GRANITE CITY — Cahokia senior Gary Hickman will be the first to admit that after missing the first two weeks of the outdoor track and field season that he isn't quite at midseason form.
However, Hickman's confidence level appears ready for the state finals.
One of the best in the state in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles a year ago, Hickman was good enough Friday to capture both events to help lead the Comanches to an easy victory at the Granite City Invitational.
Showing no signs of a hamstring injury which had sidelined him two weeks ago, Hickman nipped Edwardsville standout Craig James in the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.25 seconds.
"It felt fine. No pain at all. The 14-second mark is going down,'' Hickman said. "It felt great to be back out there with my teammates. We're all pretty tight.''
Hickman later coasted to a win in the 300 intermediate hurdles with a time of 39.13 for the Comanches, who finished with 150 1/2 points. Belleville West finished a distant second with 97 points.
Sophomore Jamari Ward also won a pair of events -- the long jump and triple jump --for Cahokia, which won eight of 19 events and had 11 entries place in the top two.
"It was a good day with great weather for one of the first times all year. I think as it keeps getting warmer, you'll see our times drop and the jumpers will jump further," Comanches coach Leroy Millsap said. "Although Jamari (Ward) had a good day. This is a tough place for the jumpers to jump.
"Gary (Hickman) had the injured hamstring and we didn't want to take any chances with the colder weather and than last week he missed the Belleville West meet because he was taking the ACT. I thought he looked sharp today. He coasted over the last three hurdles in the 300 or his time would have been better.''
The Comanches other four wins came in relays.
That effort was paced by a 3,200 relay which posted the fastest time in the state this spring at 7 minutes 58.3 seconds.
Second-place West got a win from its 400 relay (42.69), while junior Ricky Nelson won the discus with an effort of 152-10.
Another Southwestern Conference power, Edwardsville, placed third with 94 points. The Triad Knights placed fourth with 72.
Edwardsville was led by Wes Schoenthal, who won the 1,600 (4:29). Triad was paced by victories from Ben Richeter in the 3,200 (9:43.9) and Adam Nelson in the 100 (10.99).
In the shot put, Collinsville senior Martinus Mitchell won the shot put with a throw of 58-1. That effort also broke the Kahoks' outdoor record of 57-5, which was set in 1971.
Kahoks teammate Tremain Streater won the 400 (49.33).
Madison junior Andre McGill won the 200 (21.97).
Freshman Will O'Keefe won host Granite City's lone championship, taking the 800 (1:59.3).