After winning the Triad Invitational six days earlier, Highland sophomore Sam Hengehold pulled off an encore performance by being crowned the Madison County champion Oct. 3 at Alhambra Township Park.
Hengehold was the only girl to cover the 3-mile course in under 19 minutes as she crossed the finish line in 18:59, which was 13 seconds ahead of Edwardsville senior Katelyn Singh. Her victory was the Lady Bulldogs’ first individual Madison County champion since Holly Mitchell won it in 2001.
“Sam Hengehold followed up her Triad title with a Madison County championship,” Highland coach Doug Bradley said. “For the second consecutive race, she showed her experience by getting a feel for the competition and then making a hard surge to take the title. She’s running with confidence and purpose right now. I could tell just past the (one) mile mark in both races that she was going to win. She has a look that is all business.”
Freshman Jessica Borror and senior Breann Wernle also captured medals in the with solid performances.
Although she was hampered by a bit of an injury, Borror still ran well and finished in sixth place with a time of 20:21. She has medaled in all but one race this year.
Bradley said Wernle had her best race of the season after coming home in 13th place at 20:56.
“I look for her to have even more confidence in her next time out,” he added.
Highland came in third place out of seven competing teams in the large school division with 61 team points. Edwardsville won the team title with a team score of 34, which edged out second place Triad (41) by seven points.
Rounding out the large-school field were Alton (123), Collinsville (132) and Granite City (142).
Completing the Lady Bulldogs’ team score were freshman Grace Meyer (17th place, 21:38) and junior Lily Becker (24th place, 22:20).
Edwardsville had all five of its scoring runners place among the top 12, while Triad was not far behind after also having all five nab medals after placing in the top 15.
In addition to Singh’s runner-up finish, the Tigers received third place from junior Elise Krone (19:42), seventh place from junior Hannah Stuart (20:27), 10th place from senior Lorie Cashdollar (20:45) and 12th place from senior Kennison Adams (20:55).
Triad’s top two finishers, freshman Alyssa Kowalski (19:57) and senior Maddie Keller (20:06), finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Triad also got eighth place from freshman Sydney Hartoin (20:31), ninth place from senior Madi Walter (20:39) and 15th place from sophomore Alyssa Postma (21:11).
Picking up JV medals for Highland were freshman Paige Schaible (fourth place, 22:43), senior Keely Rittenhouse (fifth place, 22:44), and junior Sarah Kampwerth (sixth place, 22:46).
Next up for the Highland cross country teams is the Mississippi Valley Conference meet to be held Thursday, Oct. 12 at Principia College in Elsah.