Two Milaca cross country runners sprang into the season with top 10 finishes in their first races of the year. Milaca senior Alex Ploeger came in 10th last Monday at the Milaca Early Bird meet. Freshman Jon Hall took eighth on the boys side of the action.
Ploeger led the Milaca girls team with the 4k run of 17:09.7. Milaca did not qualify for the team portion because only three girls ran varsity.
The other two finishers for the Wolves girls were sophomore Emma Bolt, who finished in 18th place with a time of 17:29.1 and Lizzy Fordyce who had a time of 18:35.3.
A total of 75 girls competed in the race and the team winner was Annandale, who had three girls place in the top 10 and six in the top 15.
On the boys side Hall paced the Milaca team that took eighth place. He came in with a time of 17:48.1 in the 5k race. Sophomore Sam Berg finished in 18:40.9, which was good enough for 22nd place. Senior Jake Riebel was the only other of the Wolves to eclipse the 20 minute mark, as he finished in 19:42.7. Other finishers for Milaca included: Zack Korvela, a sophomore at 20:30.1; Cole Patten, a senior at 21:06.5 and Bennett Lerud, also a senior at 22:00.6. Their total time was 1:37.48.3, and their total places added up to 195.
Mora shattered the competition as they captured fourth through seventh places.
Senior Nathaniel Souther of Big Lake cruised to a victory as he finished 43 second ahead of his next closest competitor at 16:32.1. Monday’s Early Bird meet is a bit of a preview for the Milaca Mega Meet, which is the biggest cross country meet in the state. More than 4,000 runners representing more than 130 schools compete in the annual race. It also takes place at Stone’s Throw Golf Course north of Milaca.
This year’s Mega Meet will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20.
The next meet for the Milaca cross country teams will be on Thursday, Sept. 4 at Pine City.