The Payson Community Christian School cross country team's 2008 debut turned into a success when the fifth- and sixth-grade squad ran its way to a first-place finish in a four-team meet at American Indian School in Show Low.
For the young Eagles, River Johnson was second, Paul Buckpitt fifth, Marissa Mathews seventh, Miles McNeil 13th, Matt Lowery 14th and Christian Barrowdale 16th.
"This group did an outstanding job and has the potential to just get better and better," said team coach Dave LaMotte, a former head wrestling coach at Payson High School.
The coach also took along a seventh- and eighth-grade team composed of Kevin Weaver, Steve Franey, Kaleb Rush, Joshua Rush and Kayla Winkle.
"They competed against six teams and accepted the challenge to do their best," LaMotte said.
The teams returned to action yesterday, Sept. 11, at Sun Valley Indian School near Holbrook.
The Eagles compete in the Desert Pines Sports League which is a newly designed organization to provide an opportunity for athletic competition with other small faith-based schools. All teams are coed and are made up of fifth- through eighth-graders.
Other sports the Eagles will compete in are basketball, volleyball and track and field.