XC Honors Heroes on Frontlines


By Kevin Eickman

As we all know by now, in less than a month a great many thing has changed in our daily lives. Things that we once took for granted are almost considered luxury items to a point. Places we would go and people we would see on the street, our friends and neighbors who we would talk with require us to keep our distance. COVID-19 has changed the world, it has also done one other thing however; it has reminded us of the value and sacrifice that our First Responders and Health Care Professionals provide every day.

With these unsung heroes battling this disease on the front lines, at the risk of their own health and sacrificing family time, the Milford High School cross-country team wanted to find a way to let these heroes know how much they are appreciated. Not only in Milford, but throughout the state of Delaware.

After tossing a few ideas around, the team came up with a special way to honor and thank those on the front lines, by doing what they do best, run. And that is just what the Buccaneers cross- country team over a 35 consecutive hour period recently. Team members team ran a combined 96 miles during that time. The significance of those numbers represent two things, the length and width of Delaware. “We thought it would be a great idea to make sure we represented the entire state of Delaware,” head coach Lance Skinner said. “The 96 miles represented the length of Delaware, while the 35 hours referenced the width of Delaware.”

Since it was a “virtual run,” the athletes did their running in their local areas, with their family or friends making the recording. With running being a full-time sport, no matter the season, it was an easy ask of the Buccaneers. “Our kids love to run, it’s not something you do occasionally. When you’re a runner you must stay in shape, there are no two ways about it,” Skinner said. “With the chance to recognize people who are so important throughout the state, everyone was up for it.”

The Milford cross-country team has two primary sponsors that it relied on to help them fund its racing throughout the year – Arena’s Deli and Bayhealth. “They are always there for us, so it was an honor to be able to show them our support. It’s not like they write a check and that’s it, they are there for us, they are part of our family,” Skinner said.

As one little added bonus, the cross-country team partnered with Arena’s to serve Bayhealth care providers lunch on April 10. “It was just another nice way of showing them how much we appreciated them and how much a part of our family they really are,” Skinner added.

While track and field is very much in doubt for this season, the cross-country season was a success with the girls’ team finishing in the top five in Division I. The squad is led by captains Dale Osterman, Moses Martinez, Alex Herber and Paige Thompson. “Our captains demonstrated leadership the entire season.” Skinner concluded.

To view the run, click on the YouTube link here: https://youtu.be/mC8l5Ky8LUk