2015 Meet Recaps/Results

District Championship

The Eagles came off of their 4th place performance at the ECC meet motivated.  Despite having a career best day by every runner who stepped to the line, the 4th place finish was still very hard to swallow.  By rallying at districts, that tough finish could be eased by a regional qualifying birth.
The team was facing 2 of the best teams in the city, Mason and Sycamore, then a host of familiar faces in Anderson, Kings, and Loveland.  To add to the tough road, Elder also was entered in the first race of the day at Voice of America.  It was going to be a huge achievement, if this Eagles team could qualify to regionals this year.  We have performed well the last 2 weeks, so we headed to the line confident in our chances to pull the upset.
With blowing winds, but warmer temperatures, it was still going to be a fast day on the course.  As the field hit the mile mark, it looked more like a mason vs sycamore dual meet with most of the top spots being occupied by the two GMC powers.  But after that pack came a strong Eagles showing, with Kings, and Anderson all running very closely together.  AJ was solidly in the top 16, so a regional trip was looking good for him.  As has been the case, our next 4 runners were doing their job, and had even started closer to the front than usual.  With this strong field, that had to be done to have a chance.  On the next loop around, some changes started to happen.  AJ slipped back, but still had a good chance to surge into the top 16 spots.  Casey was having a great day, so things were looking very tight in the team race.  At 600 meters to go, Anderson had moved up, and Kings had made a great team surge to the front of the pack.  It was looking bad for the Eagles.  AJ had slipped to 22nd, missing a return trip to regionals.  Casey had recorded another career PR, finishing within just a few seconds of AJ.  Harris dipped under 17 minutes again, and Graham finished his career with a solid race as well.  Carlos just beat Clayton to the line, but Clayton did notch another career PR, setting himself up nicely for the next 2 years.  Joseph battled in, finishing his first district race.  The team waited only moments to see that they had finished 6th, 25 points out of the last qualifying position.  On a positive note, they had rallied this week to beat Loveland, who had beat them last week at the ECC meet.  To show the depth our conference, 4 of the top 7 schools were from the ECC, with 2 of them qualifying to move on!  If you can't win, make anyone who beats you run great!  The Eagles can definitely say that for the 2015 season!  The team became comfortable being uncomfortable and exceeded many career best times along the way, but at times, other teams were just faster to the finish than we were.

Complete Results

ECC Championship

An entire season of hard work and dedication all came together on Saturday at Valley View for the Milford Eagles.  After bike races and hayrides, the course was in perfect shape.  It was flat, fast, smooth, and ready for the ECC!  The coolest temperatures of the season just made the day even more promising.  Now the frost that greeted the early morning shift of workers was not welcome, but the sun did its job and the Eagles were ready to race.
All week, talk of doing your job and staying focused was shared with the team.  Based on results over the course of the year, Milford figured to be in the top 6!  Seriously, every team racing at the meet could have a good day and beat the other teams.  It was going to be fast and it was going to be competitive.  The team had a great week of working out, and the taper seemed to be going well.  On Thursday, the team headed to Valley View for one last jog to go over the course.  The boys looked good, and it was time to race.
On Saturday morning, as the official called the boys to the line, the coaches scattered to different parts of the course.  When the sweats came off, the classic red tops and white shorts were revealed.  It had been many years since this uniform had been worn, but 2015 was going to be the Eagles' year.  The gun sounded and it was time to find out how the 2015 ECC meet was going to go.
AJ wasted no time heading to the front.  He looked relaxed and smooth as he ran the early miles.  The support pack of Eagles was looking good, just a few places back of where Coach wanted them, but they all looked great.  At 2 miles AJ had taken over.  The gap was widening for him, but there were some strong runners still chasing him.  Less than 30 seconds back were the entire pack of Eagles.  It was going well, but Loveland, Anderson and Kings were still handling the Eagles.  They had to fade or the Eagles had to move up!!!
As the field rounded the last turn, only 600 meters was left in the 2015 race.  AJ was in command and the next 4 Eagles were within 30 seconds of him.  It seemed like the entire race pack was within a 45 second gap!  At the finish, AJ took home the ECC title, and Eagles continued to FLY in to the finish as well.  It was close, but Anderson appeared to be the team champ.  Only a few minutes were needed to confirm the news, Anderson had won the battle.  But what about the rest of us:  Kings 56, Loveland 60, and the Eagles 64.  It was tough to understand.  The Eagles place AJ and Harris on 1st Team All ECC and Casey, Graham, and Carlos on 2nd Team ALL ECC.  What a tough race.  Milford placed 5 guys under 17 minutes for the first time in many, many years, but still managed only to be 4th best today.  Who could have run better to help this team???  The answer......... no one.  Every varsity runner had delivered a career pr.  Not a season best time, but a career best time.  WOW.  That is amazing, just not good enough this year.  Congratulations to all of the boys, and to the league for such a fantastic race.  AJ did his job of winning, and our top 5 kept the gap within 40 seconds.  Sounds like a championship, but in 2015, it resulted in a 4th place finish.
Now the JV runners had their shot at this blazing course.  What could they do to top the varsity performance?  How about run even faster!  Joseph Kruse continued his great season by earning a spot on the varsity for districts with his run of 17:20.  And the career best runs kept coming and coming and coming.  In fact, every single boy on the squad who raced today ran a career best time.  EVERY RUNNER!  What a great job by the Eagles today.  Of course, none of this would be possible without the help of the many parents who helped out.  Thank you all.
Now the team heads to the district meet next week to see if they can continue this great season.  Mason, Sycamore, Elder, and most of the ECC will join the boys in race A next Saturday at Voice of America.  A top 16 individual finish or top 4 team finish is the goal.  It will take a special effort by all team members, but they did it today, so why not next week too!  It will be one more chance to show that these boys are comfortable being uncomfortable.

