The O’Fallon Township High School girls track team continued to flex their collective muscles this past week, racing to consecutive titles at the Tiger Relays and the OTHS Invitational.
Utilizing their team depth and a series of outstanding individual and relay efforts, the Lady Panthers squeezed out a four point win over East St. Louis in Edwardsville and returned home later in the week to dominate an 8-team field to win their own invitational.
In the Tiger Relays, OTHS Coach Neil James’ squad scored their second team championship this spring without the benefit of a first place finish. Instead, the OTHS girls claimed the title on the strength of six second place and three third place medals.
With a few fourth place finishes sprinkled in for good measure, the Lady Panthers ended the day with 103.5 total points, four better than the East St. Louis Flyerettes.
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Four of the six second place finishes were earned by the OTHS relay runners. O’Fallon took second in the 4x800, 4x100, 4x200 and the distance medley.
The best individual efforts of the day were scored by senior distance runner Hannah Nabb, who placed second in the 3200 and Abby Carney, who took second in the high jump competition.
The bulk of the remaining points came from O’Fallon trio of third place efforts. The Panther thinclads earning third place medals included the 4x200 relay team, Mya Watson-Blake in the high jump and Mackenzie Ryan in the triple jump.
Ryan and her Panther teammates elevated their performances at the end of the week in the O’Fallon Invitational. Ryan was the star of the meet, scoring first place finishes in three events. The junior standout raced past her competitors to win the 100 and 300 hurdles and out-leaped the field to claim victory in the triple jump.
“Mackenzie’s performance was exceptional,” James said. “She has been one of our most consistent scorers in the early going and certainly showcased her versatility and athleticism in winning her three events.”
Ryan spearheaded the O’Fallon attack, but she had plenty of support. Six other O’Fallon tracksters stepped into the winner’s circle, contributing to the Lady Panthers’ 230 team points.
Other top performers for O’Fallon included Caitlyn Clinton (800), Kersten Douglas (200), Taliah Reese (400), Mya Watson-Blake (high jump) and Brooke Witzel (3200). O’Fallon got their tenth top finish from the 4x200 freshmen/sophomore quartet.
“Given the number of first place finishes and the times turned in by our girls, it turned out to be one of the best meets in which we have competed so far in the season” James said after his girls’ hoisted the OTHS Invitational trophy.
Seven second place medals augmented the major first place haul enjoyed by the Lady Panthers.
O’Fallon got seconds from the 4x100, 4x800 and frosh/soph 4x800 relay teams.
Individuals contributing to the OTHS cause with second place finishes were Abby Carney (high jump), Khori Shields (long jump), Jasmine Spearman (discus) and Tamya Houston (100).
The Lady Panthers continued to apply pressure to the 8-team field with six third place efforts.
Jasmine Spearman (shot put), Maddie Collins (3200), Mya Watson-Blake (100), Mary Kate Porath (400) and Katie Mank (1600) as well as the OTHS 4x800 squad ballooned the Lady Panther team total to 230 points. Edwardsville ended the day a distant second with 149.5 points.
The O’Fallon girls will be challenged in up-coming meets with the Alton Invitational scheduled for today (Thursday) followed by the St. Clair County Meet next Wednesday, April 27.