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Anton Erickson (Left) and Dylon Greninger (Right) coming down the home stretch in Milaca’s Early Bird Meet. Greninger placed sixth while Erickson finished just behind him. 

The Milaca Early Bird meet had a different feel this year. Usually featuring upwards of 10 teams, only three raced on Aug. 31 at Stones Throw Golf Course. Among those three teams was the Wolves. Milaca kicked off its cross country season with the team’s first 5-kilometer race.

Zimmerman and Mora completed the three-team field.

With this being the first 5-K for many of the new runners from volleyball and football, Coach Dave Dillan was happy to find out where many of the runners stacked up with returners. “It was really nice to run a 5-K, it kind of gives us a better idea of where we are at,” Dillan said. The Wolves started their season with a shorter race on Aug. 27 in Mora before the Early Bird meet.

The Wolves were led by senior Brittany Hansen’s performance as she was able to place second in the meet with a time of 20:47. “She ran a really good race. The two girls from Zimmerman are really good and she was able to beat one of them and was close to the other. We were pleased with that, she looked strong,” Dillan said.

Peyton Opsahl of the Thunder placed first in the meet, edging Hansen with her time of 20:13. Brianna Haberman was the second Milaca runner to finish as she placed seventh with her time of 24:00.

The boys brought improvement from the shorter meet in Mora, said Dillan. “I felt better about our boys than I did in Mora. I thought they would run better in Mora but they were able to do better on Monday, we made progress there,” Dillan said.

Dylon Greninger and Anton Erickson placed sixth and seventh for Milaca, both with times of 20:55. Joel Bouley of Zimmerman placed first after running a 18:05 race.

The Wolves now will enjoy some time off before their next meet. The team won’t race again until next Monday.

Dillan will be happy to use the extra time to prepare for the next meet especially with all the first-year runners on the team. “I don’t mind the idea of having a whole week of getting work done. It will be nice; a lot of the runners now have a baseline time so now we can set our goals a little more realistically now that we have some solid times. It’s gives us something to shoot for,” he added.

The Wolves will next return to action on Sept. 14 as they head to St. Cloud to race with Cathedral.

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