Additional Photos courtesy Mary Jo McClain

Complete Results

Ross Invite

The Eagles wrapped up the regular season with a strong performance at Ross this weekend.  After having spent the last 2 years racing at Sharon Woods this weekend, the Eagles hoped to return to Rapid Run Park.  Elder was all set to host again, but unfortunately, not enough teams showed an interest, so the meet was cancelled.  Luckily, Ross was willing to take us , so the Eagles hopped on the bus and drove to the far west side!  It was a perfect morning and the course was pancake flat.  An exciting finish area on the track and a guest appearance on the course by Coach Niemeyer made for what could be a great day!
The varsity took to the line first, after seeing and hearing of lots of PRs in the girls race.  It was going to be a fast course.  With Elder and Kings in the race, the Eagles knew it was going to be a challenge to take home some team hardware.  AJ had been nursing a sore ankle, but showed no signs of it, as he worked from a 10th place early spot to the front of the pack by the mile mark.  Kings got out hard, and it looked questionable at the mile for the Eagles.  Elder and Kings were loaded at the front of the pack, with the Eagles packed up, but too far back.  As the race looped the main field twice, Milford had some work to do.
The next time the race came back to the starting area, AJ had established himself as the winner.  No one was catching him, and he looked strong.  But then came the good news!  The rest of the Eagles' seniors were up near the front as well.  Graham, Carlos, and Casey were having great days, and the early lead Kings enjoyed had been overtaken.  Now it was time for the strength of the Eagles to really show.  The guys hit the last loop hard and sprinted around the track, gaining on Elder as the finish line approached.  It was going to be close.  Harris finished just under 17 minutes, right on Carlos' heels.  Peter and Clayton battled down the final stretch, with Clayton edging Peter out, and both of them earning a varsity spot for league.  But the great times kept on coming!  And coming.  And coming.  After listening to other teams and hearing the huge PRs recorded by almost everyone, it become apparent that the course had to be at least a little short.  That fact doesn't change the placement of the runners, but calling these times career PRs would be a push.
After the calculations were done, the Eagles had barely missed Elder, placing second by a meager 6 points!  What a great performance by the Milford boys.  It was very exciting, and the distance between Milford and Kings continued to grow from 2 miles to the finish.  The ECC meet is going to be exciting.
After the varsity ran so fast, it was time for the open runners to have their shot.  It was certainly sunnier, but the course was holding up well, and it was still perfect for racing.  Jake had a sold race, finishing first for Milford in a time just over 19 minutes.  Following Jake to the finish line with maybe the best Eagles performance of the day was Cooper!  He beat other teammates that he was not even near at the start of the season.  Cooper has been working hard in practice, and the meet results at Ross show what the coaches have thought all along about Cooper's ability!  As the open runners finished, it was more of the same:  PR PR PR.  Great job guys, but let's reproduce these times next week, and we will be celebrating a great effort at the ECC meet!
And so the Eagles look ahead to the championship part of their season...
After a very disappointing meet last year, the Eagles are determined to not repeat those results in 2015.  It is going to be a very competitive meet, so mental toughness and inner drive will be the difference.  9:40 am on October 17th will be when we find out which team has it!  Smart money is riding on the Eagles!  They are very comfortable being uncomfortable, and they plan to show everyone on Saturday!

