The O’Fallon High girls track team were not the most gracious of hosts last Friday afternoon.
Hosting eight teams in the OTHS Girls Invitational, the Lady Panthers blasted their way to a team victory, crushing the field with an impressive display of victories in every facet of the competition.
Coach Neil James’ squad finished with 251 team points, far out-distancing second place Edwardsville, which ended the day with 122. Leading the list of blue ribbon performances were seniors Angela Buch and Tami Cardenas. Buch raced across the finish line ahead of the pack to win the 1,600, and Cardenas showcased her talent by winning the 800.
Another senior, Noelle Gilster, made it a clean sweep in the distance events, out-running the field to capture first place in the 3,200. Dominating the distance races provided a solid point lead for the Panthers, but the OTHS girls were far from finished. In the field events, O’Fallon got three first place efforts from its athletes. Mya Watson-Blake won the high jump, Nautica Lockett took first in the long jump, and Mackenzie Ryan made it a field event trifecta by winning the triple jump. O’Fallon’s young and talented sprinting corps did their part to complete the Panther romp.
Tanya Houston blasted her way to a victory in the 100 and OTHS’ top sprinter, Kersten Douglas, added another first place medal to her growing collection of hardware with a winning effort in the 200.
“Our overall team effort was outstanding,” James said. “We prepared well for this meet, and the results show that our kids were prepared. Our veteran distance runners dominated and our young sprinters did an excellent job. We were able to not only win the meet but also several of our girls set personal bests. We want to win meets but a secondary goal in each competition is to improve. Our team was able to do both in this meet.”