QUINCY -- Anna Schuering is taking social distancing to another level.
The Quincy High School junior led wire to wire and crossed the line in 19 minutes, 42 seconds to win the Running Raider Classic at South Park on Tuesday, beating the rest of the field by more than 50 seconds.
Schuering fought through the hilly course for her second-fastest time of the season and fourth race victory in four tries, though she wasn't quite satisfied with her time.
"This is a tough course and we kind of knew that going in, but when you run it again it reminds you how tough it was," Schuering said. "I think I raced competitively. I was shooting for a lower time but I'm proud of what I got today."
Large gaps between her and her opponents have become common for Schuering. Her average margin of victory through four races is 1 minute, 13 seconds, and no one has finished within 50 seconds of her.
That's a different style of racing than Schuering is used to.
"Being in front, it's fun to race like that because there's not the pressure of maybe someone running right next to you and they definitely push you from behind," Schuering said, "but it's a lot harder to mentally decide to go faster if no one else is pushing you to do so."
Schuering is aiming to break the 18-minute barrier this season, among other goals, and while she understands South Park isn't a course designed for personal records she still was hoping to cross that goal off.
"It's hard to be patient and wait for the right day, the right course, and it's frustrating," Schuering said. "But it's one step at a time. I've just got to be patient."
Teammate Alex Meyers also ran on an island for most of the race. Meyers placed second in 20:35, 30 seconds ahead of Blue Devils freshman Olivia Schuering in third.
QHS took five of the top six placings to finish first on the team standings with a 15, while Macomb was second with a 56. Quincy Notre Dame rounded out the team scoring with a 65.
"The whole team is working hard and putting effort into practice every day, using each other to get better," Anna Schuering said. "We all look at everyone else working hard and it makes you want to work a little bit harder as well. I think our team has been stronger than I ever could have imagined."
The only person to prevent the Blue Devils from going 1-through-5 was Liberty freshman Arianna Nelson, who crossed the line fourth in 22:19. Midway through the race, Nelson was behind Blue Devils Reese Terstriep and Jade Schneider, but she made a push in the last leg to overcome both runners.
"I started to tell myself that I could pass them," Nelson said. "I didn't think I would until the final stretch, but then I got with them and sprinted to the end."
Terstriep finished fifth in 22:245 and Schneider was sixth in 22:28.
Georgia Wilson came in eighth to lead the Quincy Notre Dame contingent with a time of 23:13, and Teresa Drotar followed right behind to take ninth in 23:25.
QND coach Brad Kendrick saw some places his team could improve in just their third meet this season, but he was happy with how they showed in their home invitational.
"We are just trying to work through out training to learn how to regulate at the beginning and push harder at the end," Kendrick said. "We have a little work left to do on that. It's hard to be optimistic when you are running against such quality runners, but I'm proud of them and they should be proud of themselves. This is not an easy course to run on."
Unity had two runners participate, with junior Elizabeth Adams pacing the Mustangs in 14th with a time of 24:41.