Complete Results

Kings Invite

The boys cross country team took a very rare mid week trip to Landen Park to run at the Kings Invite on Tuesday. Race plans were determined by the coaches for all 10 varsity runners, with the JV guys looking for career best times. The course was going to be flat and fast, with lots of soccer fields in play! Unfortunately, Mother Nature had a different plan, as the rain poured down all day. Kings said, "bring it on", so the Eagles loaded up and headed to the meet, doubtful it would ever happen. As an early arriver, the shelter house made for a nice camping spot!!! A constant, steady drizzle kept the course wet, but only a few bad spots could be found. As the meet progressed, the trail was becoming quite tough to negotiate. Mud was the theme, but most of the Eagles remained on their feet. By 6:30 pm, the difficult decision was where to put the boys for the ride home in their parents car! How did the meet go? Well that is tough to explain. The varsity guys had a specific plan and several Eagles followed it flawlessly. At the mile, it was a flock of Eagles near the front, although ECC rival Nick Stone looked fantastic. 6 of the top 7 Eagle runners were right where we planned at the mile. Job well done. As the varsity "race" (or hard practice) concluded, the Eagles were actually faster to the finish than some may have thought they would be. No career PRs were set, but some good performances were turned in on this workout/race day. It was a good effort. In the JV race, all of the Eagles were turned loose to grab a great time. After hundreds of runners had already hit the trail, the footing was tough to negotiate for the JV boys. 3 of the freshmen didn't seem to mind, as they manged to run career best times. Jared, Ian, and Elijah must be mudders because they had no trouble with the course or the elements. Good effort today. All others JV runners survived the tough conditions, but still will have to put forth more effort to reach a career mark. The team now hits the training grounds for the next 10 days. It will be hard work and focus, as the Ross Invite will be used to decide which Eagles will be seeking that elusive ECC team title. After that, it is only one more week until the Eagles once again host the ECC Championship Meet at Valley View, and we all find out if this work has been worth the effort! Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Milford Invite

The week was an exciting one for the Milford boys cross country team. It was Homecoming Week and Milford Invite week, which could spell disaster, if the team was not mentally prepared. Race day preparations kept the coaches busy all week, but the team responded with a solid week of practice. On Friday, the varsity joined the junior high squad for a pre-meet workout. It was great seeing the young Eagles mix with the old Eagles to share goals and racing plans before the Milford Invite. Hopefully both squads would experience a great day on Saturday. But Friday was not just about a pre-meet workout for one Eagle runner! Sophomore Harris Craycraft had been elected to Homecoming Court, so his Friday night plans included some fancy clothes and a nice ride down Deblin in a convertible! Way to go, Harris.
Saturday morning was absolutely perfect, although some rain was called for later in the day. A minor meet management scare at 7 am had the coaches a bit concerned, but things worked out great by race time. An army of parent volunteers showed up on time (and even early) to help the 1001 runners cross the finish line! It was a huge turn out, so now all that was left was for a solid day of running by the Eagles! Even some alumni came out to support the Eagles. It was great seeing Matt Belliston, Mike Carter, and Jake Prem at the meet!
In the open race, the first time this season that the team did not race all at the same time, Clayton Virzi led the way with a good race after having some leg soreness all week at practice. Although he did not set a career PR, Clayton showed some guts down the stretch to hold off a challenge by Indian Hill and win the open race in a close battle. Other career PR's were turned in by Jared Shapiro, Will Stout, Taylor Rose, and Sean Vonderhaar. Way to get us started! Sean also joined Clayton in putting some pressure on the varsity kids to hold their spots in the varsity line up with great race times!
With overcast skies and cooler temperatures, the varsity race went off with a field including ECC rivals Turpin and Walnut Hills, as well as GCL powers Elder and St. X racing at Milford for the first time, and a very strong Indian Hill team. The Eagles were rested and ready for the challenge. They had finished behind Walnut and very close with Turpin in the season's previous meetings. It was going to be a great test. AJ headed to the front, with Carlos and Graham getting out well in the first half of the race too. Clark Montessori's lead runner got a bit too much of a gap, but AJ ran a strong second half to secure a runner-up finish overall. With individual awards being given to the top 20, it was a strong showing by the Eagles. Carlos set a career PR, Graham tied his career PR, and Casey set a season PR, and all were award winners. However, the race of the day goes to Joseph Kruse! Joseph was our 5th finisher and shattered his career PR. Congratulations! With the number of teams in the league who share very similar abilities, the very important role of 6th man today fell on Peter's shoulders,and Pete responded with a season best and very nearly career best finish as well! What a great team effort, and it paid off with a first place team finish!!! Way to go, Milford! Walnut was second and Turpin finished 4th, but all were within a very few points for such a large meet! The battle at the ECC meet in October just got even closer!
Now the Eagles relax and prepare for their mid season break next weekend. It will be a short, hard week, then a relaxing 3 days of easy running and resting up. A mid week meet at Kings will be the next race for Milford. Enjoy the victory, but remember that there is still lots of work to do! Keep getting comfortable being uncomfortable!

