By Patrick Helmick
Wednesday, October 26 was a historic day for the Milford Senior High School cross country team, especially for the Lady Bucs, as the team hosted their quad meet at Blairs Pond. The goal for the season was set out by cross country head coach Bobby Spath.
“Our goal was to win the whole conference on the women’s side and we accomplished that,” said Spath. “I was very confident in our girls this year.”
On the Milford Buccaneers senior race day, the final home race of the season, the girls defeated Dover 15-50, Sussex Academy 19-37, and Seaford 15-50 in a quad meet to win the Henlopen Conference Championship. The victory was led by Milford senior runners Deja Santiago and Rajene Bowe as the Lady Bucs went on to have all five of their scoring runners finish before a runner from Dover or Seaford even crossed the line. Only one runner from Sussex Academy finished between the top five of Milford’s scoring squad. The top five runners for the Lady Bucs were Senior, Deja Santiago, Senior, Rajene Bowe, Freshman, Olivia Cromer, Junior, Emily Holstein and Junior, Victoria Little.
Deja Santiago was an All-State runner in the two mile event last year and led her team running a 19:59 to finish first for the Lady Bucs. When asked about what she was thinking when she crossed the finish line, after running 3.1 miles she said, “I felt a sense of relief because I knew that my goal was complete. I knew we could win the conference and if we pulled together we could win and we did.”
When Santiago was asked what it felt like to be a conference champion she said, “I feel great. I am glad to have gone undefeated with my best friends and do something that has not been done in a long time.”
The Lady Bucs last won the Henlopen Conference Championship in 2011 followed by a win in 2012 under former head coach Czar Bloom. Last year under coach Spath, the Bucs put together two Southern Conference Championships on the boys and girls side. This year the Lady Bucs pushed on to clinch the first undefeated Henlopen Conference Championship and Southern Conference Championship since 2012.
On the guys side for the quad meet, the Bucs beat Seaford and Sussex Academy and lost to Dover 24-31. The lead runner for the Bucs was Emmanuel Beaucejour who ran a 17:45 to lead the Bucs to gain two wins and one loss.
The cross country season is coming to an end with Kent County Championships on Tuesday November 1 at Polytech and the Henlopen Conference Championship on Saturday November 6 at Killens Pond State Park. The final meet will be States on Saturday November 12 in Newark.
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