The good news for Hengst is bad for any other distance runner he competes against — as he gets older, the junior keeps improving.
Hengst won a second consecutive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship this season, scoring the victory in a time of 15 minutes, 29.3 seconds, beating teammate Lucas Wright by 37.4 seconds.
He took the lead early and pushed hard to stay on top throughout as he pulled away. Hengst then won the state private school meet the following week and qualified for the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships, where he finished 21st.
His ability to push and his drive are two attributes that impress coach Jeff Sanborn.
"Dalton's commitment to excellence, his lofty expectations and goals, an incredibly competitive spirit, a willingness to train, a life devoted to running fast, and the ability to endure many struggles and miles sets him apart from most," Sanborn said. "At McDonogh, we have been blessed with a number of very talented and capable track athletes; Dalton may be the fastest yet. Time will tell."