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McDonogh's Dalton Hengst wins third straight MIAA cross country title, announces college choice

Dalton Hengst slowed down moments after winning Wednesday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association championship race at Oregon Ridge. He jogged over to where some McDonogh teammates stood, and someone handed him a hat that said "Ole Miss."

Hengst promptly put it on to complete this bit of multitasking — he had just won his third straight MIAA cross country title while informing everyone of his college choice. The McDonogh senior, who is among the top runners in the nation, will go to Mississippi to run starting next fall.

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The other big news from this meet came from Loyola Blakefield, which broke Mount Saint Joseph's two-year hold on the A Conference team title, edging the Gaels by seven points and winning for the first time in three years.

Hengst quickly took command in this race, breaking away from the pack early and cruising to a victory in 15 minutes, 35.6 seconds, beating out Eric Gibson from Gilman (15:44.6) and Hunter Petrik (15:45.0) of Mount Saint Joseph. The McDonogh senior badly wanted to three-peat and fulfilled his wish.

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"It's just special," Hengst said. "This is the most important one to me. It means a lot to my coach. It means a lot to me. It means a lot to my parents."

The college choice proved a tough one for Hengst. Oregon, Boise State and Ole Miss were his final choices, and he informed the Rebels' coach of his decision Tuesday night.

"I want to go to college and be the best runner I can be," Hengst said. "I'm happy and the coach is happy."

McDonogh coach Jeff Sanborn was thrilled with the whole thing — the three-peat and Hengst locking up his college choice.

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The longtime coach at McDonogh, Sanborn said Hengst has been a special runner. In fact, the only time Hengst didn't win the MIAA race, he finished third three years ago as a freshman.

"The kid's incredible," Sanborn said. "There's a lot of pressure, and it just doesn't bother him. He never misses a beat. He's the best we've ever had."

Meanwhile, Loyola bounced back and did just enough to reclaim the A Conference team title. The Dons finished with 60 points thanks to five runners finishing in the top 20.

That proved enough to beat Mount Saint Joseph (67). The Gaels landed five runners in the top 22 but came up a bit short.

"We ran very well," Loyola coach Jose Albornoz said. "We were just looking [to stay in] position."

Dalton Hengst got to compete at a meet in Cuba. He didn't disappoint, and enters his senior year as one of the top runners in the area.

Camden Gilmore led the Dons with his fourth-place finish while Connor Verrett was the other top-10 runner (sixth). Kyle Clarke (11th), Ronan Sullivan (19th) and Dan Quets (20th) rounded out the Dons' scorers.

Petrik and Andrew Brinker (seventh) led the Gaels, who came up short in their bid for a third straight title.

Everyone ran in one race, with the B and C Conference results coming from where they finished.

In the B Conference, John Carroll won the team title, and Severn's Robby Dubinski was the top individual finisher (16:25.5). Alexander Kirkland (second) helped the Patriots to the team title as they finished with 43 points, beating out Severn (48).

The C Conference saw Josh Rosemore (16:13.0) of Beth Tfiloh win for the third consecutive time. Another three-time winner was Friends, which has won the C Conference team crown each of the past three seasons.

The Quakers crushed the field, winning with only 28 points as all five runners finished in the top 11, including a second-place finish by Henry Griffith.

MIAA Championships

(at Oregon Ridge)

A Conference

Team scores (top 5): 1. Loyola, 60; 2. Mount Saint Joseph, 67; 3. St. Paul's, 70; 4. Gilman, 75; 5. Calvert Hall, 92.

Individual results (top 10): 1. Hengst (MCD), 15:35.6; 2. Gibson (GIL), 15:44.6; 3. Petrik (MSJ), 15:45.0; 4. Gilmore (LOY), 15:50.0; 5. Johnson (CH), 16:02.4; 6. Verrett (LOY), 16:09.9; 7. Brinker (MSJ), 16:23.1; 8. Coleman (SP), 16:23.1; 9. Francis (CH), 16:24.9; 10. Heflin (SP), 16:26.7.

B Conference

Team scores (top 5): 1. John Carroll, 43; 2. Severn, 48; 3. St. Mary's, 102; 4. Park, 108; 5. Glenelg Country, 114.

Individual results (top 10): 1. Dubinski (SEV), 16:25.5; 2. Kirkland (JC), 16:53.0; 3. Taczak (SEV), 17:02.0; 4. Demers (GCS), 17:11.9; 5. Hudes (PAR), 17:13.6; 6. Sullivan (JC), 17:19.3; 7. Witham (BL), 17:24.5; 8. Williams (AAC), 17:29.0; 9. Mezzatesta (JC), 17:38.8; 10. Luljak (PAR), 17:40.7.

C Conference

Team scores (top 5): 1. Friends, 28; 2. Gerstell, 80; 3. Saints Peter and Paul, 98; 4. Beth Tfiloh, 104; 5. Saint John's Catholic, 106.

Individual results (top 10): 1. Rosemore (BT), 16;13.0; 2. Griffith (FR), 16:46.3; 3. Prichett (FR), 17:42.6; 4. Nevius (CHA), 17:44.7; 5. Larson (BT), 17:55.5; 6. Ruffin (FR), 18:08.9; 7. Lovellette (GER), 18:14.3; 8. Thompson (CON), 18:15.9; 9. Hardy (FR), 18:16.2; 10. Bradbury (SPP), 18:26.7.

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