The Milton High School boys and girls cross country teams opened their season at the Glenn Herold Invitational in Watertown on Saturday.
The boys finished with 264 points to place 10th of 17 teams. Madison West (29) cruised to the team title with Lakeland (95) a distant second.
The girls placed 11th out of 14 teams with 268 points. Stoughton (59), Lakeland (90) and Madison Memorial (93) took the top three spots.
“I was proud of both my teams at this meet because they have worked hard this summer and I believe it will pay off,” head coach Syl Groeschl said.
Sophomore Devin Woodcock led the boys with a time of 18 minutes and 16.5 seconds, placing 29th out of 376 runners. Senior Lauren Talabac led the girls with a 26th-place finish and a time of 22:09.3 in a field of 238 runners.
Also contributing to the boys team score were: junior Davis Turk (52nd, 18:57.7), sophomore Miles Stuckey (64th, 19:10.6); sophomore Jakob Snow (70th, 19:16.5) and sophomore Travis Smith (19:50.5).
“Most of the varsity boys ran a much better time for the first race of the year than they did last year,” Groeschl said. “Devin Woodcock medaled and in this race with the competition that was there that was pretty impressive. Davis Turk, Miles Stuckey and Jakob Snow ran really smart races.
“Early positioning was crucial in this race with over 300 runners in the race. A lot of our runners got caught in packs and couldn’t get away from them until the first half was over. Our five to seven runners need to position themselves much better so it will help bring our team score down.”
Other boys who competed included: junior Brendan Harbrecht (20:20.8), junior Matt Messer (20:33), senior Noah Brown (20:42.1), sophomore Riley Jauch (21:49.2), senior Jack Nathan (21:59), sophomore Evan Burnside (22:43.4), sophomore Samuel Jauch (23:41.8), sophomore Carter Lopez (24:54.8), sophomore Ethan Bouska (25;01.7), senior Lucas Jessie (25:49.2) and freshman Tate Dunk (27:04.2).
Girls other than Talabac who contributed to the team score included: freshman Sam Henry (56th, 23:36.4), sophomore Lexi Slagle (65th, 24:20.7), sophomore Allie Miller (78th, 24:51.7) and senior Grace Rodenberg (85th, 25:01.4).
Other girls who competed included: senior Hailey Anderson (26:13.5), sophomore Abby Burke (26:28.4), freshman Tessa Lambert (27:25.2), sophomore Elizabeth Patrick (31:22.4), sophomore Abbie Bilz (31:27.6), sophomore Shay Anderson (33:17.2), junior Gabriel Pumilia (34:33.4) and freshman Scarlett Pumilia (34:45.9).
“Lauren Talabac saw some of the competition she will have at sectionals and found out it is not going to be easy to get a state berth this year,” Groeschl said. “Samantha Henry, a newcomer, had a really good race for a first-timer. Lexi Slagle took up where she left off last year and continues to get better. Allie Miller was our fourth runner and I always know she is giving me her best.
“Grace Rodenberg came back after a year off and I can’t be more pleased. Senior Hailey Anderson decided to run this year for the first time and she has surprised me and made me wonder where she has been the last two years.”
The Red Hawks will travel to an invite in Lodi on Saturday.