Now that Van-Far has a varsity cross country program, the Indians also decided to host a combined meet with its junior high program on Sept. 5 at its school district campus.

While this is the first combined event for North Callaway this season, the action began with the girl's race, which concluded in a four-way tie for first between. Occupying those positions for the Ladybird's with a time of 23:34 were Kyla Bertschinger, Kaleigh Moore, Reyna Schmauch and Daelyn Schmauch.

"The girls have been on fire this season and again showed up ready to race. Even with some strategic racing involved, the girls were able to place six in the top 10 and win their third team title of the season with a near perfect 16 points," said coach Chad Craghead. "There was a tie for first place between the top four LadyBirds, as they all four crossed the finish line side by side, not one in front of the other. I knew they had planned on crossing at the same time and was very supportive of the idea."

Also taking the course for North Callaway that day and medaling included Brianna Douglas, who finished sixth with a time of 26:49, Olivia Isaacks was ninth after clocking in at 27:35 and taking the 11th spot was Alyssa Reinhart in 28:48. Brooke Fischer and Christa Gilman also placed 12th and 17th by coming in at 29:02 and 31:43, respectively.

"I did not want them going all out and racing each other into the ground when we compete at the 39th Annual Linn Cross Country Invitational on Saturday," Craghead said. "One of them suggested it and they were all on board. Linn hosts one of the biggest meets we compete at and it is such a great atmosphere."

Next up for the Thunderbird's was the varsity boy's race. Because the Indians won the boy's state track meet, the fact they were also first for this event didn't surprise anyone, but North Callaway did step up and swipe the second spot.

"The boys placed second to Van-Far by only three points. The boys were able to place their top five in the top 10," said Craghead. "Leading the way for the ThunderBirds was Khobi Kellerman in fourth place at 20:22, Ean Rohrbach took the sixth slot in 22:05, Grant Eichman came in at 23:17 to take seventh and finishing eighth in 23:18 was Joseph Crawford."

The rest of the results for the North Callaway's boy's squad featured Jared Bailey in 10th place with a time of 23:43, Josh Craghead slid into the 11th spot in 24:24 and Noah Scrogum was hot on his tail in 12th with a mark of 24:56. Justin Coffman also grabbed the 15th position for the team at 26:57.

"The third race of the day was the junior high boys', who placesd second in their first race of the season. They placed all five runners in the top 10," Craghead said. "Historically this was the first race ever when a North Callaway Junior High Boys team has ever competed as a full team. In the previous 3 year, the boys have not had enough to compete as a team until this race."

Settting the standard for this group in second place at 11:49 was Dayton Kiel, claiming sixth in 12:53 was Gavin Rasmussen and Brendan Reinhard was seventh in 13:18. Caleb Rohrach also placed 10th at 17:20.

"The last race of the day was the junior high girls'. The Lady Birds did not have enough runners to compete as a team, but did manage to bring home the individual champion, Rachael Jeffries, in 12:53," said Craghead. "Also medaling for the ladies were Hannah Cundiff in the runners-up spot in 13:23, Piper Jeffries was fifth at 15:06 and Candance Woodalls finished eighth.

North Callaway is at the Fulton Invitational on Sept. 16.