Langford puts heat out of her mind for fourth Reagan Run title
DIXON – Jessica Langford did not beat the Dixon High School boys cross country runners she helps train, but she did beat the Dixon girls and all the other females Saturday for the fourth straight time in the 13th annual Reagan Run 5K.
The 41-year-old from Rockford became just the second four-time winner of the race and the first person to win four straight in either of the top two divisions with her time of 18 minutes, 21.02 seconds.
Langford bested runner-up Suzy Stanley, 42, of Rock Falls, who was also the 2011 runner-up, by a minute and 20 seconds.
“There were quite a few boys around me from Dixon High School who I help train,” Langford
said. “They all ended up getting me, but I ran hard to try to stay with them. They were
motivation. That was fun.
“It’s nice to win this here with the cross county team. It gives you some credibility with the high school kids, but now they’re beating me ... the boys at least.”
Langford again rose to the occasion in less-than-ideal conditions on a hot, humid morning.
“I was intimidated by the heat going in,” she said. “It’s really hot. I ran the first mile and came through at 5:17, so I felt like that was good. I felt really good through the trails, then I got out of there and into the sun and thought, ‘I can do anything for 5 minutes,’ and just brought it in. Out of the four, this was by far the toughest
Langford surprised herself a bit.
“I felt much stronger than I thought I would,” she said. “I didn’t know if I’d make it under 19 [minutes] today.”
No other female did.
Stanley finished in 19:41.28. Recent Dixon High School graduate Haley Thorpe, 18, finished third in 19:53.77. Her former teammate and
current Eastern Illinois University runner
Chelsea Sondgeroth, 19, was fourth in 20:15.34. Corrie Reiley, 14, who will be a sophomore at Prophetstown High School, was fifth in 20:43.
1. Jessica Langford 18:21.02
2. Suzy Stahley 19:41.28
3. Haley Thorpe 19:53.77
4. Chelsea Sondgeroth 20:15.34
5. Corrie Reiley 20:43.00