by Kyle Herschelman
The Litchfield Women’s Cross Country Team has a long history of success in meeting the South Central Conference and on Saturday October 15th Myka Fenton added to that legacy.
Fenton was seventh last year in second year, behind five runners from Roxana and Sierra Compton of Hillsboro. But with Roxana leaving to join the Cahokia Conference and Compton still battling after an early season bout with heat exhaustion, the title was up for grabs for Fenton. The Litchfield junior took the lead early and stayed there, clocking 20:23 as she slashed her time by over 70 seconds from last year and was the only runner to beat 21 minutes.
Fenton’s victory is Litchfield’s best result since 2011, when Victoria Quarton won the second of her consecutive SCC titles.
Fenton wasn’t the only one standing out from the Panthers, as Litchfield has put at least three runners on the all-conference roster for the ninth time in the past 10 years. Three-time all-conference winner Kylee Eiting rounded off the career sweep with a second place finish for the Panthers, finishing in 9:08 pm to beat Gillespie’s Brynn Baker by 11 seconds.
Delanie Ulrich, who also won all-conference honors last year, ran a time of 21:52 to finish fifth to round out the SCC trio from Litchfield.
A little further on were the next three runners from Litchfield as Harlee Traylor finished 18th, Joelle Hughes 20th and Emma Hughes 29th. Traylor ran a time of 26:11, while the Hughes sisters ran times of 26:13 and 29:04.
While the boys ‘race was decided by the sixth runner’s tiebreaker, the girls’ race was almost as close. Gillespie beat Litchfield by just four points as the Miners had their five runners in the top 13 to make up for the three Panthers runners in the top five.
Hillsboro Cross-Country Skiing
For a while, it looked like Montgomery County could have a grip on the top three as Hillsboro’s Sierra Compton was ahead of Fenton and Eiting before having to retire for health reasons.
While Compton’s withdrawal prevented Hillsboro from having a team score, the Toppers posted some of their best times of the season on the perfect morning at Piasa.
Avery Smith ran in 26:45 to finish 21st, while Meagan White was just behind her in 23rd with a time of 27:38. Allie Kuhns and Presley Smith completed the Hillsboro roster, finishing 32nd and 35th with times of 30:44 and 32:14.
Hillsboro and Litchfield will both be at Belleville Althoff Regional on Saturday, October 23, with race time set at 10 a.m. for girls and 10:30 a.m. for boys. The top seven teams and the top five people who are not part of an advanced team will then move on to the Trenton Wesclin sectional on Saturday, October 30th.
October 15 in Piasa
Results of the girls team: 1. Gillespie 40; 2. Litchfield 44; 3. Staunton 58; 4. Southwest 91; 5. Carlinville 93.
All the girls in the conference: 1. Myka Fenton (Litchfield) 20:23; 2. Kylee Eiting (Litchfield) 21:08; 3. Brynn Baker (Gillespie) 21:19; 4. Erika Gill (Gillespie) 21:40; 5. Delanie Ulrich (Litchfield) 21:52; 6. Brooke Kinder (Staunton) 22:31; 7. Lexi Hester (Staunton) 22:52; 8. Lexi Pfeiffer (Staunton) 22:58; 9. Katie Polo (Gillespie) 23:11; 10. Emily Lowis (South West) 23:12; 11. Mia Brawner (Gillespie) 24:11.
Litchfield Girls: 1. Myka Fenton 20:23; 2. Kylee Eiting 9:08 PM; 5. Delanie Ulrich 21:52; 18. Harlee Traylor 26:11; 20. Joëlle Hughes 26:13; 29. Emma Hughes 29:04.
Hillsboro Girls: 21. Avery Smith 26:45; 23. Meagan White 27:38; 32. Allie Kuhns 30:44; 52. Presley Smith 32:14.