West Allis - Making the most of its only home meet of the season, the West Allis Hale boys cross country team ran to a strong second place in the Leighton Betz Invitational on Friday evening.
The Huskies tallied 82 points in the meet at Greenfield Park, finishing behind only Hartland Arrowhead with 38. The Warhawks are the two-time defending WIAA Division 1 state champions and are rated first in the state again this season.
"We were excited to finish second in such a high-powered meet, with four ranked teams," said veteran head coach Ron Kurtz. "We finished the day at 12-1 in the 14-team meet."
The Huskies, who are rated eighth in the state this week, placed four runners in the top 20. Milan Stojanovic led the way in 11th place at 17 minutes, 11 seconds. Following close behind were teammates Sam Gagliano in 12th (17:12), Daniel Nelson 13th (17:17) and Robert Effinger 17th (17:32).
Also for Hale, Tony Lozano was 29th (18:00), Tim Ebben 48th (18:35) and Bailey Keune 49th (18:40).
Hale topped Cedarburg (third with 89 points), which had beaten the Huskies in the season-opening meet, as well as 15th-rated Brookfield East (fourth with 122 points).
The Whitnall boys also competed, taking 12th with 308 points despite having the seventh-place runner in Alex Richardson, who finished in 16:51.
Also for the Falcons, Seth Nowak placed 61st (19:24), Austin Hurst 79th (20:08), Jacob Wick 80th (20:12), Blake Stencil 81st (20:23) and Shane Murphy 83rd (21:00).
In the girls race, the Huskies finished eighth with 197 points. Ellie Probst came in 12th (16:01) and medaled, while April Koshen was 43rd (17:19), Alyssa Drajkowski 47th (17:33), Elizabeth Elliott 51st (17:39), Madison Mihaljevic 52nd (17:41), Caroline Daniels 61st (18:10) and Emily Zelten 62nd (18:14).
"The varsity had eight girls faster than the fourth-best Hale runner last year," head coach Terry Labinski said. "The junior varsity had nine girls faster than the best Hale JV runner last year."
Whitnall was 10th with 220 points behind Kim Hurst, 38th (17:13); Alyssa Woo, 39th (17:16); Jennifer Bahling, 40th (17:20); Jasmine Van Tine, 46th (17:35); Kina Cross, 57th (17:58); Kristy Crivello, 60th (18:16); and Lauren Lent, 61st (18:45).
The Huskies are at the South Milwaukee Rocket Invitational at Grant Park on Saturday. The boys will face more state-ranked competition in Janesville Craig (fourth), Oshkosh West (fifth), Wauwatosa East (ninth), Brookfield Central (11th) and Brookfield East (15th).
The Whitnall teams host their own invitational at Hales Corners Park at 4 p.m. Friday.
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