O'FALLON — Ron Koch, of O'Fallon and the dean of Southwestern Conference boys track and field coaches, may finally have all the bases covered with his 2013 Panthers squad.
Chris Wiggins led a balanced and deep squad with wins in the long jump and 100-meter dash while Jack Klopfenstein and Pat Riley provided a 1-2 finish in the pole vault on Saturday as the Panthers rolled to the large school division title at the 47th annual O'Fallon Relays.
Koch, who has coached numerous state placewinners in his long and successful tenure, also watched as Tae'Mon Franklin won the long jump and Damon Boone took the 300-meter title for O'Fallon.
The Panther thinclads finished with 200 points. Edwardsville (151 points) and Belleville West (131) placed second and third respectively in the seven team large school class.
But the day belonged to O'Fallon.
"Former East St. Louis coach John Davis would always say to me 'Koch you've got it going on. But you don't get your pole vaulter, discus thrower and sprinter all in the same year.' Well, we're getting the jumper, the sprinter, pole vaulter and a bunch of good kids together all on one team this year,'' Koch said. "And we've got a bunch of juniors, too. We're just trying to do the best that we can and hopefully we stay injury free through the season here."
Led by a strong group of distance runners who helped lead O'Fallon to a second-place finish at the Class 3A State Cross Country meet in the fall, O'Fallon also won the 3,200 meter relay and the distance medley on Saturday.
Second-place Edwardsville received a win from Brydon Groves-Scott in the 3,200 meters, while third place Belleville West was led by Pierre Gee who won the discus with a throw of 168 feet.
Belleville East received an individual victory from Os Moore in the 100 meter hurdles.
Small school division
Perennial Mississippi Valley Conference power Triad received wins from Deion Garwood (triple jump), Eddie Lusk (100 meters) and Matt Ford (110 meter hurdles) as it posted a four-point win over Mount Vernon in the small school division of the O'Fallon Relays.
The Knights, who also won the 400-meter relay, finished with 134 points. Mount Vernon (130), Centralia (90), Salem (83) and Freeburg (77) rounded out the top five teams.
Waterloo, which finished seventh with 65 points, did get a combined three wins from its two NCAA Division I track recruits.
Defending Class 2A high jump state champion and University of Kentucky recruit Justin Kretchmer won his event with a leap of 6 feet, 6 inches. Teammate and Stanford bound Brendan Duncan won the shot put (55 feet 5 inches) and the discus (170 feet). Duncan was the 2011 Class 2A state champion in the discus.
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at 239-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org