It had been more than three decades since the Greenhill girls were faster on grass than any of their SPC rivals.
The Hornets won the conference title in girls cross country for the first time since 1985 on Saturday in suburban Houston, led by a gold-medal performance from Maddie Hatfield.
The senior completed the 5-kilometer course at Spring Creek Park in Tomball in a time of 18 minutes, 54 seconds. She was the only runner among the 110 starters to break 19 minutes.
Hatfield’s teammate, Kaiti Ness, placed fifth individually, while sophomores Kendall Hashimoto and Ella Dzialowski also ran in the top 20.
Greenhill has won several SPC championships in track and field, most recently in 2016, but has never taken home the cross country trophy until this year.
Hatfield was the individual runner-up a year ago and Ness placed second the year before, but the Hornets finished third as a team both times.
In boys action, St. Mark’s earned its first team title in 2013 by placing five runners in the top 12, led by senior twins Pablo and Andres Arroyo. They came in third and fourth individually, while teammates Sahil Dodda, Tyler Nussbaumer, and Julian Ivarra claimed places 10-12.
That depth allowed the Lions to easily surpass Houston St. John’s and defending champion Austin St. Stephen’s in the team standings.
Also at the conference’s fall championship meet, defending champion St. Mark’s fell to Fort Worth Trinity Valley in a seesaw five-set thriller in the boys volleyball championship game. The Lions swept rival Greenhill to reach the title match.
In the girls volleyball bracket, ESD advanced to the championship match in a bid for its first crown since 2007, but was swept by Bellaire Episcopal.