GOOSE LAKE — With both schools providing nine of the first 10 boys finishers, Thursday’s rain-soaked Northeast Invitational turned into a tight battle between Clinton and the hosting Rebels.
The River Kings built the early advantage, putting three runners in the top five, but five of the next six finishers were wearing Northeast navy blue, helping the Rebels surge back for a close-as-could-be 29-30 victory.
Senior Thomas Machande provided a big lift with his third-place finish in 19:06 and Northeast’s depth won out.
Machande was the Rebels’ only runner in the top five, but Northeast still had five runners in the top 10.
Senior Nathan Ketelsen led a parade of his teammates to the finish line, taking sixth in 19:24. Jace Rathje was just four seconds back in seventh, while sophomore Carter Jargo made it three straight Rebels across the finish, as he took eighth in 19:34.
The ninth-place finisher was a River King leaving Clinton one finisher away from posting a team score.
Northeast, though, was able to do it first as senior Zebediah Cox gave the Rebels their fifth finisher with his 10th-place time of 19:44.
Not to be outdone, Kelvin Machande finished just 10 seconds behind Cox, while freshman Carver Lange gave the Rebels another top-15 finish with his time of 20:25.
Carson Burken added a time of 21:44, while Talib Bird clocked in at 21:58, Corbin Knutsen at 22:19, Alex Everson at 22:47, Ethan Johnson at 22:51, Carter Messerich at 23:07, Tyler Hines at 23:08, Joe Hasken at 24:21 and Garrett Lamp at 25:14.
With four runners in the top 20, the Northeast girls took third in their race.
Sophomores led the way: Grace Ketelsen was the third overall finisher with her time of 21:52, while Cenady Soenksen was sixth in 22:14. Faith Ketelsen chipped in a 12th-place time of 22:47, and Natalie Krogman took 19th with her time of 24:45.
Freshman Emma Krogman added a 28th-place finish, while Paige Holst was 38th and Emma Ketelsen 43rd.