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Keene a winner and EHS takes 2nd

Jessop Keene became the first Prescott prep cross country runner to win the Middle Border Conference meet last week.

From the boys' meet, joy and from the girls' meet, frustration.

That's what Pierce County's prep cross country teams took from Thursday's Middle Border Conference meet at Osceola.

In the boys' meet, Prescott's Jessop Keene became the school's first-ever MBC individual champ by winning in a time of 16:38. Ellsworth had its best finish in five years with a fourth place showing at 90 points

But in the girls' meet, EHS placed second for the fifth year in a row, this time by a 59-71 spread to conference champ No. 13 ranked New Richmond. Prescott, meanwhile, finished eighth.

Prescott's boys' finished a competitive sixth in a tough MBC field with 117 points led not only by Keene's finish but also that of Dan Plante, whose 17th place in 18:59 put him on the honorable mention squad of runners 15-21.

"I'm very proud of the way all of our kids ran today," PHS head coach Jen Hartle said. "We had a lot of personal bests and a champion runner as well."

Solid pack running by Ellsworth put four runners in the top 21 and all five scoring runners in the top 22. The Panthers' Clayton Bayer was 12th in 18:28, David Klawitter 16th in 18:40; Jose Zepeda 19th in 19:01, Aaron Samuel 21st in 19:04 and Isaac Taplin 22nd in 19:07.

"All of those times were personal bests," Ellsworth head coach Jon Dodge said. "The boys were all focused and determined and only eight points from second. It was one heck of an effort."

Osceola won the boys' meet for the second straight season.

EHS' Lydia Kuhl made first-team All-MBC was a fourth place finish in 15:54. On the second team were Taylor Murphy, 12th in 16:32, Alyce Hines, 14th in 16:41. Receiving honorable mention was Krissa Bushinski, 18th in 16:51 and Kylie Bjorkman finished 23rd in 17:19 to round out the Panthers' scoring. However, NR had all five of its runners place in the top 17.

Prescott's Kailey Fritz had the Cardinals' top finish in 35th place with a time of 18:14. Baldwin-Woodville's Kayla Wagner won in a time of 14:29.