Addidional Photos courtesy Mary Jo McClain

Complete Results

Queen City Classic

The boys cross country team headed to Kingswood Park in Mason this week to attack the course and the weather, as well as ECC foes Walnut Hills, Turpin, Kings, and Anderson.  The week leading into this meet was brutal, with temps reaching 90 degrees in the afternoon while we ran.  Lots of water stops and a few shortened workouts still did not help stop that melting feeling for the team.  It was rough.  A 10:45 am race had the potential to be cooler, but really did not deliver much relief.  It was a sunny, humid day, and the boys race was the last of the day.  Regardless, the Eagles came to compete and compete they did.  A huge field of 373 runners once again started together, but a long, gradual up hill climb helped to separate the pack pretty quickly.  The host of Eagles were running well, but ECC foes were still ahead of us at the half way point.  At 2 miles, the Eagles were starting to move (or the ECC teams we were chasing started to melt!!!).  AJ led the final surge with a strong finish, passing 4 ECC runners in the final stretch to place 10th overall.  The best news for AJ was the shrinking gap between him and the top ECC runners from Anderson.  With a month of training, AJ looks like he has a shot at the title at Valley View.  Carlos and Graham continued to race well, with Carlos nearly breaking his career PR and Graham cutting a few seconds off his.  3 ECC competitors were sandwiched between these 2 Eagles, so strong finishes were very important.  The highlights of the day were the races turned in by Clayton, Joseph and Sean.  All 3 set career PR's and all 3 showed that their workouts are leading to varsity caliber results.  As sophomores and juniors, this trio will be moving up the depth chart for the Eagles team and looking to keep up the attack on varsity positions all season long.  Congratulations to these young men.  Now keep up the effort and continue to pressure our top guys.  The final team standings were proof that our depth is our greatest asset.  With 2 varsity runners not having their best days, Milford still maintained a 4th place finish out of 18 teams.  The most important fact, however, was the distance between us and Anderson.  After being miles away just a few weeks ago, the point spread has shrunk to a manageable number at this point.  Now, the rest of the ECC has also tightened the results up with Walnut Hills placing 3rd, Kings placing 6th, and Turpin placing 7th, all within 56 points of each other.  It is a competitive league and it will prove to be very close at the end of the season.  Good thing the Eagles will be comfortable with being uncomfortable!!!  With no race next weekend, the team will spend the next 2 weeks working hard and getting some minor injuries cleared up.  With any luck, some cooler weather will greet them and PR's will be earned by many at Valley View on September 19th.

Complete Results

East Classic

The boys cross country team headed to Voice of America on Saturday to face one of the best individual runners in the area, as well as ECC rival and current number 1 team in the league, Loveland.  The boys trained hard on Thursday, attacking the hills of Sherwood, but still seemed ready for a good performance at the district course.  Although Peter's day started off on a bad note with his water bottle leaking all over his bag,  the REST of the day went the Eagles way.  A starting field of 185 runners toed the line with all racers competing together again.  The Eagles had a plan and they ran it to perfection.  After not racing on Monday, Carlos had plenty of energy and desire, as he moved to the front of the Eagles pack by the half way point.  Maybe it was Coach Jorden tweeting photos or the extra rest Carlos had on August 1st, but he looked smooth.  THEN THE BEST NEWS OF THE DAY ARRIVED:  the Eagles had packed it up.  Within a matter of 20 seconds the remainder of the scoring pack rolled by, and they looked good.  As the team headed to the finish, no one could tell with 600 meters to go who would be the lead Eagle today.  5 guys stormed to the final stretch with a chance to help the team gain ground on Loveland.  At the line, AJ once again prevailed as our first finisher, followed closely by Harris, Graham, and Carlos.  Peter, despite having spilled all of water out into his bag while at MHS, finished 5th for the Eagles, about 40 seconds behind AJ.  It was a great pack performance.  Career PR's were again set by a host of Eagles, including Graham Craycraft's 17:41 and Harris Craycraft's 17:40.  What brotherly love.  Clayton Virzi continued his solid season by finishing as the Eagles 7th man in a career best 18:33.  Joining the Eagles with career best days were Joseph Kruse in 18:47 and freshman Jared Shapiro in 23:20.  After a pretty solid thrashing by ECC rivals Anderson and Loveland on Monday, it was a great bounce back performance by Milford today.  In a weird stat of the day, we had the best 8th man on a team finisher of the day, which can be attributed to our depth this season.  Now the Eagles turn their sights to the Xavier meet next Saturday at Kingwood Park.  Another chance to put all of the Eagles on the line and race it up together before our mid season break the following weekend.  Let's hope the guys continue to work hard in practice and the classroom to achieve our season goals!

