Litchfield senior Kylee Eiting saved some of her best performances for last and it almost earned her a spot at state.
Eiting, who was second at the South Central Conference meet two weeks ago and eighth at regionals last week, finished 27th at the IHSA Class 1A Wesclin Sectional on Saturday, Oct. 30, finishing two spots away from the 10th and final state qualifying spot.
Eiting’s time of 20:53.86 was the 12th best time by a runner on a non-qualifying state team, just 15 seconds behind Wesclin’s Brooklyn McAllister, who ran a 20:38.40 on her home track to finish 19th.
As a team, Litchfield finished 11th overall with 302 points. They would finish six spots ahead of Gillespie, who had beaten them at both the regional and at the SCC meet.
Myka Fenton, who finished seventh at regionals and first at the South Central Conference meet, took 35th overall in a time of 21:13.20, 25 seconds away from a state spot. Delanie Ulrich gave Litchfield a third runner in the top 50 as she finished 43rd with a time of 21:31.35.
As they did at regionals, Joelle Hughes and Harlee Traylor contributed the final two scoring times, flip flopping their placement from regionals as Hughes finished in 109th and Traylor was in 132. Hughes clocked in at 25:00.53 (38 seconds faster than her regional time), while Traylor ran a 28:14.91. Emma Hughes rounded out the lineup for the Panthers, finishing 137th in a time of 29:39.13, 96 seconds faster than her regional time.
While the team will lose Eiting and Traylor to graduation, Fenton, Ulrich and Emma Hughes will all be seniors next year, with Joelle Hughes entering her sophomore year to give Litchfield a strong core. If they can add a few new members and improve on their times from this year, the Panthers could have another great year in 2022.
October 30 at Trenton
Class 1A Wesclin Sectional
Girls Team Results (top six qualify for state): 1. DuQuoin 77; 2. Pinckneyville 123; 3. Father McGivney 134; 4. Breese Mater Dei 137; 5. Freeburg 172; 6. Christ Our Rock Lutheran 234; 7. Hamilton County 235; 8. Murphysboro 246; 9. Roxana 263; 10. Carterville 284; 11. Litchfield 302; 12. Anna-Jonesboro 308; 13. Columbia 319; 14. Breese Central 320; 15. Althoff Catholic 332; 16. Benton 344; 17. Gillespie 356; 18. Sparta 406; 19. Vienna 431.
Individual State Qualifiers: 1. Ahry Corner (Pope County) 18:30.41; 4. Maddie Karcher (Hamilton County) 19:35.27; 6. Molly Robertson (Carterville) 19:45.07; 7. Miah Gilmore (Murphysboro) 19:51.47; 8. Kayden Gilmore (Murphysboro) 19:54.25; 11. Claire Nash (Althoff) 20:04.90; 12. Riley Doyle (Roxana) 20:13.10; 15. Olivia Verges (Nashville) 20:24.78; 18. Madison Missey (Columbia) 20:36.35; 19. Brooklynn McAllister (Wesclin) 20:38.40.
Litchfield Girls Results: 27. Kylee Eiting 20:53.86; 35. Myka Fenton 21:13.20; 43. Delanie Ulrich 21:31.35; 109. Joelle Hughes 25:00.53; 132. Harlee Traylor 28:14.91; 137. Emma Hughes 29:39.13.
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