The Palmyra boys and girls cross country teams ran against a tough field during the Liberty Invitational.

The Palmyra boys and girls cross country teams ran against a tough field during the Liberty Invitational Saturday.

The Panther boys came away with a fourth-place finish, while the girls finished eighth.

Williamsville captured the team title in both races.

Brett Griesbaum paced the Panthers with a 16th-place finish. He covered the 3.1 mile course in a time of 18 minutes, 24 seconds.

Spencer Locke, Nick Mudd and Brock Boulware were not far behind. Locke crossed the finish line two spots and two seconds behind Griesbaum, while Mudd (18:43) and Boulware (18:53) finished 24th and 28th, respectively.

“We have been preaching pack running all year,” Panthers coach Nick Koetters said. “I think our top four all came through the first mile within 10 seconds of each other and they all finished around 30 seconds of each other, which is what we want.”

Brady Buckman rounded out the Panthers scoring with a 39th place finish in 19:36.

Illini West’s Jacob Bryan won the race with a time of 16:03.

On the girls side, Lydia Szarka led the Lady Panthers with a 35th-place effort in 23:39.

Lauren Reid placed three spots behind the Lady Panthers top runner with a time of 23:52.

Bella Perkins (46), Kinsey Tieman (57) and Abby Lyon (66) rounded the Lady Panthers top five.

Quincy’s Lydia Kurfman won the girls race with a time of 18:52.

After a hard week, which included running in the Clarence Cannon Conference meet, Koetters mentioned he was pleased with the way both of his teams ran on Saturday.

“We knew we were not going to run overly fast because we had a very tough week of training,” the Panthers coach mentioned. “So I was happy with how both the boys and girls competed against the good field out there.”