Comanches capture annual St. Clair County Track Meet

News-DemocratApril 29, 2014 

— Because of the fewer number of teams in the field, Cahokia coach Leroy Millsap really doesn't care much for the St. Clair County Track Meet.

But for the fourth straight year, Millsap enjoyed the final outcome of the battle for track and field supremacy in St. Clair County.

Ignoring cold and windy conditions, sophomore Jamari Ward took the triple jump with a leap of 49 feet, 1 inch, while senior Gary Hickman breezed to a win in the 300-meter hurdles as Cahokia rolled to a 49-point win over O'Fallon on Tuesday at Belleville West High School.

Only three days after soaring a personal-best 50-6 in his win at the Winston Brown Invitational at Edwardsville, Ward was again in top form as he won the triple jump. He combined that with a winning jump of 23 feet 1/2 inch in the long jump.

One of three athletes to win multiple championships on Tuesday, Ward also anchored the Comanches winning 800-meter relay team.

"Because of the cold and wind, this was a tough day to jump. It's hard to get loose and its also easy to pull a hamstring if you're not careful. The most important thing about today is that we're healthy," Millsap said. "I really don't like the smaller meets because even though we win a lot of events, it's easier for other teams to have more than one individual earning points.

"In a bigger meet, we're still winning events but teams have more trouble doubling up. We did well today. I'm pleased with our effort."

Cahokia also won both the frosh-soph and varsity 1,600 meter relays as it finished with 171 points.

O'Fallon's thinclads were second with 122 points, followed by East St. Louis (118 points), Belleville West (106) and Mascoutah (77).

Junior Keveion Akins won the 200 meters for Cahokia.

Edged at the wire by Belleville East sophomore William Session in the 110 meter hurdle final, Hickman breezed to a winning time of 39.37 seconds in the 300-meter hurdle final. Still battling a nagging quad injury, Hickman continues to show progress.

"If we get both Gary and Marlin (Brady) back to where they need to be, we're going to be in the hunt again. I liked what I saw from Marlin today. He competed well," Millsap said. "Our younger kids are doing well in the relays. We'll have some decisions to make.''

O'Fallon was led by one of the nation's best distance runners in senior Patrick Perrier. Taking a day off from the 1,600 and 3,200 meter events, Perrier won the 800 meters in 1:56.3 and anchored the Panthers winning 3,200 meter relay team.

"He (Perrier) can't run the 1,600 and 3,200 meters every meet. We wanted to give him a chance to run a different event today. Let him have a little fun,'' O'Fallon coach Ron Koch said. "I think the next time you'll see him double in the 1,600 and 3,200 may be at the Southwestern Conference in a couple weeks.''

O'Fallon's other win came from Pat Riley in the pole vault (13 feet).

East St. Louis also continues to show progress. Freshman sensation Roosevelt Davis led the way by winning the 400 meters in 49.2 seconds, while Natereace Strong won the 100 meters and Jesse Douglas won the high jump.

Belleville West junior Ricky Nelson set a new school record in the discus of 169-9 while also taking the shot put with a throw of just over 54 feet.

Freshman Noah Affolder of Mascoutah won the 1,600 and 3,200 meter titles.

Contact reporter Dean Criddle at 239-2661 or dcriddle@bnd.com

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