Middle Border cross-country teams had their first taste of live competition Thursday in Hammond at the St. Croix Central invite.

In the boys race, the battle for fourth place was fierce as Prescott finished with 124 points, followed by Ellsworth and Amery one point behind to tie for fifth. New Richmond was the top team with 25 points.

The girls race had a similar fight for fourth, this time between Baldwin-Woodville and Prescott. The Cardinals finished four points behind to claim fifth. Ellsworth rounded out the teams with an eighth-place finish of 178 points. Osceola was the meet winner with 38 points.

Individually, Ellsworth had some promising performances. Addison Peters finished 10th in the boys race with a time of 18 minutes, 44.3 seconds. Teammate Alex Pazdernik finished three spots behind to take 13th (19:03.1). Kohl Flock wasn't far behind as he finished 16th (19:23.3). Rounding out the Panthers lineup were John Gillespie (40th, 21:23.5) and Jasper Knutson (53rd, 23:30.2).

Aubrey Wittenberg was the top Ellsworth girls runner, coming in 17th place (23:51.4). She was followed by Jocelyn Boyle (33rd, 25:19.4), Ann Lundstrom (40th, 26:15.4), Cece Groh (47th, 26:34.5) and Sophie Vogel (51st, 26:58.6).

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Prescott was led by Amanda Auleciems, who finished 13th in the girls race (23:13.1). Behind her were teammates Ava Budworth (27th, 24:57.8), Ali Warp (25:00.9), Kira Penk (31st, 25:06.9) and Mallory Boles (48th, 26:38.3).

The Cardinals boys were led by Tyler Loucks' 15th-place finish (19:21.6). Rounding out the Prescott runners were Eric Korfhage (22nd, 20:05.8), Connor Lubich (26th, 20:46.2), Breckin Schommer (30th, 20:51.7) and Matthew Lynes (31st, 20:57.1).