Despite placing fifth out of 18 teams, Highland High School cross country coach Doug Bradley said the execution of the race plan by his varsity Lady Bulldogs wasn’t what he hoped it would be on Saturday at the Springfield Invitational.
“I really thought we should come in and compete for a trophy and we were already out of the running in the first mile,” said Bradley, whose cross country teams compete at the Triad Invitational on Wednesday and then travel for the Jacksonville Invitational on Saturday. “We are a better team than what we showed today.”
Bradley said sophomore Sam Hengehold had good day but not a great day after she garnered the third-place medal out of 119 runners in a 3-mile time of 19 minutes, 26 seconds.
Bradley said he held her back at the beginning of the race and Hengehold responded well by moving right up into a chase pack at the near the top of the race and then settled into the three spot and stayed there.
“I was happy that my splits were pretty even but I definitely could have ran faster,” Hengehold said.
Also earning medals for Highland were freshman Jessica Borror (21st place, 20:55) and sophomore Kate Marti (27th place, 21:17).
“Jessica Borror and Kate Marti contributed low numbers to the team total and earned medals in a good field of runners,” Bradley said. “They are running really well despite both dealing with nagging injuries here and there. Jessica brings energy and Kate adds experience and the two of them really benefit from the presence of the other on race day.”
Bradley was pleased with the effort of the JV girls team, who finished second out of nine squads.
Sarah Kampwerth. led the way in 12th place with a time of 22:56. She was followed by Keely Rittenhouse (13th place, 23:32), Paige Schaible (14th place, 23:33) and Julia Loeh (15th place, 23:35).
A week earlier on Saturday, Sept. 16, Highland took third out of 15 competing teams at the Edwardsville Invitational held on the campus of Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville.
Hengehold crossed the finish line in eighth place out of 153 girls in a time of 20:13.
Also posting finishes that counted toward Highland’s team score were Borror (18th place, 21:23), Marti (19th place, 21:35), freshman Grace Meyer (28th place, 22:23), junior Lily Becker (36th place, 22:44).