MHS Girls Cross Country Boasts Depth, Experience
By Chris Villani Sports Reporter/Columnist · September 30, 2016
Despite being led by several underclassmen, the Milford High School girls' cross country team returns to the road this fall with more depth and experience than recent squads.
"We are looking good this year, we have a very young team, so it's going to be a growing year but we stared out strong with a win over Stoughton and a good showing at the Hockomock League jamboree," said head coach Deb Sanzone. "We are already seeing some major improvements in time."
Junior Gabby Chong is expected to be the Scarlet Hawks' top runner this season. She ran a 10:46 in the 1.55 mile jamboree and covered a 5K course in 24:08. Sanzone said Chong has a shot to qualify for the state meet this season.
"I think she could be in that top-15 all-star group for the Hockomock," Sanzone said. "She put in a lot of work over the past year and made some major improvements during the outdoor season. That has definitely helped her with her speed, so I think it could be a breakout year."
After Chong, Milford has several sophomores that will all be consistent top finishers for the Hawks this year, Sanzone said. Lily Thibeault, Kate Donahue, and Piper Terrill are all returning after strong freshman seasons.
"They all put in a lot of work over the summer and what they did is showing," Sanzone said. "They are showing some vast improvements and posting good times already."
Sanzone said she is also excited to see new sophomore Katie Manning continue to grow as a runner. The coach said Manning has been "surprising herself" with how well she has run during practice as well as meets.
Milford has 16 girls on this year's roster and Sanzone said that represents the largest team in her eight years as head coach. She said the depth will help in dual meets as well as the district meets at the end of the year.
"I think it's going to be competitive and I will not be looking hard to find that fifth girl who can put together a strong race for the day," she said. "I have seven or eight girls I am looking at and it's going to be a struggle for me to figure out who will go to districts and represent Milford High. I would like to see improvement in the Hockomock, but putting together a strong team for districts is the ultimate goal toward the end of the season."