Sophomore Kaitlyn Brouard (509) and freshman Brielle McDonald (513) start to climb the first of many hills on the second half of the Woods Trail cross country course at Thetford Academy on Saturday during the Vermont State Chamopionships. (Photo by Josh Kaufmann)

Milton’s Katie Rayner closed out an outstanding freshman season with a strong performance at the Vermont Cross Country Championships on Saturday at Thetford, just missing a berth in the New England meet while finishing ninth in the Division II race.

The young Yellowjacket girls, with no seniors in the varsity race, took eighth place in the team standings with two more freshmen, Brielle McDonald and Elizabeth Bashaw; sophomore Kaitlin Brouard and junior Hannah Franzak completing the team scoring.

Rayner was 45th among all three divisions in the varsity field of 250 runners. Her time of 22 minutes, 14.1 seconds was well within a minute of the cutoff for the 25 runners advancing to the New England meet.

No Milton runner has earned a spot in the New Englands since Emma Stinson and Sean Ross both qualified in 2008.

The Yellowjacket boys also had a strong day on the challenging Woods Trail course at Thetford, taking 10th place in a big field of 16 full teams in Division II.

Sophomore Alex Lauzon led Milton in 21st place in D-II, followed by classmate Taylor Wensley, seniors jackson Hickey and Dylan Hemsted and sophomore Daniel Gambero.

Vermont Cross Country Championships
Thetford Academy
Saturday, Oct. 27

Girls Division II

1    Carmen Bango  9    Woodstock    20:09.6
2    Laura Mears    12    Montpelier    20:54.1
3    Ellie Ramsey    11    Harwood        21:10.6
9    Katie Rayner    9      Milton        22:14.1
50    Brielle McDonald 9    Milton        25:35.2
56    Kaitlyn Brouard  10    Milton        25:52.8
62    Elizabeth Bashaw  9   Milton        26:21.4
71    Hannah Franzak  11   Milton        27:08.4
72    Megan Brady    9        Milton        27:13.8
86    Christine Perry  10     Milton    29:49.5

TEAM SCORES

1. Harwood 41
2. Woodstock 43
3. U-32 79
4. Missisquoi 113
5. Montpelier 159
6. Middlebury 174
7. Mt Abraham 220
8. Milton 226
9. Burr & Burton 242
10. Springfield 247
11. Lamoille 263
12. Lyndon 305

Challenge Race

162    Allison Erena    10      Milton        30:49.0
167    Rachel Lavallee  10    Milton        31:31.5
173    Danielle Phelps  11    Milton        32:06.3
174    Samantha Ryea  12    Milton        32:08.9

Boys Division II

1    Daniel Grosvenor  12    Montpelier    16:39.3
2    Geoffrey Kazlow  11    Harwood        17:26.9
3    Sa Nishi    10    Harwood        17:42.8
21    Alex Lauzon    10    Milton        19:17.7
36    Taylor Wensley  10    Milton        20:04.2
52    Jackson Hickey  12    Milton        20:34.0
77    Dylan Hemsted  12    Milton        21:33.7
82    Daniel Gambero  10    Milton        22:07.5
88    Johnathan Bushey  10    Milton        22:34.0

TEAM SCORES

1. Harwood 28
2. Missisquoi 90
3. Woodstock 103
4. U-32 128
5. Montpelier 133
6. Middlebury 173
7. Springfield 206
8. Vergennes 232
9. Burr & Burton 243
10. Milton 259
11. Lamoille 264
12. Lyndon 321
13. Fair Haven 341
14. Mill River 412
15. Hartford 415
16. Mt Abraham 416

Challenge Race

245    Erik Schmidt    9    Milton    24:32.0