After falling one sport short of qualifying for the state meet last season, junior Mara Talabac punched her ticket to the alternate state cross country meet on Saturday, May 1, with a third-place finish at a WIAA sectional in Stoughton.

Talabac timed in at 20 minutes, 3 seconds. Talabac was nearly 30 seconds clear of the fourth-place time. The top-three finish vaulted the Red Hawk girls to a fourth-place finish at the sectional with 137 points. Oregon won with the low score of 31 points.

Junior Samantha Benson earned a 12th-place finish for Milton, clocking in at 21:51. Freshman Emma Beutin finished 26th overall with a 22:58. The Red Hawk girls were rounded out with scores from juniors Allison Johnson (24:03) and Alayna Borgwardt (24:52).

The Milton boys — who finished ninth with 258 points — were paced by senior Trey Smith’s 18:31, good for 12th. The host Vikings won the boys sectional with 63 points.

Second on the Red Hawk roster was freshman Jonathan Flowers, who timed in at 20:07. Junior Kang Pan placed 48th overall — a spot behind Flowers — with a time of 20:11.

Milton also had times from junior Rowan Jauch and Doug Droessler with a 21:20 and a 21:35, respectively.

The alternate fall state cross country meet will take place Saturday, May 8, at Blackhawk Golf Course in Janesville.

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