A week ago the Highland girls cross country team knocked off Waterloo to win the Mississippi Valley Conference championship.
Highland had big hopes of repeating that feat, but Waterloo stopped that from happening this time around. The Bulldogs of Highland finished second to Waterloo’s Bulldogs in the Class 2A regional meet at Triad High School last Saturday (Oct. 20).
“Well, it certainly wasn’t the way scripted it since we had just beaten them last Thursday a week ago pretty soundly,” Highland coach Doug Bradley said. “We didn’t have our best race today and we struggled a little bit.
“The beauty of the regional and sectional complex is that you don’t have to win it but just be in the top six [to qualify].”
Junior Samantha Hengehold (20:11.67) finished sixth to lead the way for Highland. Other top 20 finishers for the Bulldogs included senior Kate Marti in 9th place (20:35.90), sophomore Jessica Borror in 10th place (20:41.91), Grace Meyer in 17th place (21:00.08), and Julia Loeh placed 18th (21:03.33). Freshmen Danielle Little and Lydia Hadowsky finished out the Bulldogs scoring at 50th and 52nd place.
“Sam, Jessica, and Kate were our top three girls and they didn’t have their best day but they didn’t have a bad day,” Bradley said.
Thanks to the second place finish, the Bulldogs will advance to the Class 2A Decatur Sectional on Saturday (Oct. 20) at Hickory Point Golf Course in Forsythe.
Despite not winning the sectional, Bradley does feel the girls runners will be ready to put on strong showing next weekend in Forsyth.
“It’s a course that’s flat and fast and our girls have a terrific history of running up there and have accomplished some really good things,” Bradley said. “We like the course and most of the girls have run on it before and our confidence level should be up a little bit knowing we have a chance to compete.”
On the boys side, the competition was decidedly stiffer for the Bulldogs as they finished in 9th place with 205 points.
Junior Nick Hanratty emerged as the lone qualifier for the boys finishing 21st overall with a time of 17:53.22.
“Nick Hanratty qualified for the first time for sectional, so I think he was pretty excited about that,” Bradley said.
“On the boys side we knew there were four teams they we could not touch and that there were four teams we could beat,” Bradley said. “We knew on paper we were about the ninth best team and that’s about what we got.”