Highland sophomore Brylee Portell provided the big highlight for the boys cross country team after grabbing the Bulldogs’ lone medal at the Madison County Championships held Oct. 3 at Alhambra Township Park.
Portell earned the 15th place medal with a 3-mile time of 17 minutes, 17 seconds.
“Brylee Portell led the boys today, which wasn’t expected but certainly a pleasant surprise,” Highland coach Doug Badley said. “He really struggled his last time out, and I think he needed to have a better race today. He still is fighting himself in the last mile of races. I’m hoping now that golf season has ended for him that he can work on his endurance over the last mile.”
Not far behind Portell was senior Gabe Sherrill, who came in 17th place at 17:21.
As a team, the Bulldogs finished fourth. Edwardsville dominated the field to take the team championship with 22 points. Triad finished a distant second at 72 and Granite City wound up third at 92.
Rounding out the large schools were Highalnd (109), Collinsville (112) and Alton (125).
Also scoring for Highland were freshman Easton Rosen (20th place, 17:46) and sophomore Nick Hanratty (24th place, 17:54).
“We had a nice pack of four early on, but they got busted up a bit and never reconnected,” Bradley said. “Brylee (Portell) pushed the pace in the second mile and a couple of them didn’t respond. I would think both Nick Hanratty and Easton Rosen had to be a bit disappointed that they didn’t stay with Brylee, but they showed some effort and will get another shot it at conference.”
Granite City junior Andrew O’Keefe was the county champion with a stellar time of 15:40.
Edwardsville then took the next four finishing positions to round out the top five. The Tigers’ fifth scorer came in eighth place.
Finishing in spots 2-5 for Edwardsville were junior Roland Prenzler (15:48), junior Jack Pifer (15:56), sophomore Francisco Romano (15:56) and junior Jack Hartmann (16:18). In addition, senior Holden Potter (16:40) placed eighth for the Tigers.
Triad was paced by sophomore Ben Walter in 10th place (16:58).
The Knights also received 12th place from sophomore Jarod Willis (17:09), 13th place from freshman Drake Bleier (17:14), 16th place from junior Deric Patton (17:19) and 21st place from junior Seth Martin (17:48).
Highland and Triad will finish the regular season at the Mississippi Valley Conference Championships Thursday, Oct. 12 at Principia College in Elsah.