Rain delayed, but did not cancel the Milbank GrandStay Cross Country Invitational on Saturday, September 9, at Whetstone Creek Golf Course. Milbank won the boys division in the event and the Lady Bulldogs claimed third in the girls division. Bulldog Payton Brown was the individual winner in the boys varsity 5K race.
“This was an awesome meet for the Bulldog teams. There were 250 runners representing 12 different teams,” said Eric Townsend, head coach for Milbank. “The weather wreaked havoc on the schedule and lightning played into some delays and concerns at the meet, but once the runners were able to compete, both boys and girls teams ran very well. Many individuals improved their times from the same course a couple weeks ago and from a year ago. A very good week of practice paid off tremendously. Both teams are in a much better position than a week ago and hopefully can keep improving.”
Milbank tallied 15 points in the boys division, well ahead of the second place-winner Lac qui Parle Valley-Dawson, Minnesota, with 41 points. Other team scores were: Montevideo, MN, 62; Madison, 71; Flandreau, 81; Breckenridge/Wahpeton, ND, 92; Great Plains Lutheran, 108, and TriState, 167.
“The Milbank boys team dominated the meet, placing four in the top six overall and six in the top 13 places,” observed Townsend. Brown led the pack with a time of 16:00.91. He was well ahead of the second place runner Dylan Gerdes of Madison with a time of 16:28.52.
Milbank’s James Batchelor was the third runner across the finish line. He was clocked at 16:32.53. Also running for Milbank were Bryan Meyer, fifth, 17:23.89; Isaac Graham, sixth, 17:36.24; Beckham Berry, 12th, 18:07.49; Liam Heller, 13th, 18:11.71, and Grant Van Peursem, 31st, 19:20.93.
It was a tight race in the girls 5K varsity race with Milbank garnering 33 team points. Flandreau won the event with 30 points and Breckenridge-Wahpeton was second with 31. Other team scores were Madison, 63; Lac qui Parle Valley-Dawson, 94, and Border West, 103.
“Huge strides were made with the girls varsity almost beating a Flandreau team that had dominated us at the Augie TwiLight meet,” said Townsend. The Bulldogs placed four girls in the top 18. Ashlynn Batchelor placed second with a time of 18:47.89 and Bianca Berry, third, 19:56.88. Faith Wiese of Flandreau won the race in a time of 18:11.62. Also running for Milbank were Tyra Berry, 13th, 21:26.72; Zayda Townsend, 18th, 21:44.18; Stella Wendland, 22nd, 22:12.88, and Kynlee Speidel, 23rd, 22:16.73.
Milbank placed third in the girls division of the junior varsity mixed 4K run. The Bulldogs tallied 40 points. Flandreau was the winner with 24 points and Lac qui Parle Valley-Dawson second with 38.
Individual results for Milbank: fourth Elexia Quintanilla, 19:50.43; fifth Macy Mueller, 19:51.59; 12th Jaclyn Wiik, 21:03.70; 20th Sophia Gastineau, 22:02.36; 22nd Jazmynne Ronke, 22:08.54; 23rd Camryn Sovell, 22:11.68.
Bulldog Bennett Graham won the boys division of the junior varsity mixed race with a time of 15:27.37. Also running for Milbank were Rylan Wendland, fourth, 16:06.59, and Jose Hernandez, fifth, 16:26.48. Milbank did not have enough runners for a team score. Flandreau was the team winner with 12 points.
Milbank’s Ella Koplin won the girls division of the seventh and eighth grade 3K mixed run. She cruised the course in a time of 12:21.06. Bulldog Aria Prasnicki was second in a time of 13:08.46. Milbank won the team title with 24 points, easily outdistancing Border West with 44 points.
Results of the other Milbank runners: 14th Bree Townsend, 14:22.59; 15th Raina Untalan, 14:23.52; 16th Zoee Henrich, 14:27.50; 30th Kylynn Schwandt, 19:58.22.
Milbank runners in the boys seventh and eighth grade mixed run were Franco Flores, ninth, 12:56.55; Armando Chan, 13th, 13:43.25, and Tate Pew, 17th, 14:29.59. Madison won the team competition with 29 points. Milbank did not field a complete team.
“A special thanks needs to be given to the many volunteers who help put on the meet. Without the help of so many, the meet would not have been nearly as successful,” said Townsend. “We are very lucky to have all of the people we have in our community to help put on such a large event.”
What’s next for Bulldog runners? Milbank competed in the Sioux Falls Christian Charger Invitational at Yankton Trail Park in Sioux Falls on Tuesday, September 12. The Bulldogs will also travel to an invitational at Lac qui Parle Valley, Minnesota, on Tuesday, September 19.