Midlands runners made the big news in the girls division at the Lake Murray Invitational On Sept. 17 at Chapin’s Crooker Creek Park.
Airport’s Megan Stahlberger and Dreher’s Ashbrook Gwinn finished first and second individually, and the on-the-rise Heathwood Hall Highlanders turned in a strong third-place finish behind the two top-ranked Class 3A public school powers – No. 1 Wade Hampton of Greenville and No. 2 Eastside.
It was the second major win of the year for Stahlberger, who also preview at the Lexington County championship meet earlier in the season in Airport’s last big-meet appearance.
Stahlberger finished ahead of Gwinn by almost five full seconds at Lake Murray in a duel between two returning all-state runners. Stahlberger, who earned runner-up honors at the Class 3A state championship meet last year, finished nearly five full seconds ahead of Gwinn with a winning time of 18 minutes, 38.25 seconds. Gwinn, who finished ninth at state a year ago as a freshman, clocked in at 18:43.23.
Heathwood Hall’s impressive early-season showing continued. The Highlanders, who are looking to make a serious run at the SCISA Class 3A state title, finished with 109 points, just one point behind Eastside in the Lake Murray final team standings. Wade Hampton was the winner with 81 points.
Junior Brooke Grice and freshman Sydney Ellen again set the pace for the Highlanders, placing third and fourth, respectively. Grice had a solid time of 18:45.16, while Ellen checked in at 20:31.4.
Ellie Ridley (24th, 20:31.04), Kate Nassab (36th, 21:01.59) and Harriet Rogers (45th, 21:12.14) were Heathwood Hall’s other scoring entries.
In other Midlands storylines:
Dutch Fork, ranked No. 9 in Class 4A, had a solid fourth-place showing (five points behind Heathwood Hall behind the efforts of Hope Whisman (7th, 19:34.86) and Amelia Syfert, (9th, 19:42.57).
Janay Chisholm (11th, 19:48.51) and Savannah Radenbaugh (20th, 20:18.85) led Irmo to a sixth-place team finish.
Hammond finished eighth as a team and Catherine Herring also cracked the Top 10 individually with a ninth-place finish (19:46.96).
Samantha Koenig (14th, 20:02.74 led the way for the host Chapin Eagles, who finished in ninth place.