Sycamore Invite

The boys cross country team opened their season on a nearly perfect night to run at Sycamore on Monday.  Despite the fact that the Eagles attended school all day, the coaches were optimistic about the meet.  A huge field gathered on the line to start this race.  In a pack of nearly 400 runners, the Eagles got out decently.  AJ moved to the front of the flock, but many of his teammates were very close by.  8 Eagles rolled through the mile in 5:35 or better, but the pack was huge in front of them.  As the race pressed on, AJ continued to lead the Eagles and the pack stayed strong.  Unfortunately, ECC rivals Anderson and Loveland were also packed up, but several spots ahead of Milford.  As the team entered the finish area, AJ held on to 14th place in a time of 17:43.  Anderson's Nick Stone was the overall winner, in a time of just under 17 minutes, so AJ now knows what he has to do by ECC time!  The Eagles packed their top 5 within 53 seconds of AJ, with Harris Craycraft finishing in a career best time of 18:01, placing 2nd for Milford and 24th overall.  Fellow sophomore Peter Kroeger rounded out the top 3 for Milford.
Two other Eagles had career best days on this cool, fall like evening.  Clayton Virzi cut 2 seconds off his best time ever, while Joseph Kruse destroyed his PR by 48 seconds on this looping course.  Nice job to both of these guys, as they continue to pressure the top 5!  Congrats also to our 3 freshmen who ran in their first high school 5K.  Welcome to this great distance!
The Eagles will now quickly turn things around and race again on Saturday on the district course at VOA.  Adjusting to the school schedule and training in the afternoon will have to happen quickly, if the Eagles want to improve on their 6th place finish out of 12 teams at Sycamore.

Complete Results

 

Time Trial/Alumni Challenge

Another CC season has emerged and the Milford Eagles are ready for action.  August 1st was a beautiful Saturday morning, and the team was ready to get the 2015 started with the second annual Alumni Challenge.  There was only one problem:  at 7:50 am, the only alumnus at the event was Coach Hirschauer!  Last year's winner John Sence had a previous engagement, Coach Sears was on a family cruise, and Coach Jorden was touring the west with his family!  The varsity team appeared to have its first victory, even if it was by forfeit.
Then the veteran squad started to arrive.  An 8:30 am start time had allowed them to rest a little later than expected, but none the less, they were arriving just in time.  After a brief warm-up, the field lined up and the race was on!  It was the ALUMNI 5 against Eagles CC 2015.
The alumni wasted no time setting the stage!  The question was, could Eagles 2015 pack it up enough to squeeze out a victory?  At 2 miles the alumni held the first 3 spots, but Eagles 2015 had the next several places.  It wasn't over, but it was close to being another alumni victory.
As the runners finished up, nothing changed in the front of the pack.  Brian List was the victor, finishing under 17 minutes.  Greg Lemmon was number 2 and Matt Belliston (who moved to Cincy from Hawaii/Colorado just to race in this event) was number 3.  Then came the Eagles 2015 squad.  AJ Erdaty was once again, the top runner in a time of 17:53 for his team.  Graham Craycraft was just 4 seconds back, placing 5th overall.  Harris Craycraft and Peter Kroeger finished close to each other, followed by "5th man" Clayton Virzi with a solid race.  Joseph Kruse edged Coach Hirschauer by 3 seconds, then Sean Vonderhaar, Jay Hayes, and Jarod Roll all finished under the GOAL TIME for the day of 20 minutes, earning a spot with the varsity group for practices this August.  Kelli Johnson finished next, in 14th place to wrap up the alumni team.  Now it was all down to the adding up of points for each team.
1,2,3,10,14 for the alumni gave them 30.  4,5,6,7,8,9,11 for Eagles 2015 gave them 30.  It appeared to be a tie for this year's challenge!  But a quick check of the official CC rules said that a mistake had been made.  Eagles 2015 had 2 finishers ahead of Kelli who needed to be pulled out of the results, giving Kelli a 12th place finish, and therefore, another victory by the alumni!!!  While the team made an appeal, all true CC runners know the rules and the alumni team basked in the glow of another victory, even with only 5 runners!!!
Now the team heads into the season, ready to move to the top of the ECC by season's end.  The team will work hard the next 3 weeks until it opens up racing action at Sycamore on August 24th.  Good luck, Eagles!

Complete Results