Charles having strong freshman season for Pine River cross country team

LEROY — Kelsi Charles has proven to be a strong No. 2 runner for Pine River’s cross country team this season behind Olivia Thompson.

She’s been No. 2 for most of the year. Cooler weather has been helping Charles and other runners to focus on better times.

It’s Charles’ freshman year. She ran in the eighth grade for her first cross country season. She indicated it didn’t take her too long to get accustomed to the longer high school courses.

“In practice, we did more miles,” Charles said. “I’ve been doing pretty good.”

She’s been finishing in the 22s.

“I didn’t think I would do this good at all,” she smiled, adding that she’s been working at pacing herself and trying to catch Thompson.

Finishes are the best part of her race, Charles said, indicating a better pace continues to be a goal. She’s hoping to break the 22-minute mark before the season ends.

Pine River has a young team this season. The Bucks will run at Evart next Tuesday in league action.

Charles also is in track and basketball.

“Track and cross are my favorites,” she said. “I like running better. I’m better at it.

“There’s still room for improvement.”