Cross country team’s Reindeer Stampede 5K a dashing success

MILFORD — For the 18th year in a row, the Milford High School cross country team held its annual Reindeer Stampede 5K this past weekend.

While the event didn’t quite reach last year’s turn-out — the event’s best year — the cross country squad still attracted a solid crowd of 162 runners/walkers Saturday morning. All of the proceeds of the 5K go directly towards supporting the squad’s expenses, as the school only provides the team with so much money each year.

Considering not everyone is an avid runner, some participants walked the course as a way to both support the team and stay active.

Cross country assistant coach Lance Skinner, a four-year runner while attending Milford High School in the 1990s, has been with the team as a coach for three years under the program’s head coach Bob Spath. He’s been helping to run the event ever since joining the Spath’s coaching staff.

“It’s meant a lot to the team,” Skinner said of the event.

“The funding from this goes toward buying the team new uniforms. The last couple of years we’ve been fortunate enough to win divisional titles and conference titles, so we use it to get their Conference championship hoodies and jackets. And then, most importantly, we also use it if there are any kids who can’t afford running shoes or any other type of apparel.”

In addition to the funding, having the support of the Milford community and the sponsors is another benefit from holding the 5K each year.

“The participants are the ones actually giving back to the cross country team and without them we couldn’t make any of this happen,” said Skinner.

Holly Tesoro, a senior runner on the girls’ cross country team, assisted in organizing and putting together the event while some of the other members of the boys’ and girls’ teams participated in the 5K itself.

Holly has been helping out at the event all four years of her high school cross country career.

“I’ve noticed there’s definitely more and more people showing up each year,” Holly said of the event’s growth.

Although she’ll be graduating, Holly still hopes to continue coming out to the Reindeer Stampede 5K each year to either help with the event or run in the 5K.

Sports editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com

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