Milbank Area boys and girls cross country teams wrapped up their season with an awards potluck dinner Sunday, November 16, at the high school. Seven seniors were honored for their commitment to the program and each was presented with a Senior Award.
Concluding their high school careers were Dylan Johnson, Josh Pillatzki, Jordan Pollock, Caleb Seehafer, Courtney Lusk, Shauna Pauli and Ellie Webb. “These seniors will be greatly missed next season,” mentioned head coach Eric Townsend. “Thank you for everything you have done as a Milbank Bulldog cross country runner.”
Lusk, Pauli, Pillatzki and Webb were also named to the Academic All-State team by the South Dakota High School Activities Association for their accomplishments in the classroom. To receive this honor the athlete must have participated in the sport for at least three seasons and maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
Dylan Johnson and Taylor Thue were named the most valuable runners of the season. Alex Farrell and Christina Lusk received recognition for being the most improved runners on the team while Luke Wold and Amaya Street were named rookies of the year. The Pride of the Paw award went to Nathan Loutsch and Danica Schulte for their all-around hard work and coach-ability.
Those runners earning all-Northeast Conference honors were Tanner Bock, 8th; Dylan Johnson, 11th; Luke Wold, 14th; Kody Johnson, 17th; Danica Schulte, 7th; Taylor Thue, 8th; Madi Thue, 16th; Amaya Street, 17th, and Allison Leddy, 20th.
Several runners also earned all-Region 1A recognition which earned them the right to compete at the state Class A meet. They were Tanner Bock, 15th; Dylan Johnson, 16th; Caden Bjordahl, 17th; Danica Schulte, 6th; Taylor Thue, 7th; Amaya Street, 18th, and Madi Thue, 20th.
The boys team finished its season with a third place finish at the NEC meet and fourth place at the region meet. The girls team landed in third place at both the conference and region meets and were 16th in the state.
Varsity letter winners were presented their Major M certificate. Letter winners included Dylan Johnson, Josh Pillatzki, Caden Bjordahl, Kody Johnson, Tanner Bock, Luke Wold, Elias Magilke, Courtney Lusk, Shauna Pauli, Ellie Webb, Shea Hooth, Christina Lusk, Sophia Seffrood, Taylor Thue, Jatana Grajczyk, Danica Schulte, Allison Leddy, Amaya Street and Madi Thue.
Minor M letter winners were Jordan Pollock, Caleb Seehafer, Andrew Falk, Shawn Stemsrud (manager), Ben Harstad, Nathan Loutsch, Jadus Medicine Crow, Zippy Bock, Landon Brown, Alex Farrell, JD Lusk, Isaac Johnson, Sawyer Seehafer, Brooke Fraasch, Karlee Mertens (manager), Alexis Oliver, Allison Pillatzki, Taylor Hartman, Tori Hooth, Mitayh Medicine Crow, Camryn Phinney and Khloe Speidel.
“A huge thanks needs to be given to a number of people,” said Coach Townsend. “Thank you to the Valley Express and their coverage of results, Steve Hilbrands and Hardee’s for sponsoring a home meet, the Grant County Review for their coverage of results, Pat DeFea and DeFea Transportation for transporting us to and from meets, Randy Patnoe and Pine Hills Golf Course for allowing us to host two meets, Big Stone Therapies for taking care of our athletic injuries and KMSD for their coverage of results on the Coach’s Corner radio show.”
“Thank you also to the athletes and parents for everything you did to make this another successful season,” said Townsend. “A big thank you to assistant coach Josh Schmeichel for the long number of hours you put into the season.”