West Allis Hale boys run to 11th at state cross country meet
Stojanovic leads boys; two girls also compete
West Allis - Although missing its main goal - finishing in the top 10 - at Saturday's WIAA Division 1 State Meet, the West Allis Hale boys cross country team still accomplished a good deal.
The Huskies finished 11th among 20 full teams at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids, scoring 290 points.
"We beat three teams that had beaten us earlier in the year," head coach Ron Kurtz said, "Westosha Central (13th with 308 points), Oshkosh West (14th with 336 points) and Waukesha North (18th with 406 points).
"We were only three points out of 10th place (Eau Claire Memorial with 287 points), and we had hoped to finish in the top half."
Kurtz also looked at the broader picture.
"There are 120 teams in Division 1, so we were 11th of 120," he continued. "We would have finished fifth in Division 2 and second in Division 3, so we were 16th of 52 teams that ran in Rapids that day."
Senior Milan Stojanovic led the Huskies with 61st place in 16 minutes, 46 seconds. He was followed by senior Sam Gagliano in 79th (16:52), sophomore Dan Nelson 100th (17:08), senior Robert Effinger 101st (17:08), junior Tony Lozano 124th (17:20), sophomore Bailey Keune 183rd (18:21) and junior Tim Ebben 185th (18:32).
"Captains Effinger, Gagliano and Stojanovic are to be given credit for leading the team in the right direction," Kurtz said. "Nelson ended the season as the fifth-fastest sophomore in program history and Lozano did an outstanding job as our fifth man in every race this season."
Kurtz said the Huskies finished 108-14 in meets this season, which means they won at an 89 percent clip.
Hale also had a pair of girls running at Rapids. Junior Ellie Probst came in 109th (16:01) and freshman Madison Mihaljevic 157th (16:26).
"Ellie gained valuable experience by running in the state meet," head coach Terry Labinski said. "Madison is the second Hale freshman girl to ever qualify for the state meet, and she has a chance to qualify all four years."
Both Kurtz and Labinski are already looking toward next season.
"Nelson, Lozano, Keune and Ebben will be the core of the 2013 season," Kurtz said. "Sophomore letterman Alec Krause will be joined by a strong junior varsity team that went 95-21."
The girls lose seniors Alyssa Drajkowski, Elizabeth Elliott and Emily Zelten and will build around Probst and Mihaljevic.
"Both girls had a great season and are looking forward to next year," Labinski said.
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