On Saturday, the O’Fallon Panther boys cross country team traveled across the river to Missouri to compete in the Parkway West Dale Shepard Invitational.
Twenty teams, including some of the top in Missouri, competed. The Panthers took an impressive fifth place in the varsity and sixth in the JV race. The varsity team was led by strong performances by junior Nick Edwards finishing in 11th with a time of 16:54.66 and senior Chris Wichlac’s 12th place in 16:56.59 on this very challenging 5K course.
Junior Jack Peterson finished in 50th followed closely by senior Braden Gaab (57th), sophomore Peyton Mueller (58th), and junior Alex Tillock (59th). Junior Nico Parker finished in 73rd.
On the JV side, the team finished in sixth place. Junior Nick Novy has an impressive top-10 performance finishing in ninth with a time of 18:10.71.
Senior Tristen Fornes finished second for the Panthers with a top-20 performance in 13th place in 18:23.86. They were followed by senior Jacob Denley, juniors Ben McCoy and Garrett Roupmos, senior Darwin Mah and junior Luke Hruby.
The meet also included individual sophomore and freshman races. Sophomore Blake Westrater medaled by finishing 12th with a time of 18:26.60. Freshmen Ethan Nieroda and Aidan Cutter earned medals finishing in 21st and 26th, respectively.
The Panthers boys continue their season with the St. Clair County meet on Tuesday, Oct. 8. They will then turn their focus to the postseason with the Southwestern Conference meet — scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 17 — regionals and ultimately qualifying for the sectional and state meet