Milton High’s cross country teams continue to improve in the final standings at meets.
On Sept. 15, the Red Hawk boys placed eighth of 14 teams, while the girls placed 10th, against tough competition at the Badger Challenge in Monroe.
“Just doing better each race is what it is all about,” head coach Syl Groeschl said. “You can never take awards away from runners who have earned them. Never be mad at the athletes that run faster than you. Be mad at yourself for not training better and making running your passion.”
The boys finished with an average time of 18 minutes and 53.5 seconds. First-place Baraboo won the meet with an average time of 17:26.8.
“The boys gave another stellar performance,” Groeschl said. “They are doing exactly what they need to do to bring their best times into the sectional meet. That is really the only meet that counts. I was very proud of how they ran. They are now beating teams that beat them at the Verona Invite and that is what it is all about.”
Junior Noah Krueger finished in 20th place out of 132 runners in the junior/senior race with a time of 18:13.5. Others who factored into the team’s average time included: sophomore Drew Jordahl (18:40.6), junior Connor Shannon (18:43.5), junior Cameron Pumilia (19:10.2) and freshman Davis Turk (19:39.5).
In the freshman/sophomore race, Jordahl placed 12th and Turk took 25th out of 146 runners. Shannon and Pumilia took 25th and 33rd place, respectively, in the junior/senior race.
Freshman Josh Cash (19:50.5) and senior Jackson Van Den Heuvel (19:59.9) finished as the sixth and seventh runners for Milton. All seven runners set new season-best times on varsity.
The girls finished with an average time of 23:45.4, led by sophomore Lauren Talabac (21:33.2), who placed sixth out of 130 runners in the freshman/sophomore race. Oregon won the team title with an average time of 22:01.8.
Also contributing to the team’s average time were: senior Brynn Lunaas (23:46.3), senior Taryn Rowley (24:20.4), sophomore Grace Rodenberg (24:31.9) and sophomore Kate Westrick (24:35.1).
“(Lauren) will be a force to reckon with at conference and sectionals,” Groeschl said. “Our top times for the girls are mostly sophomores and freshmen, with only Brynn Lunaas and Taryn Rowley breaking that mold. The future is very bright for those girls. Brynn and Taryn put their hearts in every race and it shows.”
In the senior/junior race, Lunaas and Rowley took 33rd and 40th place, respectively, out of 128 runners. Rodenberg placed 30th in the freshman/sophomore race, while Westrick was right behind her in 34th place.
Freshmen Darby Schabacker (24:37.7) and Bailey Brookhiser (25:01) rounded out the girls’ top seven. Rowley and Brookhiser had season-best times on varsity.
Between the varsity and junior varsity runners, 22 personal records were broken, Groeschl said.
Inclement weather cancelled the Lake Geneva Badger Invite last Thursday that the Red Hawks were scheduled to compete at. At 9 a.m. on Saturday, Milton heads to the Midwest Invite in Janesville.