Milton freshman Jared Bromley runs in Saturday's race. (Photo by Josh Kaufmann)

Milton freshman Jared Bromley runs in Saturday’s race. (Photo by Josh Kaufmann)

THETFORD — Alex Lauzon knocked almost a minute off his 2013 time in Saturday’s Vermont Cross Country Championships, finishing eighth and leading the Milton boys team to fifth place among the 13 full teams competing in the Division II race.

Lauzon completed the challenging Woods Trail course in 18 minutes, 17.9 seconds, improving 14 places and 50 seconds from the previous year despite an unseasonably warm day at Thetford Academy. The senior finished 31st in the combined standings for all three varsity divisions, missing by six spots and just six seconds a berth on the Vermont team that will compete in the New England Championships.

Sophomore Ryan Joseph was close behind Lauzon, finishing 21st in Division II, followed by senior Taylor Wensley. Milton’s youngest runners finished the team scoring, with freshmen Mike Ferro and Zach Popke fourth and fifth for the team, ahead of another ninth-grader — Jared Bromley — and junior Erik Schmidt.

In addition to fielding the maximum seven runners in the varsity competition, the Yellowjackets had four boys in the Open Challenge race — their largest team since 2011.

The girls team was led by junior Katie Rayner in 22nd, while Miriam Weber, Jordan Lehneman and Willow Kelly finished close together — taking 46th, 48th and 50th, separated by less than 18 seconds. Brielle McDonald completed Milton’s team effort.

State Championships | Saturday, October 25 | Thetford Academy

GIRLS
Division II
22. Katie Rayner, 11 23:10.6
46. Miriam Weber, 9 24:53.5
48. Jordan Lehneman, 11 24:56.6
50. Willow Kelly, 10 25:11.1
71. Brielle McDonald, 11 27:16.5

Team Results
1. Harwood, 29
2. U-32, 43
3. Montpelier, 102
4. Woodstock, 118
5. Burr and Burton, 149
6. Middlebury, 210
7. Mt. Abraham, 213
8. Milton, 231
9. Vergennes, 279
10. Lamoille, 284
11. Lyndon, 303
12. Missisquoi, 320
13. Lake Region, 352
14. Springfield, 361
15. Mill River, 394

BOYS
Division II
8. Alex Lauzon, 12 18:17.9
21. Ryan Joseph, 10 18:58.1
34. Taylor Wensley, 12 19:30.9
36. Mike Ferro, 9 19:38.4
46. Zach Popke, 9 20:23.2
63. Jared Bromley, 9 21:29.3
73. Erik Schmidt, 11 22:07.7

Team Results
1. Harwood, 64
2. U-32, 65
3. Montpelier, 75
4. Woodstock, 95
5. Middlebury, 95
6. Milton, 142
7. Burr and Burton, 143
8. Mt. Abraham, 255
9. Fair Haven, 273
10. Missisquoi, 294
11. Lyndon, 296
12. Mill River, 361
13. Springfield, 375

Boys Open Challenge Race
193. Sawyer McNaney, 9 23:05.0
218. Ben Hanson, 10 23:44.6
262. Ben Fondakowski, 11 25:28.3
288. Nick Kelm, 10 27:50.5