Mascoutah girls, O’Fallon boys win St. Clair County titles

Less than two weeks after capturing Belleville city cross country titles, Belleville West runners Sarah Dintelmann and Brian Gichuru added county titles to their growing list of running accomplishments on Tuesday at O’Fallon High School.

One of the most improved runners in southern Illinois, Gichuru outkicked Darrell Pearson of Mascoutah and highly touted O’Fallon freshman Kyle Dismukes as he won the boys title at th St. Clair County Cross Country Meet.

Second at the Triad Invitational last week and leading a much improved Maroons squad, Gichuru finished the three-mile course in 15 minutes, 27 seconds, which was15 seconds faster than Pearson (15:42) and 24 seconds better than Dismukes (15:51). Hunter Cason of Belleville West (16:05) and Aaron Reuter of O’Fallon (16:12) rounded out the top five individuals.

O’Fallon won the boys team title, finishing with 47 points, two fewer then Mascoutah with 49. Ethan Price was Mascoutah’s No. 2 runner, placing sixth overall.

Belleville East (61) and Belleville West (66) rounded out the top four teams.

In the girls race, it was Dintelmann who romped to a 31 second win over MacKenzie Dixon of Mascoutah. A senior and four-year starter for the Maroons, Dintelmann finished the three mile race in 18:54. Dixon was second in 19:25.

Melanie Cozzi of Mascoutah was third in 19:27, while Belleville East senior Sarah Gompers was fourth in 19:31, followed closely by Kaleigh Perrier of O’Fallon who rounded out the top five individuals in 19:47.

Led by Dixon and Cozzi, Mascoutah unseated longtime champion O’Fallon for the team title. The Indians finished with 40 points, while O’Fallon was second with 47. Kylie James was O’Fallon’s second runner, finishing in 19:58.

Belleville East was third overall with 55 points, while West was fourth with 103.

Dean Criddle: 618-239-2661, @CriddleDean