The Milton girls cross country team may have a bright future, but the Red Hawks are focused in the now.
Four Milton runners placed in the top 20 in the girls freshman and sophomore race at the Badger North-South Challenge Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Watertown High School.
“We have a lot to be excited about for the next few seasons,” Milton head coach Michael Roherty said about his girls team. “That being said, we are focused on this season. We believe that we can accomplish big things this season, even with the young age of our team.”
The Red Hawk ninth and 10th graders placed first in their respective race with 81 points. The junior and senior girls placed 13th with 301 points.
Senior Devin Woodcock paced the junior and senior boys with a ninth-place finish, as the Red Hawks finished fifth with 125 points. The freshman and sophomore boys placed 10th with 232 points.
Sophomore Mara Talabac led the four top-20 Milton runners with a 13th-place finish, with a time of 22 minutes, 53.03 seconds. Two spots and nearly 10 seconds behind was sophomore Alayna Borgwardt, with a time of 23:04.89.
Sophomores Samantha Benson and Savannah Swopes placed 18th and 19th, respectively. Benson timed in at 23:28.49, while Swopes clocked in at 23:32.22.
Sophomore Allison Johnson finished just outside the top 20 with a 21st-place finish. She crossed the finish line at 23:44.55.
“Allison Johnson took a big leap forward in her progression and achieved a big personal best on Tuesday,” Roherty said.
The Red Hawks were paced by senior Lexi Slagle in the junior and senior race, finishing 28th with a time of 23:26.54. Junior Samantha Henry came in at 25:55.88, good for 65th overall.
Milton’s top five was rounded out by junior Julianna Crandall (68th, 26:07.74), senior Allie Miller (72nd, 26:22.65) and senior Amanda Ferguson (89th, 27:14.63).
Woodcock led the charge for the Red Hawks with a 18:14.99 in the junior and senior race. His time was good for ninth overall in the 180-player field.
“Devin had an outstanding race on Tuesday and really put himself on the map as a high-level runner,” Roherty said. “I talked with him before the race and told him that the top-10 runners would have a great chance at advancing to state.”
Junior Trey Smith placed 20th with a time of 18:50.47. Two spots behind was senior Travis Smith (22nd) with a 18:55.81.
Senior Evan Burnside crossed the finish line at 19:21.46, placing him 32nd. Senior Reider Snow came in 10 spots behind in 42nd with a time of 19:50.82.
In the freshman and sophomore race, sophomore Kaleb Martin placed 22nd with a 19:46.69. Sophomore Luke Bilhorn clocked in at 20:51.21, finishing 46th. Sophomore Rowan Jauch and freshman Brady Chase finished 52nd and 53rd, respectively. Sophomore Ryan Scherdin placed 63rd.
The Red Hawks will gear up for the Midwest Invitational Saturday, Sept. 28, at Blackhawk Golf Course in Janesville at 9 a.m.