The varsity boys’ cross country team finished in third place and the varsity girls’ team placed seventh at the Lennox Invitational, although each of the teams was missing one of their key runners due to an injury. Individually, Payton Brown and James Batchelor placed in the top 10 of the 84 contenders. Brown earned second place and Batchelor brought home tenth. The JV girls also took second place in their division.
“The Lennox Invite was another great opportunity to compete against many of the top South Dakota Class A schools,” said Eric Townsend head coach of Milbank. “Many of the top 25 athletes in Class A were at this meet.”
Townsend also singled out Milbank sophomore Grant Van Peursem for running a great race. Van Peursum was the sixth Bulldog to clock in. Townsend said, “Grant’s time was over a minute (1:11) faster than a year ago at the same meet. Grant has been a varsity runner for a number of years and has improved much in comparison to last season.”
“Both teams appear to be in a pretty good position heading into the coming weeks,” Townsend said. He noted the teams are suffering from some injuries and illnesses as they enter the latter part of their seasons. “Our goal to is to be our best in October.”
Varsity Boys 5K Junior Payton Brown took second place with a time of 16;28.86. He was just behind Elk-Point -Jefferson’s Joe Cross who won the race when he ‘crossed’ the finish line at 16:08.92. James Batchelor, also a junior, finished next for MHS. He clocked in at 16:56.06 for the No 10 spot.
Sophomore Bryan Meyer took 29th at 18:22.38. Junior Isaac Graham came in at 35th with a time of 18:51.20. Beckham Berry, an eighth grader stepped over the line at 19:13.49 to take 41st place, and junior Grant Peursum took 47th place at 19:25.72.
The team standings included: (1) Sioux Falls Christian (2) Dakota Valley (3) Milbank Area (4) Vermillion (5) Lennox (6) Ethan-Parkston (7) West Central (8) Tea Area (9) Elk Point-Jefferson (10) Beresford (11) Tri-State (12) Chamberlain.
Varsity Girls 5K Junior Kynlee Speidel was the first runner to the finish line for the Lady Bulldogs. She recorded a time of 21:08.42 to take 23rd place. Freshman Leah Meyer was just behind her in 25th place at 21:10.53, and Bianca Berry, a seventh grader came in at 27th place at 21:16.28.
Senior Maurina Street took 32nd place with her time of 21:29.09. Tyra Berry, a sophomore, took 39th place at 21:48.59, and senior Ellie Neugebauer finished at 21:57.89 for 45th place. Junior Stella Wendland, in at 22:59.61, took 56th place.
Team standings included: (1) Sioux Falls Christian (2) Chamberlain (3) Vermillion (4) West Central (5) Lennox (6) Tea Area (7) Milbank Area (8) Dakota Valley (9) Ethan-Parkston (10) Canton (11) Dell Rapids.
JV Boys 4K Jose Hernandez cracked the top 10 when he crossed the line at 15:40.55. Jose, a junior, ended with a 10th-place finish. Freshman Jack Howard was right behind him to earn a 13th place-finish with his time of 15:45.58. Rylan Wendland, a seventh grader, came in at 16:55.23 for 37th place in the 83-man field.
JV Girls 4K The Lady Bulldogs had two runners, Elexia Quintanilla and Avery Schuneman, in the top-10. Quintanilla, a freshman, finished at fifth place with her time of 17:40.70, and Schuneman, a seventh grader, came in at seventh place with her time of 17:45.44. Zayda Townsend and Macy Mueller, both eighth graders, were not far behind. Townsend took 13th place at 18:35.82, and Mueller took 14th at 18:46.04.
Freshman Yanderyn Olivares came in at 23rd place when she crossed the line at 19:21.45. Juniors Sophia Gastineau and Jaclyn Wiik earned 26th and 27th places, respectively, Gastineau came in at 19:49.59, and Wiik at 19:50.78.
Addie Farrell, a senior, captured 52nd place with her time of 21:58.77. Freshman Camryn Sovell came in behind her at 22:02.15 for 53rd place.
Team standings included: (1) Sioux Falls Christian (2) Milbank Area (3) West Central (4) Chamberlain (5) Tea Area (6) Canton (7) Dakota Valley (8) Elk Point-Jefferson (9) Dell Rapids
Mixed Jr. High 3K Seventh-grader Raina Untalan brought home the highest place finish for Milbank. She took 12th place with her time of 13:20.01. Belle Pauli (W7)was next at 14:13.59 for 27th place. Ava Sichmeller (W8) took 29th place at 14:15.79. Bree Townsend (W7) came in at 16:09.35 for 43rd place, and Reese Schuneman (W8) took 44th place with her time of 16:25.80. Franco Flores (M7) brought home 46th place at 12:37.87, and Armando Chan finished at 72nd place at 14:41.87.
What’s next for the Milbank cross country teams? The Northeast Conference meet will be held in Webster on Thursday, October 6. The varsity girls start things off at 1 p.m. Coach Townsend says, “Both varsity teams should be in a great position to defend their NEC team titles.”