The weather was not particularly cooperative last Friday afternoon, but the OTHS boys track team battled the elements and a field of 13 teams to capture the championship in the 49th annual O’Fallon Relays.
Sparked by outstanding performances from the Panther distance runners and a strong effort in the relays and the field events, the O’Fallon squad was able to turn back a concerted effort by the Collinsville Kahoks, who had defeated the Panthers earlier in the week in a dual meet, to collect the first place hardware. O’Fallon finished with 161 1/2 points to Collinsville’s 150.
Fueling the Panthers’ march to victory were seven winning efforts by OTHS athletes. The 3,200 results were especially critical in the final point tallies as O’Fallon swept the top three positions in the race. Romeo Scagliarina led the pack to win the event and was followed across the finish line by Erik McMillan (2nd) and Ben Eickmeier (3rd). The 24 points produced by the senior distance trio were critical in O’Fallon’s ability to answer the Kahoks’ challenge.
TJ Lambert and Demontez McCray also had banner days for O’Fallon. Lambert won the triple jump and took second in the long jump. McCray streaked past the field to capture the blue ribbon in the 100 and helped the OTHS distance medley team to a first place finish. Other O’Fallon winners included the 4x800 relay team, the 1,600 medley quartet and the 4x800 JV foursome.
Depth was also a contributing factor to the Panther victory with O’Fallon collecting a total of five second place finishes and five third place medals. Coach Ron Koch’s crew will be tested again this weekend when they compete in Saturday’s Belleville West Invitational.