Earning some of the strongest results of the season so far, the Milton cross country teams took part in the Midwest Invitational at Blackhawk Golf Course in Janesville on Saturday. The race was split into four groups — freshman and sophomore boys and girls and junior and seniors boys and girls. Three of the four groups had top 10 finishes for the Red Hawks with the fresh/soph girls leading the way at fourth-place. The junior/senior boys came in seventh — thanks to Devin Woodcock’s overall first-place finish, while the junior/senior girls finished 10th. The fresh/soph boys took 18th overall.

“Wow, what a day for this team,” head coach Syl Groeschl said. “When all but two people have personal best times for the season and eight runners have personal best for their careers, you know your team just had a great day.”

Leading the way for the Red Hawks was Woodcock, finishing first overall in the junior/seniors boys with a time of 17:01 — a career best.

“The overall highlight of the day was when Devin won the last race of the day in record performance for him,” Groeschl said. “He rode the shoulder of the first runner for two miles and then just took over and had no challenge from anyone. One of the greatest things to see is your runner out front and nobody can catch them.”

Brendan Harbrecht took second for the Red Hawks in the same race (23rd overall) with 18:07, also a career best. Davis Turk (36th overall — 18:22), Matt Messer (46th overall — 18:33), and Travis Smith (78th overall — 19:10) rounded out the scoring Red Hawks. Reidar Snow (19:12), Ryan Cox (19:29) and Ethan Bouska (21:00) also had career-best times.

For the fresh/soph boys, Tray Smith led the way with 18:26, also a career best. Kang Pan (96th, 19:06), Kaleb Martin (106th, 19:18), Kade Desormeau (157th, 20:31) and Brady Mathews (169th, 20:45) made up Milton’s scoring runners.

“It was a great experience for all of these runners to run against over 500 runners and see how well they could do,” Groeschl said.

Coming in fourth, the girls fresh/soph team dominated with four top-40 finishers. Samantha Henry led the way in third-place overall with her time of 20:34 — a career best. Alayna Borwart (12th, 20:55), Mara Talabac (22nd, 21:28), Samantha Benson (37th, 21:43) and Presley Belk (103rd, 23:39) completed the Red Hawks scoring lineup.

“Our girls also had a really good day,” Groeschl said. “The frosh/soph race was first and it was very exciting watching Samantha Henry pick her way through the crowd and finish third overall. Sam was only eight seconds behind the winner. Alayna continues her excellent year taking 12th overall.”

Anneka Dorn led the junior/senior girls in their 10th place finish, taking 20th individually with 21:59. Darby Schabacker (36th, 22:29), Lexi Slagle (47th, 22:55), Allie Miller (70th, 23:38), and Abbie Bilz (101st, 24:44 — career best) rounded out the Red Hawks.

Milton runs next at Stoughton on Saturday.

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