The 2013 season for Milaca’s cross country teams did not get underway as planned as extreme heat forced Milaca to cancel its traditional Early-Bird Meet Monday, Aug. 26, at Stones Throw Golf Course.
Instead, the Wolves made their debut Friday morning at Mora on a course near Trailview Elementary School. The meet, put together by Mora Coach Chris Goebel, included several schools that had been scheduled to compete at the Milaca Early-Bird.
And, according to Milaca Coach Dave Dillan, the meet was a good opener for his team.
“It was good to get out and run some races to see where we are at and let the kids get a feel for some competition,” said Dillan. “There were lots of good things we hope to build on.
“It gave us a good starting point as we move into the season.”
Junior co-captain Alex Ploeger led Milaca’s varsity runners as she placed fifth in the 4,000-meter girls race with a time of 17:17.40. Junior Irina Danilyuk, Milaca’s other runner in the race, was 23rd in 18:59.47.
Bethany Coop of Mora was first in 15:37.30 while Bree Erickson of Cambridge-Isanti was second in 16:22.36.
Mora and Cambridge-Isanti were the lone schools to enter a full team in the event, with Mora placing first with a score of 30 and C-I placing second with 52 points.
Senior co-captain Cam Sundberg led the Wolves in the boys varsity race as he placed 15th in 18:40.88 over 5,000 meters. Junior Dray Thomas-Ferry was 22nd in 19:36.26, junior Jake Riebel was 37th in 20:36.66, junior Cole Patten was 43rd in 21:30.43 and junior Jay Kephart was 47th in 24:10.25.
Noah Moravec of Mora was first in 17:52.40, eding past Kevin Lamb of Albany who was second in 17:52.87.
Mora rolled to the boys title with 26 points while Cambridge-Isanti was second with 68 and Albany was third with 70. Milaca placed sixth with a score of 155.
Milaca, with three runners in the top four, won the girls junior varsity race with a score of 37, with Albany placing second at 52 points.
Milaca sophomore Lizzy Fordyce won the 4,000-meter race in 19:08.62.
Senior Tania Holm placed third in 19:27.42, senior Ellen So was fourth in 19:47.69, senior Ashley Schaaf was 11th in 21:08.62 and ninth-grader Haily Stobb was 20th in 22:30.06.
Ninth-grader Zack Korvela placed eighth in 20:22.50 to lead Milaca in the boys junior varsity race. Ninth-grader Sam Petty was 18th in 21:15.16, ninth-grader Gabe Petty was 19th in 21:15.75, ninth-grader Zach Patten was 27th in 21:46.57, ninth-grader Mitchell Garber was 28th in 21:49.04 and ninth-grader Brett Husman was 30th in 22:20.25.
Mora won the boys junior varsity race, with Milaca placing fifth.
Eighth-grader Jon Hall won the boys junior high race while seventh-grader Jerica Ploeger was fourth in the girls junior high race.
Milaca is at the Pine City Invitational today (Thursday) at 4 p.m. at the Pine City Golf Course. The Wolves are at the Mora Invitational Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 4 p.m.