LEROY --- Phil and Ellie Rigling have been among the top runners in a strong season for Pine River's cross country team.

Phil performed in the Chippewa Hills Late Season Invitational on Oct. 19.

"It went pretty good," he said. "It's not my best race but was still pretty good. It's been a real good season. It's a lot faster than it was last year."

Rigling put in a lot of offseason work and said it's been paying off handsomely. He indicated he's met his expectations.

"I finished higher in the (Highland) Conference than I did last year," Phil said.

Rigling and his teammates ran in regional competition last weekend and was 27th.

"I'm hoping to be able to go to state," he said,

Rigling indicated his first mile is usually the best part of his race. He's trying to improve on his second mile.

Rigling's PR ironically came the first race of the season at the Benzie Central Invitational in 17:33.55. He was fifth, seventh and ninth in the three Highland Conference meets.

He does other sports but indicated cross country is his favorite.

"We've had a good season, Rigling said.

His sister, Ellie Rigling, is a freshman and is coming off a junior high career and was able to make a strong adjustment.

"I've adjusted and have gotten used to it," she said.

Highlights include finishing high in the conference and taking third in a Benzie Central meet.

Her third mile has been a key factor in her races.

Qualifying for the state meet might be out of reach but Rigling is hoping she can do it next year.

She also runs indoor and outdoor track.