By Tyler Ohmann
Area runners led by Pierz junior Jake Andres are starting to hit their stride.
Andres finished as the runner-up in two straight meets, including a season-best finish of 16:54.3 at Foley, Sept. 28.
The Pioneers finished in ninth place at the Falcon Invite. Cole Andres, a sophomore, took 17th place.
The Pierz girls did not have a full team, but were led by Brenna Andres, a sophomore, who took 25th with a 22:14.2 finish.
Holdingford was also at the meet, and the boys team took seventh place, while the girls were led by eighth grader Becky Lampert, who took 20th place.
Jake Andres’ second runner-up finish was at the Sauk Centre Invite, Tuesday.
His 17:13 finish was second only to Staples-Motley freshman Emmet Anderson.
Cole Andres finished 14th for Pierz.
On the girls side, Pierz finished in eighth place as a team, including 14th place by Brenna Andres and a 15th place by Carissa Andres, a seventh grader.
Brenna Andres finished in 22:27.6.
Royalton was also in Sauk Centre and finished ninth in the boys race and 10th in the girls race.
The Royals boys leader was sophomore Anthony Rozycki, who finished in 18:01.8 and eighth place. Christopher Borash took 12th place.
Royalton’s girls were led by freshman Grace Neutz, who took 16th place with a 22:32.1 finish. Erin Borash was right behind her in 17th place.
Royalton was also at St. John’s Prep, Sept. 28.
The Royalton boys finished in fifth place and the girls in eighth place.
Borash led the boys with a sixth place finish of 18:12. Rozycki was not far behind with an eighth place finish.
Neutz led the girls in 24th place, and a 24:20 finish.
Lastly, the Little Falls cross country team was at Fergus Falls, Sept. 28.
The boys team took seventh place with its top finisher senior Hunter Zupko, who took 32nd with a 17:26.6.
Junior Drew Peterson finished in 40th at 17:51.1 for the Flyers.
Little Falls’ girls team took last place (18th). Eighth grader Dani Schirmers finished 86th with a 23:04.4/
Upcoming meets include Royalton hosting Pierz and others, Tuesday, and Little Falls traveling to St. Cloud Tech.