Bob Blastow Invite course favorable to Eagle runners, teams
8/26/17 – By Coach Andy Carr
The Milton High School cross country teams traveled to Whitesburg, GA the site of one of the fastest & flattest courses in the state and took full advantage of the cooler temperatures & lower humidity to set many all-time performances and capture 5 team victories in this favorite early-season meet.
The Eagles (currently ranked 5th in the southeast US), placed all-five of their team scorers in the top-16 overall places including 3 finishers in the top-4 overall to capture the meet title. Milton (1st-30 pts) easily triumphed over 15 scoring schools with Pope (2nd-85 pts) and cross-town rival Cambridge (3rd-101 pts) closest to the Eagles. The average team time (15:34) performance of the Eagles top-5 finishers over the 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) course also set a school mark. Leading the way was senior Sam Bowers (1st-15:00). The defending state champion Bowers passed race leader & fellow senior teammate Nicholas Yanek (2nd-15:01) in the last 200 meters of the race to capture the race victory! BOTH Bowers & Yanek broke the current school record (15:23, Bowers, 2016) and bested the “absolute” school record of 15:01 set by Ian Dickinson in 1999 at the “old” Milton High School. Not to be outdone, fellow senior Michael Malkowski (4th-15:41) improved on his personal best by 3 seconds and was followed by senior Ryan Beitzell (9th-15:57) and junior Luke Bonneville (16th-16:09) both recording personal bests and they are now on the top-10 performers list in Milton school history!
The Lady Eagles literally rose to the challenge and came from behind to capture the meet title! Milton (1st-66 pts) actually tied for the team victory with McIntosh (2nd-66 pts) and had to go to the tie-breaker (6th runner to finish for each team, head-to-head comparison) and the Lady Eagles prevailed. Harrison (3rd-81 pts) & Woodland-Cartersville (4th-89 pts) closely trailed in a very tight team race! Sophomore Abby Rindt (7th-19:17) & junior Taylor Cushman (9th-19:21) led the Milton effort as they moved steadily toward the front of the race as many runners faded past the 2-mile mark. Pushing the Lady Eagles to the meet win included strong late-race efforts from senior Annie Gallagher (14th-19:37) & junior Faith Wagner (15th-19:39) to out-place the Lady Chiefs of McIntosh 2nd/3rd/4th finishers. Senior captain Emily Bowers (22nd-19:52) was next but it was the finish of senior captain Jessie Barnes (25th-19:56) that pushed Milton to the team win besting McIntosh’s 6th finisher by 8 positions!
Milton (1st-23 pts) placed all 5 of their scorers in the top-9 overall places to soundly win the meet and outpace 22 scoring schools! Senior Andrew Blizzard (1st-17:22) captured the race win by taking the lead just after the 800 meter mark and was unchallenged the remainder of the race in which 254 finishers were recorded. Top finishers and scorers for the Eagles included sophomore Joe Pick (3rd-17:39), juniors Anish Gupta (4th-17:44) & Gavin Roman (6th-17:51) & senior captain Jack “JR” Rush (9th-18:00) all recording personal bests.
The biggest challenge of the day for the Lady Eagles saw teams from McIntosh (1st-29 pts) and Harrison (2nd-77 pts) outdistance Milton (3rd-88 pts). 15 schools scored in the race that saw 189 finishers total. Junior Maddie Erbey (6th-21:45) led the Lady Eagle effort that saw strong races from sophomores Maggie Gibson (11th-22:06), Chloe Steinbeck (18th-22:39), freshman Audrey Nichols (21st-22:41) & junior Peyton Stanley (32nd-23:04) to complete the scoring for Milton.
Milton (1st-41 pts) put 5 finishers in the top-12 positions to easily win the team race over 14 schools. Top-finishers included juniors Blake Baule (3rd-19:33) & Max McMurry (5th-19:50) & sophomore Spencer Watry (10th-20:09).
The Lady Eagles got all 5 scorers in the top-7 to easily dispatch 9 scoring schools. Milton (1st-23 pts) saw no challenges from Harrison (2nd-72 pts) or Pope (3rd-105 pts). Junior Emma Pettit (2nd-23:06) came from outside the top-20 to take the runner-up position! Sophomore Aidan O’Hare (3rd-23:07) and junior Morgan Schwane (5th-23:10) helped pace the Lady Eagle victory!
The Milton cross country teams next competitions are on September 9th with the top-50 runners traveling to Salem, Virginia for the Knights Crossing Invitational, hosted by Cave Spring HS in Roanoke, VA with the remainder of the team racing at the Coach Benson/Double Dip Invitational at the Marist School in Dunwoody/Atlanta, GA area.