By Kevin Eickman
What they may lack in numbers, this year’s version of the Milford cross country team more than makes up for in quality. This past Wednesday in a tri-meet at Brecknock Park in Camden, the quality was on full display. While the girls may have suffered their first defeat of the season and the boys’ squad their second loss of the campaign, the quality and spirit were on display.
To put the disparity in numbers into perspective, the winner of the meet Caesar Rodney, boasts squads of 52 and 40 runners. This is in comparison to the Buccaneers who have 14 boys and just seven girls on their rosters. With senior Faith Mitchell running a 19:25 and being the fastest overall girl on the day, Milford would just barely fall to Rodney, while easily defeating Polytech. Having the opportunity to speak with Mitchell following her sub-20-minute run, she was happy with her run but hoped had hoped for a team win. “It was great to put that time on the board and I am very happy with it. We fell a little short of CR today, but I believe this team still has more to give.” the Buccaneers captain continued. “We can and will get better, we have great coaching and spirit. We will have another chance at the conference championships, and we will be ready.”
While the boys’ team was not as close to Caesar Rodney as the girls, they also had a special moment. Senior captain Nathan Waydelis would equal the Milford school record of 16:24, which he now shares with Carl Richardson who ran the same time in 2010. Waydelis was thrilled with tying the record and is strongly encouraged by the direction the team is headed in. “We have a lot of underclassmen who are getting better fast.” Some names to keep an eye on are Eli Parfitt, Avery Richard, Austin Neal-Dickerson and Anthony Nash.
With the girls’ team being ranked third in Delaware and the boys’ team on the rise, coach Lance Skinner is thrilled with the teams’ direction. “We are the smallest team in terms of runners in Division I, yet we compete strongly every meet. We have some big meets coming up the rest of the year and then we will have another chance at the conference championships to make a statement and possibly win it.”
There is more to running cross country than times, for Milford it is about family. While everyone likes to win, sometimes you can’t. When asked what Milford needs to do to take the next step, Skinner was quick to answer. “We would love to have greater participation. This sport is not just about winning, it’s about teamwork and self-improvement. Anyone that wants to make themselves healthier, be a part of something fun should be out here running.” Skinner continued. “We have a lot of fun and all the runners support each other, for anyone out there looking to be a part of something we have a spot for. We will make you a better person and you will make more friends.”
Mitchell also echoed this sentiment. “We just love to run and have fun. Someone has to be called a winner, but being a winner can be defined in cross country as running your personal best. A number of our runners did that today and that is what this sport is all about, just getting a little bit better every day.”
Share this Post