With five straight Class B state cross country championships and 11 of the last 13, you'd think the New Town boys would have this repeating thing down pat.
It showed at Saturday's Mandan Kiwanis meet, where the Eagles duplicated last year's victory while boasting a 1-2-3 individual finish.
Senior Jalen Chase (16:06.36), junior Jaiven Hale (16:21.45) and sophomore Robert White (16:22.30) were the first three into the chute as New Town scored a 52 to edge runner-up Legacy by five points.
Legacy, led by fourth-place finisher Beau Brannan (16:26.07) placed four runners in the top 15 to finish with 57. Williston, Bismarck and Dickinson completed the top five with 76, 90 and 161 points, respectively.
New Town went into the race in its accustomed spot atop the state Class B coaches' poll. Legacy was ranked No. 1 in the A boys.
Chase said the Eagles are used to running against Class A teams. Saturday's event was the third mixed A-B meet of the fall for New Town. New Town has won all three, at Williston (44 points), Minot (19) and Mandan.
Likewise, Chase has won all three races with 5K clockings of 17:01.10 and 15:40.35 prior to Saturday.
"I wish I could have done better, but I'm happy with the win," Chase said after Saturday's victory at Mandan's Municipal Golf Course. "I ran a 15:40 at Minot about a week ago. I just came off some soreness in my (left) knee, so the last two or three days I didn't train the way I should have."
Chase said it was frustrating to compete at less than his best level.
"These races help me to become a better runner -- to really go out and perform," he said. "My goal is to be the best in the state, and if I win these races I get my name out there."
Chase said New Town frequently mixes with Class A teams.
"We run (mixed A and B) races about five or six times," he said. "Running against those schools helps us to get a lot better."
Although Chase didn't run the race he wanted, he said Saturday's performance was a step forward for the Eagles team as a whole.
"Century wasn't here but I believe we ran against two of the top three teams -- Legacy and Williston -- and had the top three finishers," he noted.
Century is the defending state Class A boys champion.
Joining the Eagles' 1-2-3 placers in the point tally were senior Daniel LeBeau, 18th in 17:07.62, and junior Ricardo Chase, 28th in 17:40.02.
Eagles assistant coach Jay Hale said it's no coincidence that the Eagles rub elbows with Class A opponents on a regular basis.
"Anybody who wants to run at a high level has got to run against the best teams possible," he observed.
Mandan sophomore Kelby Rinas ran away from the girls field in 18:13.31 to win on her home course. She was 44 seconds faster than runner-up Mattie Shirley-Fairbairn of Bismarck.
Shirley-Fairbairn, however, was the point girl for a first-place 58-point effort by the BHS girls. The first five Demon finishers were all among the top 20.
Rinas, who finished second to Shirley-Fairbairn in last year's Kiwanis meet, said winning at home is a special achievement.
"It's kind of fun to see everybody here, so I was hoping to win," she said.
Rinas said her winning time was her best 5K effort of the season.
"Last week I had an 18:38 at Jamestown, which was my fastest time, so I was hoping to break that," she noted. "I ran a 14:26 at the Rusty Bucket, which is my best (4K) time ever."
She's finished first in all three races, but she's not where she wants to be yet.
"I just want to get better and improve throughout the year," she said.
The ultimate goal, of course, is to have her best state meet. She placed ninth as a seventh grader, 18th as an eighth grader and sixth last fall.
Completing the girls top five behind Rinas and Shirley-Fairbairn were Lindsay Werner of Legacy (19:19.87), and Emily Goldade (19:39.25) and Erin Palmer (19:39.79) of Century.
Placing behind BHS in the team standings were Minot with a 68, Century with a 77, Dickinson at 146 and Mandan at 192.
Eighteen girls teams and 23 boys teams were entered.