Dalton Hengst has long-term goals and he’s paving the path to assure they get accomplished.
The Ole Miss commit capped off a stellar senior season at McDonogh by winning his third consecutive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship this season, crossing the finish line in 15 minutes, 35.6 seconds. He won the Maryland Private School Championships for a third straight year the following week and qualified for the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championship with a fourth-place finish at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional meet on Nov. 25.
“Each year, I got a little bit stronger and more competitive,” Hengst said. “Now I’m here, senior year, where I was trying to make national championships in cross country last year in San Diego and Foot Locker. Now the goal is to go out there, be top five and compete and really be in the mix with the best guys in the country. It’s been nice to see the progression throughout my career here.”
Hengst qualified for the Foot Locker meet for a second consecutive year and raced at the national championship meet in San Diego on Dec. 9.
Hengst’s preparation started in the summer months, and McDonogh coach Jeff Sanborn said this past summer’s workouts were some of the best he had seen from Hengst, who he described as a phenomenal talent combined with a drive and determination for success.
“He’s going to go to college with the same idea,” Sanborn said. “College is a stepping stone for him to go to the next level, a professional level of running and hopefully a qualifier for the Olympic trials. There’s no question that’s a goal of his. Nobody’s going to doubt him on that. He’s always been the best in his age group, so why wouldn’t he be the next year or the following year? Giving his talent and dedication, nothing’s going to hold him back and I feel strongly he’s going to be there.”