The O'Fallon Township High School girls track and field team won the eight-team Southwestern Illinois Relays on March 23 at Edwardsville High School, while the Panther boys finished fourth in an 11-team field.
The girls totaled 108 points, seven points better than second-place Belleville West. Other schools competing, and their point totals, were: Alton (96), Edwardsville (94), Belleville East (91), Rock Island (66), Collinsville (26), and Granite City (16).
"The team was led by Amy Wagner, who won the shot put and placed second in the discus," said OTHS girls coach Neil James.
Wagner's best shot put throw measured 37 feet, 8.25 inches. She flung the discus 112 feet, five inches.
Other second-place finishers were Kaitlyn Walker in the 1600 (5:40.16), Simoriah Longhorn in the triple jump (35 feet, 3 inches), Ally Foote in 100 meters (12.68). The 4 x 100 relay team of Zoie Howard, Foote, Kayla Gordon and Noelle Forcier finished in 50.55.
Paige Nowak placed third in the pole vault with a height of 7 feet, six inches.
Two relay teams also had third-place finishes. The hurdle shuttle relay team of Longhorn, Marlita Reeves, Alex Parram, and J'Annah Adkins finished in 1:17.29, and the distance medley relay team of Maddie Collins, Sofia Parker, Faith Mayfield, and Sophie Wichlac also finished third.
The boys event was won by Edwardsville, which totaled 97 points, 11 better than OTHS. Others schools and how they finished were: East St. Louis (95), Summit (88), O'Fallon (86), Belleville West (55), Alton and Collinsville (44), Mascoutah (32), Belleville East (18.5), Granite City (12.5), and Athoff (7).
"I thought our guys competed very well. The weather was a factor for everyone, and this was the first outdoor meet of the season," said OTHS coach Joe Speaks. "Usually, we have a couple of meets to get the relays together and work out a few kinks in some other events, before competing in a larger meet, like SWIL. All things considered, we did OK on the fly."
On the boys side, the hurdle group had a solid day.
"In the shuttle hurdle relay, we ran two freshmen, a sophomore, and a junior. We are missing one of our 110 high hurdle guys (Jamie Mosley, who was injured). The inexperienced group was able to take first place, so we were really proud of them," Speaks said.
For the two freshmen, Tevion Holmes and Taylor Lehman, it was the first time they ran a full 110 race. Keijhuan James and Damien Ross ran the other two legs of the relay that crossed the finish line in 1:07.54. Ross also finished second (43.20) and James fifth (43.94) in the 300 intermediate hurdles.
"This was their first shot at this race for this season, and it is a tough one, even without the less than ideal conditions," Speaks said.
The distance medley relay also took first.
"We only run this race twice a year, so it can be a big question as to how well it is going to go," Speask said. "Lucas Capistrant, who was our top finisher at cross country state this past season, ran anchor. I thought he looked really strong, and obviously, sealed the win for us."
In the field events, Nathan Vasquez finished sixth (126 feet, seven inches) in the discus, and Braden Johnson placed fourth shot put (44 feet, 3.5 inches).
Also for the OTHS boys, Dorian Brown finished third in the 100 meters (11.65), and Garrett Blenkush (4:47.03) and Will Vanalstine (4:47.27) finished second and third, respectively, in the 1600 meters.
"Again, it was a tough day for everyone," Speaks said. "So it is nice to see some guys be able to deal with the conditions and get a solid performance."