The girls' full highlight tape features many angles and energy of the race of the year
Benton City Park; Benton IL-
With temperatures reaching near 70 degrees at its peak, the main attraction in town had to be the cross country meet. One thing is for certain, the amount of energy that flowed through the park was second to none.
or "Mia" McLain of Benton was the obvious stand out in the girls' race at the Benton Sectional. The junior won by nearly a minute over the second place finisher in a time of 17:14. McLain led the race from start to finish, distancing herself from the rest of the field, running purely for time. DuQuoin runner, Gabby Alongi
(Jr), placed second overall, working her way up from the third place spot that she sat in for approximately half of the race, behind Freeburg's Breanna Chandler
(Jr). Chandler finished third in a time of 18:22. Hailey Wallace
, a freshman from Benton, ran a strong race as she moved up in the field to place fourth with a time of 18:30. McLain and Wallace will advance to State as individuals, and joining them will be Ansley Bailey
(So., Massac County), Maddie Karcher
(Fr., McLeansboro), Brooke Biffar
(So., Gibault), Mackenzie Willis
(Fr., Carmi White County), and Caro Ghiani
(Jr., Anna Jonesboro).
Alongi was accompanied by teammate Olivia Phillips
; the freshman placed eighth overall with an impressive 18:55. More impressive was that DuQuoin's top five finishers, minus Alongi, were all freshman. The strong showing of young runners earned them a sectional title and a ticket to state by scoring 63 points. Also advancing as teams are Freeburg (91), Pinckneyville (109), Roxana (169), and Okawville (171).