By Patrick Helmick
Fall sports are underway and Milford Cross Country looks younger and fresher than last year. During the 2015 cross country season on both the boys and girls side the Bucs won the Southern Conference Championship. The Southern Conference Championship was solidified in October of last year after beating Lake Forest and Indian River at home. In only the second year as Head Coach, Bobby Spath led his teams to victory.
“It was great seeing our veteran runners lead their way to a southern conference championship last year,” said Spath. “We also look stronger this year even though we are a much younger team.”
With a younger team the Bucs are still looking to protect their boys’ and girls’ Southern Conference Championship. The cross country team on both the boys’ and girls’ side has thirty runners who have already hit the ground running. According to Spath there were a lot of graduates last year and thirteen new runners are out to rebuild the team.
The top three runners according to Coach Spath on the girls’ side are Seniors Deja Rodriquez-Santiago and Rajene Bowe and Junior Emily Holstein.
“My personal running goal is to run a 20:30 and make first team all conference and all state,” said Holstein. “My team goal is to repeat the southern conference championship and win the Henlopen conference championship. This is the year to do it because all of our girls have worked really hard and are really fast.” Emily’s training regiment this summer was a daily gym workout and night runs in the evening. After High School Emily wants to get her bachelors degree in exercise science and physical education.
The top three runners on the boys’ side are Sophomore Shannon Wilt, Senior Steven Alvarado and Sophomore Ben Sobota.
“My personal goal this year is to run in the seventeens and make the all conference and all state team,” said Wilt. “Iwant the team to repeat and win the southern conference championship and go on to win the Henlopen conference championship. Everyday this summer I ran 5 miles at 5 am to start my day and to prepare for the season.” After high school Wilt wants to pursue a career as an Auto Mechanic.
Looking forward in the season Coach Spath says that the only obstacle to repeating the southern conference championship is rival Lake Forest. “If we defeat Lake Forest that will give us the momentum to make a strong run at the Henlopen Conference Championship.”
Coach Spath and Assistant Coach Lance Skinner are keeping pace with the varsity runners because the coaches have personal running goals of their own. Coach Spath and Skinner both being veteran marathoners both having qualified for the Boston Marathon are training alongside to prepare for the Rehoboth Beach Marathon in December.
If you want to catch the Bucs running you can at two home meets at Milford Mill Ponds on September 14 and October 26.
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