FAIRFIELD — Pekin High School cross-country runner Colten Glosser believes teammate Brady Millikin is the best finisher to a race in Class 1A.
He would know. He was the victim of his teammate's charge.
Millikin ended Glosser's run of back-to-back SEI Superconference championships, defeating him by eight seconds at Monday's event at Waterworks Park. Glosser was the leader the first time through the loop, only to be clipped by Millikin's time of 16:51 over the course of the 3.1-mile race.
"I'm one of those who starts quickly, but he is a second-half runner," Glosser said. "That's his style. My second and third miles weren't good, so that will be a focus for me."
"Over the last 800, I just decided to let it go," Millikin said. "For the most part, Colten starts out in front, but we push each other."
Both were integral to the Panthers' team championship, as they scored 39 points to edge Danville-New London (44) in a two-team race. All five of Pekin's scoring runners finished in the top 15, which was just enough to pull out the victory as the Bears had four top-10 runners.
"Our No. 4 (Tanner Conger) and No. 5 (Gavyn Brown) runners really came through for us," Glosser said. "I think the sky is the limit for us."
Van Buren County's Jonah Heckenberg finished seventh (17:50) to lead the Warriors to a seventh-place finish as a team with 197 points. He was joined in the top 15 by teammate Ian Peacock, who was 13th.
Cardinal finished sixth as a team with 187 points, as the Comets received top-25 performances from Gavin Grove (23rd) and Gunner Zugg (24th).
Glosser has only lost to Pekin runners in his conference races, but it was the first time since his freshman year he hadn't won.
Still, the team performance is what mattered to both he and Millikin.
"We're finally starting to fill in some gaps," Millikin said. "Hopefully we can keep this up."
There was no running down Danville-New London's Addison Parrott in the girls race. Parrott started quickly and finished just as strong, running a time of 19:45 to defeat Pekin's Lauren Derscheid by more than a minute.
The Panthers' depth, however, was on display with five top-16 finishes to held them clinch the team title with 37 points; Danville-New London finished second, 29 points behind.
"I wasn't super happy with my time, but there is also good competition here," Derscheid said. "This kind of competition will help us be that much faster."
Lily Fariss finished fifth for Pekin, while Sarah Eubanks was ninth in the team's win. Emily Laumeyer (15th) and Sabrina Reneker (16th) finished out the Panthers' team score.
Van Buren County's Faith Neeley was eighth for the Warriors, while Cardinal's Alexia McClure finished 20th and Allison Sloan 25th to help the Comets to a fifth-place finish as a team with 130 points.
"It's really nice to see that even at practice, all of us have different strengths," Derscheid said of the Panthers' depth. "We can do a lot together because of it."
SEISC cross-country meet
at Waterworks Park
1. Pekin, 37; 2. Danville-New London, 66; 3. Mediapolis, 117; 4. Highland, 126; 5. Cardinal, 130; 6. Hillcrest Academy, 135; 7. Wapello, 177; 8. WACO, 192; 9. Louisa-Muscatine, 202; 10. Columbus, 219. Winfield-Mount Union, Central Lee, Van Buren County and Lone Tree did not have a team score.
Pekin — 2. Lauren Derscheid, 21:02; 5. Lily Fariss, 21:39; 9. Sarah Eubanks, 22:33; 15. Emily Laumeyer, 22:59; 16. Sabrina Reneker, 23:09; 18. Mia Clark, 23:21; 22. Lilly Reneker, 23:41.
Cardinal — 20. Alexia McClure, 23:24; 25. Allison Sloan, 23:55; 32. Caitlyn Reber, 24:27; 41. Araceli Tapetillo, 25:51; 43. Lauren Snyder, 26:12.
Van Buren County — 8. Faith Neeley, 22:28.
1. Pekin, 39; 2. Danville-New London, 44; 3. Wapello, 112; 4. Columbus, 145; 5. Winfield-Mount Union, 180; 6. Cardinal, 187; 7. Van Buren County, 197; 8. Notre Dame-West Burlington, 221; 9. Central Lee, 233; 10. Holy Trinity, 262; 11. Lone Tree, 284; 12. Mediapolis, 291; 13. Louisa-Muscatine, 310; 14. Highland, 385.
Pekin — 1. Brady Millikin, 16:51; 2. Colten Glosser, 16:59; 9. Zack Wise, 18:12; 14. Tanner Conger, 18:43; 15. Gavyn Brown, 18:46; 29. Simeon Buie, 19:34; 66. Devin Fraise, 21:49.
Cardinal — 23. Gavin Grove, 19:21; 24. Gunner Zugg, 19:21; 46. Ben Clark, 20:40; 48. Landon Becker, 20:44; 51. Archer Metcalf, 20:53; 88. Reece Pedersen, 24:21; 90. Tony Castle, 24:43.
Van Buren County — 7. Jonah Heckenberg, 17:50; 13. Ian Peacock, 18:26; 27. Ezra Sedore, 19:30; 77. Austin Denney, 23:06; 85. Levi Deshane, 24:03; 96. Logan Orndoff, 28:04.