Addison Peters already had his goal set for the St. Croix Central Invitational eight days before his second cross-country race of the season.

“Beating as many St. Croix Central guys as I can.”

That drive pushed Peters, who ran the second-fastest 5k of the Pierce County athletes who competed at Thursday’s invitational, to a ninth-place finish and allowed him to beat five of the SCC Panthers’ seven runners.

But being edged out of eighth place by SCC’s Erik Collins is likely to only ignite the Ellsworth junior’s desire to be the first Panther to cross the finish line in the meets yet to come.

Collins completed his 5k in 18 minutes, 20.11 seconds while Peters came in 0.10 seconds behind him to earn his ninth-place finish.

Peters was followed by teammates Daniel Newman and Charlie Stuhl who finished in 12th and 17th place and within 25 seconds of Peters. Ellsworth’s top five runners ran within a 1:27 spread.

As a team, the Ellsworth boys finished in fourth place with 106 team points — 29 points behind the third-place Northwestern Tigers and 25 points ahead of the Spring Valley Cardinals.

The fifth-place Spring Valley crew was led by sophomore Charlie Maier who finished his 5k in 18:03 to lead all Pierce County runners and ran an average mile time of 5:49. Spring Valley’s boys’ team ran a spread of 2:28.

The Prescott Cardinals also competed at SCC’s invite where they finished in seventh place out of 12 teams. Senior Zach Knee paced the Cardinals — who recorded a spread of 1:55 — with a leading time of 18:39, which earned him a 14th-place finish.

Austin Bartz led the three-member Elmwood/Plum City boys’ team with a 54th-place time of 20:43.

The Elk Mound Mounders won the boys’ race with a low, team score of 54 points.

Freshman Hannack leads Pierce County girls

Spring Valley senior Katherine Dieckman expressed the potential she saw in her freshman teammate Lydia Hannack after her team’s season-opening meet in Boyceville on Wednesday, Aug. 28.

That potential came to fruition eight days later.

Hannack was the first Pierce County female runner to complete her 5k at the SCC invitational on Thursday after crossing the finish line at 23:41 for an 18th-place finish. She was followed by Dieckman who came in less than nine seconds behind her with a 19th-place time of 23:50.

Hannack and Dieckman provided the Spring Valley girls with a strong 1, 2 punch, but the Cardinals ran with a large spread of 3:14, which brought them down to a 10th-place team finish.

The Prescott girls earned a seventh-place team finish after being led by Megan Gilles and Kira Penk who finished in 24th and 25th place, respectively. Prescott recorded the second-lowest girls’ team spread of 1:55.

Kendra Kern led the Elmwood/Plum City Wolves with a 32nd-place time of 24:35, and Sophie Vogel led the 12th-place Ellsworth Panthers with a 37th-place finish after completing her 5k in 24:58.

Glenwood City took first on the girls’ side after recording a team score of 70.

All four Piece County cross-country teams will continue their seasons at Somerset High School on Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Spartans’ 4 p.m. invitational.