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Panthers, Warriors open season at Central Minnesota River Run

Park Rapids' Seth Breitweser (left) and Keegan Moses led a group of runners during Monday's Central Minnesota River Run at Blueberry Pines Golf Course. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Annika Aho led the field as the United North Central girls cross-country team claimed runner-up honors at the Central Minnesota River Run Monday at Blueberry Pines.

Aho clocked a 5K time of 20:43 to edge Staples-Motley's Kyanna Burton's runner-up time of 20:44 in this season-opening meet. Kaarin Lehto was UNC's No. 2 runner with a 23:08 to finish 11th overall while Alessandra Matson was 13th overall in 23:34. Gabby Hrdlicka was 17th in 24:48 and Maddie Bullock finished 27th in 26:54 as the Warriors compiled 50 points. Staples-Motley led the 11-team field with 22 points.

Park Rapids was one of six teams to field an incomplete squad. Holly Johnson (14th in 23:38), Julia Harmon (15th in 24:05) and Whitney Steffel (19th in 25:03) competed for the Panthers.

In the boys meet, Staples-Motley led the way with 17 points behind a 1-2-3 showing by Emmet Anderson (16:49), Hunter Klimek (17:20) and Ben Bartozak (17:58). Staples-Motley is rated No. 5 in the first state Class A poll while Anderson is rated No. 2 among Class A boys.

Park Rapids finished fourth with 113 points with Seth Breitweser (17th), Keegan Moses (18th), Sam Warne (42nd), Marcus Benson (44th) and Gabe Bagstad (47th) leading the way.

United North Central followed in fifth place with 131 points with Christian Johnson (25th), Andreas Aho (26th), Edward Salmen (38th), Sam Jackola (43rd) and Theodore Jackola (64th) comprising the team score.

Times were not available for the boys race. Breitweser and Moses finished in approximately 19:30, Warne clocked a time around 21:50, Benson finished in approximately 22:10 and Bagstad crossed the 5K finish line in approximately 22:30. Skylar Hagen and Owen Wagner followed Bagstad by placing 48th and 49th.

"I thought we had some really strong races," said Park Rapids head coach Kerry Johnson. "I always think the first race of the season is a good starting spot. No pressure; just run and see how they do. I think most of my runners were happy with their races. Hopefully they'll continue to work hard and improve."

"I think we ran well. It's the first meet, so it is always interesting to see how your team will run, especially against other competition," said UNC co-head coach Nick Jasmer. "Although I say we ran well, we also have a lot of work ahead of us as there are a lot of other good runners out there that are going to push us."

Girls team scores: Staples-Motley 22, United North Central 50, Crosby-Ironton 56, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 87, Deer River/Northland 125. Incomplete teams: Park Rapids, Bagley/Fosston, New York Mills, Ottertail Central, Parkers Prairie, Pine River-Backus.

Individual results

1, Annika Aho, UNC, 20:43. 2, Kyanna Burton, SM, 20:44. 3, Kira Sweeney, SM, 20:50. 4, Amelia Landsverk, BF, 21:47. 5, Addison Lorber, SM, 22:01. 11, Kaarin Lehto, UNC, 23:08. 13, Alessandra Matson, UNC, 23:34. 14, Holly Johnson, PR, 23:38. 15, Julia Harmon, PR, 24:05. 17, Gabby Hrdlicka, UNC, 24:48. 19, Whitney Steffel, PR, 25:03. 27, Maddie Bullock, UNC, 26:54. 35, Maddie Thene, UNC, 27:45. 38, Lora Isaacson, UNC, 28:22. 43, Rachael Smith, UNC, 29:17. 46, Emma Isaacson, UNC, 30:27. 50, Lydia Isaacson, UNC, 33:48.

Boys team scores: Staples-Motley 17, Ottertail Central 52, Bagley/Fosston 100, Park Rapids 113, United North Central 131, New York Mills 163, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 181, Pine River-Backus 198. Incomplete teams: Crosby-Ironton, Deer River/Northland, Parkers Prairie.

Individual results

1, Emmet Anderson, SM, 16:49. 2, Hunter Klimek, SM, 17:20. 3, Ben Bartozak, SM, 17:58. 4, Seth Lemieur, CI. 5, Tucker Ringhand, CI. 17, Seth Breitweser, PR. 18, Keegan Moses, PR. 25, Christian Johnson, UNC. 26, Andreas Aho, UNC. 38, Edward Salmen, UNC. 42, Sam Warne, PR. 43, Sam Jackola, UNC. 44, Marcus Benson, PR. 47, Gabe Bagstad, PR. 48. Skylar Hagen, PR. 49, Owen Wagner, PR. 64, Theodore Jackola, UNC. 69, Blaine Hensel, PR.