59, 77-Elise Yates 26:06.09

Next: Little Falls at Rocori Invite 4:15 p.m. Thursday; Brainerd in Maroon Division at University of Minnesota Invite 9 a.m. Saturday; Pierz at Milaca Invite 10 a.m.

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