If coach Pat Jauch has his way, the Milton High cross country season will be short but impactful nonetheless.
The Red Hawks opened the alternate fall season Saturday at home against Mount Horeb. The girls team won 25-30 and the boys team lost 17-44.
It was the first of just a handful of events for the Red Hawks, leading up to WIAA sectionals May 1 and a state meet May 8.
“We are excited to get the chance to compete in cross country this season, and even more excited the WIAA has decided to offer a state series,” Jauch said. “We have a wide range of skill levels on our team, and we’ll be focusing on consistent improvement as the season progresses.
“It’s a short season, but our goal is that it is an impactful season as some of these kids head into their spring track season or other summer training.
“We want every runner to be a better person in every way at the end of the season as a result of their experience with Milton cross country.”
Junior Mara Talabac leads the way for the Red Hawks girls team. She easily won Saturday’s event by running the 5,000-kilometer course on Bonnie Meade Golf Course in 20:52.9.
“She cruised the field and looked tough doing it,” Jauch said.
Along with Talabac, Milton returns juniors Samantha Benson (22:14.9 on Saturday) and Alayna Borgwardt (23:13.8), who have each earned all-Badger Conference accolades in the past two seasons.
Junior Allison Johnson (25:11.9) and senior Samantha Henry (25:25.0) rounded out the top five varsity finishers against Mount Horeb.
“The girls return a ton of talent, and we’re excited for them to show it this spring and use that as we move into next fall, where we expect to make some noise in the Badger Conference,” Jauch said. “We plan on getting some girls to state this spring.”
The Milton boys were led by sophomore Brady Case, who finished four against Mount Horeb in 20:39.0.
“Brady kept us from getting shut out ... with a great effor at the end of his race to hold off a couple Mount Horeb kids,” Jauch said.
Freshman Jonathan Flowers (21:09.7) was Milton’s second-best finisher, followed by freshman Tyler Rateicke (21:45.3), junior Douglas Droessler (22:02.7) and senior Josiah Raby (22:36.6).
Milton is not scheduled to run again until April 10 at home against Oregon.
(Result Saturday, At Milton)
MILTON 25, MOUNT HOREB 30
Milton varsity—1. Mara Talabac 20:52.9, 2. Samantha Benson 22:14.9, 3. Alayna Borgwardt 23:13.8, 9. Allison Johnson 25:11.9, 10. Samantha Henry 25:25.0, 13. Julianna Crandall 27:08.0, 14. Carissa Choi 29:35.0.
MOUNT HOREB 17, MILTON 44
Milton varsity—4. Brady Case 20:39.0, 7. Jonathan Flowers 21:09.7, 10. Tyler Rateike 21:45.3, 11. Douglas Droessler 22:02.7, 12. Josiah Raby, 22:36.6, 13. Rowan Jauch 21:18.6, 14. Luke Bilhorn 22:37.8.