Plaque in dentistry is not a good thing, but plaques in cross country? That’s a little more of a positive.
Ten of the 12 members of the Litchfield Cross Country team earned the metal and wood awards signifying excellence at the East Alton-Wood River Invite at Belk Park on Saturday, Oct. 9, marking another solid day for Panthers.
The invite awards points based on how runners finished against other members of their graduating class and two Litchfield competitors took the top spot for their grades and for the overall race.
Myka Fenton was the only female runner to break 20 minutes at Belk Park, clocking in at 19:59.8 for her best finish ever. The time was also a personal-best for Fenton at the three-mile distance.
Camden Quarton was the top overall runner and top sophomore at the meet, running a time of 15:45.9, another personal best for the Panthers. Quarton’s time was two seconds quicker than senior Nick Fehr of Red Bud, who was second overall.
In addition to the two winners, Litchfield received top 10 performances from eight other runners, four on the girls’ side and four on the boys’ side.
Kylee Eiting nearly gave Litchfield a trio of wins as she came in second in the senior standings with a time of 21:19.8, while Harlee Traylor was 10th, running a 25:50.8.
Delanie Ulrich had Litchfield’s third best finish, taking third in the junior standings behind Fenton and Marquette’s Kailey Vickrey, with a 21:46.5. Emma Hughes was also in the junior ranks, finishing 23rd with a time of 33:15.5.
Joelle Hughes rounded out the LHS line-up with a time of 25:12.5, good for 10th in the freshman standings.
On the boys’ side, the success came in pairs as seniors Alex DeLaCruz and Brayden Davis finished eighth and ninth, while juniors Gavin Thimsen and Sam Horn finished fifth and sixth. DeLaCruz finished in a time of 18:23.6, while Davis was 25 seconds behind him with a time of 18:48.1.
Thimsen and Horn were also about 20 seconds apart, with Thimsen running an 18:02.7 and Horn running an 18:22.7. Fellow junior Peyton Baugher finished 20th in the standings with a time of 22:53.1.
The success of the last few weeks has the Panthers riding high going into their final regular season meet of the season, the South Central Conference Championships on Saturday, Oct. 16, at Southwestern High School.
The Panthers have combined to win 15 SCC titles since 1997, seven on the boys’ side, including one last year, and eight on the girls’ side, with the last in 2016. Litchfield has doubled up and won both titles twice, coming in back-to-back years in 2004 and 2005.
Hillsboro Cross Country
Hillsboro would also send four runners to Belk Park as they two prepare for the stretch run of their season.
Three of the four Hillsboro runners were in the junior division, with Avery Smith running a team-best 25:01.5 to finish 13th. Meagan White would be four spots behind her in 17th with a time of 27:50.2, while Alexandra Kuhns ran a 30:08.1 to finish 21st.
Freshman Presley Smith rounded out the Hillsboro lineup, running a 31:08.9 to finish 20th in her grade level.
Hillsboro will also be at the conference meet in Piasa on Saturday, with the first races starting at 9 a.m.
October 9 at Wood River
Belk Park - 3 Miles
Litchfield Boys Results
Sophomore: 1. Camden Quarton 15:45.9
Junior: 5. Gavin Thimsen 18:02.7; 6. Sam Horn 18:22.7; 20. Peyton Baugher 22:53.1
Senior: 8. Alex DeLaCruz 18:23.6; 9. Brayden Davis 18:48.1
Litchfield Girls Results
Freshman: 10. Joelle Hughes 25:12.5
Junior: 1. Myka Fenton 19:59.8; 3. Delanie Ulrich 21:46.5; 23. Emma Hughes 33:15.5
Senior: 2. Kylee Eiting 21:19.8; 10. Harlee Traylor 25:50.8