The Milton High School Cross Country teams concluded their 2012 campaign at the GHSA State Cross Country Championships in Carrollton, GA with the best combined (boy’s & girls) team finish in school history.
Varsity Girls Fourth Place Finish Equals Best
The Lady Eagles came into the state meet ranked 3rd and finished an agonizing 4th place, out of 32 schools (147 pts) as they concluded their very successful season.
In one of the upsets of the meet, Brookwood (1st-65 pts) took advantage of Walton’s loss of one runner in the race to take the state championship. Walton (2nd-99 pts) was the 2-time defending state champions.
The Lady Lions of Peachtree Ridge (3rd-144 pts) edged Milton (as they had done earlier in the season).
For the Lady Eagles the podium 4th-place finish matched their 2011 result and equaled the best team finish in school history. Senior captain Annie Kelly made a bid for the individual state championship and ran a gallant effort and finished as the state runner-up (2nd-18:57) in what would be the 2nd-fastest performance of the day over all the classes that competed. Kelly’s result is the best ever recorded at Milton as the Ole Miss signee concluded her senior season losing to only 3 different runners in 10 races competed.
Senior captain Maddie Butzer ran a strong and consistent race to finish in the top-30 (28th-20:57) and record her best state meet finish.
Senior Blair Gelb again fought off an early side-stitch and moved up thru the last mile of the race to finish a strong 34th (21:05).
The Lady Eagles had a great race from freshman sensation Riley Burr (41st-21:19) as she kept the race close matching Peachtree Ridge’s No. 4 runner.
Although getting sick during the race, senior Jacqueline Mahoney fought back gallantly to finish 50th (21:35) to keep the Lady Eagles in the top-3 hunt.
Even after falling at the start and getting spiked in the thigh, junior Abbey Jordan re-grouped and raced strong to finish 86th (22:14). Concluding Milton’s podium effort was senior Olivia Koerner (132nd).
Varsity Boys Run to Sixth Place Finish
Milton ran one of their best races of the season to beat back both teams in their region that had beaten them the previous weekend to finish and exciting 6th (164 pts) out of 32 schools.
The Eagles finally got a big win over arch-rival Walton (7th-182 pts) and region runner-up Etowah (11th-307 pts).
The Hawks of Mill Creek took the title (87 pts) with Marietta (2nd-102 pts), Brookwood (3rd-124 pts) and Norcross (4th-129 pts) joining them on the podium.
In probably his best-run race of the season, senior Nate Riech bided his time, moved up through the lead pack and made a huge move during the last uphill section to record a second place finish (16:26). Riech finished closer to state champion Josh Brickell of Peachtree Ridge (1st-15:55) compared to the last time they raced in early September.
Senior Miles Dayoub concluded his career at Milton with an outstanding effort (14th-16:58) finishing less than a second behind the region champion.
Senior captain Alex Marshall made it three Eagle runners finishing in the top-35 with his 32nd place finish (17:23) and gave the Eagles a chance for a podium finish.
Junior Kevin McGorrey fought hard the entire way and finished a solid 61st (17:56) with senior Jammer Howell, passing as many as 15 runners in the last 200 meters, coming in at 70th (18:01) just narrowly missing beating the Region 6 champion.
Freshman Clay Marshall (130th) got off to a very slow start and passed many runners in his effort and concluding Milton’s best boys team finish since 2000 was senior Tom Jurgens (145th).