Civic Memorial's Alex Singleton runs to the finish line earlier in the season at the Metro East Lutheran Invitational. On Wednesday, Singleton raced to the win at Gordon Moore Park in the Alton Invitational.
ALTON – Alex Singelton did Wednesday afternoon what she does best – win on the run.
The Civic Memorial junior captured another girls’ cross country race. This time, she took first in the Alton Invitational at Moore Park. Singleton triumphed easily, clocking it at 19 minutes, 50.46 seconds. She finished 77 seconds ahead of Collinsville’s Andrea Frerker, the runner-up.
“It’s kind of like a boost in confidence,” said Singleton, 11th in Saturday’s Edwardsville Invitational. She won her third major meet of the season. Singleton has also prevailed at Belleville West and Carrollton.
She cruised to her latest win, her biggest margin of victory thus far. “I was trying to go for my best time, but it’s harder when there is nobody out there (pushing) you,” Singleton said.
“I’m just trying to get my times down,” she said. “It wasn’t a great time today, but it has been better than I have been doing. So I will take it.”
Eagles’ coach Clint Walters liked what he saw from Singleton’s effort.
“She has been sick, so it’s a good confidence booster,” he said. “And I know she likes to be out in front when the opportunity arises like it did today.”
Next up for her will be the Jersey Havens Invite on Monday at Principia College. Then Singleton runs Wednesday, Oct. 1, at the Triad Invite in Troy.
Collinsville scored 66 points to shade Jersey, second with 69 points, in the girls' competition. Granite City (70) took third, followed by CM (84) and Alton (89).
Hanah Batchelor, eight in 21:53.77; and Becca Adney, 10th in 22:47.51, paced the AHS girls.
“Both of them ran good races and they are pushing each other,” Redbirds’ coach Vernon Curvey said.
Natalie Halliday of Marquette Catholic finished fifth in 21:48.44 and that encouraged the Explorers. They had three girls and one boy participating.
“We’d like to get at least six boys and six girls running, and build up the program,” Marquette coach Sara Ulrich said. She’s also the school’s director of athletics.
Ulrich added, “We are in a total of eight meets this season and it’s nice to be in this one because it’s in Alton. It’s like a home meet and the only time we will run here this season.”
Granite City, backed by the 1-2 finish of Will O’Keefe and Tyler Manion, respectively, captured the boys’ title. The Warriors scored 49 points. Jersey was runner-up with 80 points and Alton snagged third with 83 points.
O’Keefe’s winning time was 16:41.81. Manion clocked in at 16:45.13. Ben Flowers of Jersey secured third at 17:05.51. AHS sophomore Evan Rathgeb finished fourth at 17:06.68 and teammate Arie Macias, also a sophomore, was fifth in 17:18.49.
“That’s the first time in a long while that we have had two boys finish in the top five places,” Curvey said. “I see the program getting better every day and the future looks enjoyable for us.”
He pointed out, “This group really enjoys running and they are buying into what we are doing and what it takes to win. They’ve improved this season and I can see them making a bigger jump next year.”
Follow Steve Porter on Twitter @StevePorter51.