Cross country teams continue success at States

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Cross country teams continue success at States

Freshman Ryan O'Rourke after the State finals covered head to toe in mud. (Photo by Michael Stevenson)

Freshman Ryan O'Rourke after the State finals covered head to toe in mud. (Photo by Michael Stevenson)

Freshman Ryan O'Rourke after the State finals covered head to toe in mud. (Photo by Michael Stevenson)

Freshman Ryan O'Rourke after the State finals covered head to toe in mud. (Photo by Michael Stevenson)

by Jon Ouellette, Staff Writer

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The cross country season was successful again with both teams qualifying for the State Finals. The boys finished eighth as a team and the girls finished 15th. The regular season was also successful with the boys having a 7-1 season and the girls going undefeated once again (8-0) making them 16-0 in the Lakes Valley Conference (LVC) in its two years of existence.

The Girls Team after their 2nd Place finish at the Regional Meet. (Photo courtesy of Highland Milford Facebook Page)

During the season there were some incredible and record breaking things that happened. The school record was broken by Victoria Heiligenthal with a time of 17:43 at River Rat Willow Metro Park. She broke the previous record, which was set by Mallory Barrett in 2015 at the MIS State Finals with a time of 17:47. Heiligenthal also finished sixth at states, qualifying as All State for her performance. Evan White finished sixth at states and qualified as All State. Both runners were selected to a team that will compete nationally at the Mideast Championships in Ohio.

White said the team worked harder this year and was highly motivated.

“Having a team come in and being able to work together [was the best part of the year],” White said.

Even among younger runners, there was a lot of success with Sydney Chura and Skylar Grubb, both sophomores, breaking 20:00 minutes.

Coach Brian Salyers was pleased with the team effort. “I think we had a year in which they were very caring for each other and strong support was something we always strive for,” he said. He said for the girls team, there were many younger runners that needed to replace last year’s strong group of seniors.

The Boys Team with their 2nd Place Trophy from the Regional Meet. (Photo courtesy of Highland Milford Facebook Page)

“Some girls stepped up,” he said, “sophomores had to replace great runners last year.”

For the boys, Salyers said many of the guys ran faster this year.

“The key at States was the boys being able to race for each other,” he said.

Salyers said that Jack Lobo had a great year and that Sawyer Richards was a surprise because he wasn’t counting on him to be one of the top runners this year.

The girls had many seniors that will be hard to replace. This group won four straight conference titles and won a state championship in 2016. They will finish as one of the most successful groups ever to attend MHS.

Senior Paige Saiz said the off-season training was the key to the girls success and that she loved being with her teammates.

While the cross country program has maintained success for many years, Sal said this group of senior girls will be hard to replace.

“Now going into next year it is the new generation’s job to help fill in,” he said.

Thankfully, with multiple talented returning varsity contributors and hardworking underclassmen, the team is hopeful about continuing their tradition of success into the coming years.

 

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