Photo by Bill Roseberry
CM’s Alex Singleton charges toward the finish line at the Metro East Lutheran Invite on Aug. 29 at SIUE. Singleton, a two-time AdVantage News Cross Country Runner of the Year, is hoping for a solid senior year.
Civic Memorial’s Alex Singleton has proven her talent over the last few years on cross country courses through the area; now she wants to enter an elite group and close out her career with a bang.
“As a senior I just want to do my best on every course,” said Singleton, the winner of the AdVantage News Female Cross Country Runner of the Year the last two seasons. “I want to beat all my personal records and get down into the 17s. I just want to push myself the hardest I can go and hopefully get my time down to a really fast time.”
Singleton opened the season Aug. 29 in the Metro East Lutheran Invitational at SIUE. She wasn’t too impressed with her results, but knows it’s a good barometer for the rest of the season.
The senior for the Eagles finished 24th at the MELHS Invite with a time of 21:40.01. It wasn’t her fastest time on the hilly course, but it did dip below her time at Mud Mountain over the summer.
First-year coach of the Eagles, Mark Beatty, expects big things and has high goals for Singleton this season.
“We want her to peak in late September,” Beatty said. “We’re going to keep building up our mileage and her speed work and I think the goal obviously is to get back to state and she wants to finish in the top 10.”
Singleton is happy with the addition of Beatty. She and the rest of the Eagles have been putting in good work to prepare for the season with him at the helm, she said.
“I’ve been pushing it a lot harder,” she said. “I’ve been training a lot harder this summer. We have a new coach (Beatty) and he’s been pushing us to our max, so my senior year I hope will be one of my best.”
Last season Singleton finished in 39th place, with a time of 18:19 at the Class 2A state meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria. As a sophomore she placed 27th with a time of 18:13 at state, so she’s no stranger to the mammoth event. Reaching the top 25 earns all-state honors, so she’s knocking on the door.
Last season she battled nagging injuries, but she said that is in the rearview mirror now.
“I feel pretty healthy,” Singleton said. “Last year I started out with a bronchial infection, but this year I feel great. I guess my legs aren’t just up to par yet.”
The hills at SIUE during the MELHS Invite were taxing on her, but Beatty admitted being critical of herself isn’t a strange attribute for Singleton.
“Alex was disappointed,” Beatty said following the meet. “But I’ve never found Alex to be truly happy after most of her races. She pushes herself and that’s a good thing.”
She hopes to use a strong senior season to springboard her into the collegiate cross country ranks. She’s looking now, but undecided where to continue her career.
“I’m still debating between schools,” Singleton said. “I’m looking into McKendree and Maryville and some other schools. I want to get a scholarship hopefully.”
A fantastic season to close out her prep career should do the trick.
Follow #ADVsports on Twitter