The Litchfield High School cross country team took first place in the girls race at the Carlinville Invite on Tuesday, Oct. 6, beating their neighbors to the east, Hillsboro, by 30 points.
The Lady Panthers would have three runners in the top five overall and would have the top three point-getters overall as the other two members of the top five, overall winner Dana Jarden and fourth place finisher Brooke Kinder, came from Staunton and didn’t factor into the team standings.
Delanie Ulrich would be Litchfield’s top finisher with a time of 22:08.77, coming in 33 seconds after Jarden to take the second spot. Kylee Eiting continues to improve as the year goes on and took third for Litchfield with a time of 22:21.64.
Myka Fenton would complete the triumvirate, running a 22:55.14 to finish fifth overall. Karly Kruse would be Litchfield’s fourth scorer, placing 12th overall, but posting the 6th best scoring time with a 24:21.05, while Madison Brakenhoff got Litchfield 12 more points with a time of 25:50.80. Overall, she would finish 19th.
Hillsboro would finish the meet with 54 points, 30 behind Litchfield’s 24 and 10 in front of third place Southwestern. Greenville would be fourth with 73 points.
Vanessa Compton led the Lady Hiltoppers with a sixth place finish in a time of 23:05.74, while Avery Smith was 14th with a time of 24:41.39. Kelsey Holtgrave gave Hillsboro three in the top ten in points as she ran a 25:35.67, finishing 17th in the overall standings.
The next three Toppers to cross the finish line were Meagan White, who ran a 26:23.64 to finish 22, Alecia Miller, who ran a 29:33.05 to finish in 31st and Jade Christian, who ran a 32:07.67 to finish in 33rd.
All told, 35 runners from seven different schools (Pana, the host school and the five aforementioned South Central Conference schools) participated in the event.
The Litchfield boys cross country team would nearly pull off the sweep, but fell two points short to the host team.
Carlinville would place first with 31 points, while the Panthers would be second with 33. Greenville and Southwestern would round out the standings with 81 and 97 points.
The top 15 of the race almost read like the play-by-play of a tennis match, with Carlinville and Litchfield volleying back and forth, with other schools occasionally breaking the cycle.
Will Meyer would start the Cavaliers off on the right foot with a first place finish in a time of 17:15.24, but Camden Quarton and Kevin Pollard delivered a strong 1-2 punch by finishing in second and third with times of 17:33.61 and 18:04.33.
After the Cavies claimed fourth and fifth, Gavin Thimsen finished seventh in a time of 18:50.77 and Sam Horn took ninth with a time of 19:12.36. Brandon Malloy and Alex DeLaCruz would stop the clocks at 19:56.39 and 20:18.08 to finish 13th and 15th, while Eithan Rigsbey added in a 21st place finish in a time of 21:01.11.
Cy Cress and Peyton Baugher would also run for the Panthers and finished in times of 24:07.64 and 29:52.02, good enough for 31st and 37th respectively.
Thirty-eight runners would compete in the boys race, with runners from Pana and Staunton joining the competitors from the four schools with full teams.
Litchfield and Hillsboro will both be in Greenville tonight, Oct. 13, along with Staunton, for another SCC home meet. The conference championships will be on Oct. 19, at Schneider Park in Brighton for the girls and on Oct. 20, for the boys.
October 6 at Carlinville
Three Mile Course
Girls Team Results: 1. Litchfield 24, 2. Hillsboro 54, 3. Southwestern 64, 4. Greenville 73.
Litchfield (24) - 2. Delanie Ulrich 22:08.77; 3. Kylee Eiting 22:21.64; 5. Myka Fenton 22:55.14; 12. Karly Kruse 24:21.05; 19. Madison Brakenhoff 25:50.80.
Hillsboro (54) - 6. Vanessa Compton 23:05.74; 14. Avery Smith 24:41.39; 17. Kelsey Holtgrave 25:35.67; 22. Meagan White 26:23.64; 31. Alecia White 29:33.05; 33. Jade Christian 32:07.67.
October 6 at Carlinville
Three Mile Course
Boys Team Results: 1. Carlinville 31, 2. Litchfield 33, 3. Greenville 81, 4. Southwestern 97.
Litchfield (33) - 2. Camden Quarton 17:33.61; 2. Kevin Pollard 18:04.33; 7. Gavin Thimsen 18:50.77; 9. Sam Horn 19:12.36; 13. Brandon Malloy 19:56.39; 15. Alex DeLaCruz 20:18.08; 21. Eithan Rigsbey 21:01.11; 31. Cy Cress 24:07.64; 37. Peyton Baugher 29;52.02.