Mia McClain's intense facial expression says everything about winning her first sectional title (Tracy Burmester photo)
It was a busy but exciting day out on the SIU-Edwardsville cross country course Saturday, which hosted both two sectionals 1A/3A. Getting the day started were the Girls' and Boys' 1A races.
The girls' race experienced little change in the front runners throughout the span of the race. Benton freshman Mia McLain took the early lead from the start of the gun, working to distance herself from the other runners. Sophomore Elyse Faust of Breese (Mater Dei) followed behind McLain, with Freeburg freshman Breanna Chandler keeping them both in sight.
Two miles into the race, Chandler had surpassed Faust and was running second to McLain who held her lead to the very end to win with a time of 19:48.17. Chandler finished second with a time of 20:03.91, followed by Faust who was being pushed by Alton Marquette freshman Riley Vickrey. The two finished within the same second with Faust at 20:09.38 and Vickrey at 20:09.75. It was an impressive field with the top ten finishers being mostly freshman.
Advancing as individuals to the state meet behind McLain was Vickrey, Megan Adams of Carterville, Payton Dixon of Carmi, Tiffani Siekmann of Belleville (Althoff Catholic), Sarozjani Hunter of Belleveille (Governor French Academy), and Abby Richmann of Okawville.
|top 10 GIRLS 5,000 METER RUN finishers|
|1||Amelia Mclain||9||Benton High School||19:48.17||--|
|2||Breanna Chandler||9||Freeburg High School||20:03.91||1|
|3||Elyse Faust||10||Breese Mater Dei High School||20:09.38||2|
|4||Riley Vickrey||9||Marquette High School||20:09.75||--|
|5||Gabrielle Alongi||9||DuQuoin High School||20:18.95||3|
|6||Megan Adams||12||Carterville High School||20:41.94||4|
|7||Payton Dixon||9||Carmi-White County High School||20:44.40||5|
|8||Ashley Gilmore||12||Freeburg High School||20:44.78||6|
|9||Tiffany Siekmann||10||Althoff High School||20:49.57||7|
|10||Kayla Whitworth||11||Freeburg High School||20:52.95||8|
Mia McClain's post-race reaction-
|top 5 state qualifiers|
|1||Freeburg High School||52||1+6+8+15+22 (28+33)||1:57 1-5 Split | 21:02 Avg|
|2||Breese Mater Dei High School||67||2+12+14+18+21 (31+64)||1:47 1-5 Split | 21:19 Avg|
|3||Nashville High School||143||10+16+17+39+61 (101+102)||3:03 1-5 Split | 22:18 Avg|
|4||DuQuoin High School||190||3+23+37+56+71 (72+74)||4:33 1-5 Split | 22:45 Avg|
|5||Chester High School||212||9+13+53+68+69 (118+119)||3:28 1-5 Split | 23:02 Avg|