Whatever the doctors did to Amanda Aerts' knee last spring must have been the exact adjustment her body needed to return to top form.
Aerts made it two wins in as many races this fall when she took the top spot at Wisner-Pilger on Sept. 5, following up a win from her home invite on Aug. 29. This time though, it was quite a bit more dramatic at the end.
Aerts secured her home championship by more than two minutes over her next closest competitor. Last week, she edged out Paige Steinman of Pender by barely a tenth of a second.
Aerts trailed Steinman by 42 seconds with about a mile to go, recovered from earlier falls in the heat then sprinted through the final 400 meters to the win.
She led a Tiger girls team that included Olivia Bohac in 22nd, Sydney Christensen in 34th and Haley Sebranek in 40th, completing East Butler's group of scoring runners. Lanae Aerts was just behind Sebranek in 41st.
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The Tiger girls were sixth out of 11 teams with a total of 83.
Pender edged Hartington-Newcastle 30-35 for the girls team title.
The Tiger Boys were eighth out of 17 teams with Colby Jelinek in 23rd, Michael Polivka in 42nd, Justin Dvorak in 44th, Justin Sebranek in 60th, Justin Sousek in 71st and Matthew Janak in 80th.
"Every time I see something amazing from Amanda, she finds a way to top that," coach Dale Nielsen said. "I thought all of our kids put in a hard effort, I was really pleased with the attitude and the effort by all of our runners last week."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net.