By Dave McCALLUM
Milford’s girls’ and boys’ cross-country teams closed out their year with solid outings Saturday at the DIAA State Championships at Killens Pond. The ladies posted a sixth-place finish in the girls’ Division I event, while the boys finished in 11th at 158 points.
In the girls’ event, junior Faith Mitchell led the way for MHS as she carded a ninth-place finish with a time of 20:58.50. Eighth grader Aviana Shaw placed a top 30 finish coming in 30th with a time of 22:40.30, while freshman Samantha Hudson was 39th at 23:24.90, sophomore Kayla Ashton was 40th (23:16.50) and senior Brianna Thompson rounded out the scoring for Milford with a 40th place finish at 23.40.50.
Ten-time state championship Padua, paced by individual champion Sophia Holgado, ran away with the team title with 21 points, while Charter School of Wilmington was second at 68 points.
“We had a very young girls’ team, and we had a better season than expected,” said Milford coach Lance Skinner. “We knew we were going to have a small team, but if the girls gelled together, then the sky was going to be the limit and that’s what happened. The girls had a very positive mindset as did the guys throughout the year, and we ended up with great outcomes.”
The Lady Bucs, who will be getting its top four runners back next year, were the only MHS fall sports team to post a winning record with a 7-3 mark with runners winning numerous honors.
Mitchell led the way with a state medal along with being named to the All-Henlopen Conference and All-Kent County squads. Shaw joined Mitchell on the all-conference and all-county squads. Hudson, Ashton and Thompson joined the duo on the all-county team.
In the boys’ event, Nate Waydelis led the Bucs contingent with a 32nd place finish in a time of 18:19.80. Seniors Tyler Ashton and Matthew Fox were 64th and 65th, respectively, with times of 20:00.20 and 20:02.90. Junior Charles Brown was 89th at 22:00.00, Anthony Nash, a freshman, was 105th at 23:30.80 and junior Noah Duffy placed 106th at 24:14.40.
Salesianum took the boys’ Division I title with 37 points, while Milford was 11th with 308 points.
“The boys had a lot of positive energy like the girls did,” Skinner said. “It was a great environment that we had.”
Waydelis was named to the boys’ all-conference and all-county teams. Skinner lauded to first-time cross country runner Liam Dennehy who was consistently in the Bucs’ top three all season. He praised the efforts of Ashton, who was also a first-time runner as a senior.
The 24th annual Reindeer Stampede, the cross-country teams’ biggest fundraiser, is Saturday, Nov. 26, at Killens Pond starting at 10 a.m. Those interested in participating can register at TriSports Charitable Events – Home (trisportsevents.com).
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