The Milton High School cross country teams opened up their season at the Glenn Herold Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 31, in Watertown.
The girls team finished fourth out of 11 teams with 122 points, while the boys placed ninth among 15 teams with 225 points.
The Verona girls won with 50 points and the Madison West boys won with 29 points.
“I thought that we had a strong start to the season,” Milton head coach Michael Roherty said. “The meet was far from perfect, but there were numerous individual successes. One thing I stressed with the team before and after the meet, was that we are focused on the end of the season.”
The most notable individual success for the Red Hawks was from sophomore Mara Talabac.
Talabac crossed the finish line at 22 minutes, 1.8 seconds at the meet, good for 12th overall in the 197-runner field.
“Mara did well on Saturday, but I think even she would tell you that she has a lot more in the tank,” Roherty said. “It was a solid start to her competition season, but I expect her to continue to grow and find success.”
Junior Samantha Henry finished 24th overall with a time of 22:57.6. Sophomore Alayna Borgwardt clocked in at 23:03.3, good for 27th place.
Two spots behind Borgwardt was senior Lexi Slaglie in 29th with a 23:12.9.
Sophomores Samantha Benson (23:38.6) and Savannah Swopes (23:46.3) finished 34th and 35th, respectively.
Senior Allison Johnson just placed outside the top 50 with a 25:00.1, which put her 53rd.
For the boys, it was seniors Devin Woodcock (18:33.6) and Travis Smith (18:34.6) leading the way with placements of 27th and 28th in the 342-runner field, respectively.
“There were many pleasant surprises,” Roherty said. “Travis headlined the group of surprising athletes by keeping pace with Devin and achieving a top-30 finish.”
Senior Reider Snow clocked in at 19:22.8, good for 56th. Not far off Reider’s pace was junior Trey Smith, who crossed the line at 19:29.0.
“Trey was disappointed with his result, but I told him to trust the process, and keep working hard every day,” Roherty said.
Senior Evan Burnside placed 81st with a 20:05.1. Five spots behind was senior teammate Miles Stuckey in 86th with a time of 20:15.7.
Junior Kang Pan finished 95th with a time of 20:27.7.
The cross country teams will be back in action Saturday, Sept. 7, with an invitational at Lodi High School at 9:30 a.m.
“Our training is geared toward peaking at the end of the season,” Roherty said. “We have a lot of room to grow, but as a coach, I am very pleased with effort from Saturday.”