Panthers dominate at own girls relays

News-DemocratApril 19, 2014 

— Less than 48 hours after watching his O'Fallon squad win the Edwardsville Relays, Panthers coach Neil James decided to move athletes around Friday for his team's own invitational.

That decision proved to be a wise one.

Aleasha Jones won the 100, 200 and 400 meters while senior Ciera Jones scored victories in the triple jump and 100 hurdles, as the Panthers lapped the field at the sixth annual O'Fallon Girls Track and Field Invitational.

Making her season debut in the 100, Aleasha Jones finished with a time of 12.4 seconds to edge Belleville West junior Abrea Hopson (12.48), in what may have been the day's best race.

Jones also turned in times of 25.7 in the 200 and 58.7 in the 400, as she captured the sprint trifecta at O'Fallon High School.

"To run 12.4 in the 100 after not running it all year, that's pretty impressive. Aleasha had a great day,'' James said. "We had just run and won the meet at Edwardsville on Wednesday, and so we used today as kind of a day where we could move kids around in some different events and give some others a chance to compete.

"It was a really good day. The conditions were ideal and we had some good performances across the board."

Ciera Jones won the 100 hurdles in 15.2 and also won the triple jump, edging Triad standout Tyler Bakarich.

Jones had a winning leap of 36-feet, 7-inches for the Panthers, who finished with 227 points. Triad (108 1/2) and West (105) rounded out the top three teams,

Other individuals recording wins for the Panthers were Reagan Lear (1,600, 5:27), Heather Lee (300 hurdles, 47.8) and Samantha Lapp (3,200, 11:29).

James also was pleased with Casey Carter, who cleared a season-best 5-4 in the high jump to finish second behind West senior Kelsey Shannon, who topped out at 5-6.

Junior pole vaulter Claire Buck led the way for second-place Triad.

Ranked in the top 25 nationally with a best of 12-6, Buck cleared that height again to post an easy win.

Iva Shephard of O'Fallon was second at 9-6.

Triad teammate Allison Richter won the discus with a throw of 113-0.

Rounding out the individual championships were Abby Lealaimatafao of Freeburg, who won the shot put with a throw of 39-4. Kayla Marshall of Collinsville won the long jump with an effort of 16-3.

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